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Testimonials From Our Clients

My mother, Phyllis, was diagnosed with cancer and decided to move in with me at the Oak Brook Club in July 2014. Having lived alone here at the OBC for over 20 years, the move was difficult for both of us. One of the most challenging parts of the arrangement was that, although I love my mother dearly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is too much to ask of anyone.

We hired several different companies to care for my mom in order for me to get some "downtime". None of these companies met either her or my standards. When we found Handle With Care, I knew we had finally found the right fit for us. Each and every caregiver was professional, on time, and attended my mom's needs. We used HWC 7 days a week until my mom passed away.

I would highly recommend this company.

Michael Maenza

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to provide my strongest personal recommendation for Handle With Care, In-Home Care & Assistance (HWC). We were introduced to owners Julie Kastholm and Debbie Russell in the fall of 2011 as my two brothers and I were looking for help in providing care for our mother Nancy (who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's). We have been extremely satisfied, comforted, and reassured by the level of care and assistance their organization has been able to provide for Nancy.

I live in the Denver area and my brothers, Rick and Brian, live in in the Pacific Northwest; Nancy has lived in Glen Ellyn, IL for forty years and has for years expressed a strong desire to stay in her home for as long as possible. My brothers and I have agreed with mom's wishes, and HWC has been the reason we have been able to make this work. We knew Nancy would resist any form of help, as she has been a strong willed and independent woman her whole life and has been living on her own for the past 20 years.

We started out by arranging for mom to have some assistance 3 days a week for a few hours a day. We didn't know what to expect and were extremely nervous as to how it would go . . . WOW! I have we been happily satisfied. Her first caregiver, Lynn O'Linski, has been phenomenal. She has a wonderful ability to connect with Nancy and deftly handle the ups and downs that come daily. She has been constantly accessible and keeps us updated through phone, text, and e-mail. She has been a truly positive light in Nancy's life and has gone above and beyond the "call of duty" numerous times (I believe Lynn now qualifies as a certified project manager in helping deal with a couple of flooding and water damage issues at Nancy's!).

Early last year, in working with Julie and Debbie, we decided to add two more days of caregiving each week, and just recently in December, made the decision to have someone from HWC with Nancy every day. We have found HWC to be very attentive to our needs and have been pleased with their ability to match their caregivers to the needs of our mother. I know that our needs in caring for Nancy will change over time and will require us to constantly make decisions about the best care options for her. Having HWC providing daily care, monitoring, and communication with regard to Nancy helps make me more confident in making those decisions. I certainly feel we have a trusted advocate and partner in HWC.

I highly recommend Julie, Debbie, and the whole HWC team to anyone needing similar care or assistance for their family or friends, and would be happy to discuss personally in more detail.


David Lenz

I engaged Handle With Care almost one year ago after my Mom had a stroke and was no longer able to live alone/take care of herself. She now lives with me, but I work full-time, so I was in need of help and companionship for Mom for 11 hours each weekday.

The biggest reason I selected this firm was that it was a locally-owned agency, as opposed to one of the many franchises that now exist. (Who knew?) And I got a good "vibe" from the one of the owners at the very first meeting.

But the reason I am still working with them, one year later, is the quality of the caregivers that they have arranged and the personal attention I still get from the owners. I know my Mom is safe and well looked after. If there is ever any question or issue, Julie/Deb are reachable and responsive.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this company.

Mary Ann Klemm

I am filled with sadness as I send off this last check to Handle With Care. Aside from wishing that Mom and Dad were still with us, our association has been very meaningful. The service that Handle With Care provided these last few years in helping care for Mom and Dad was extremely important to our family. Knowing that there was someone kind, caring, compassionate, reliable, and honest with our parents, whether in their home, hospital, or nursing facility, provided a great assurance to us when we could not always be with them. Until someone is exposed to a hospital or nursing home setting, they can never fully understand the positive impact a wonderful caregiver can make for your loved one's health and well-being. We count our blessings that our family was able to financially arrange for this care for our parents.

Looking back over this journey, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have found Handle With Care when our parents required assistance in their home. With your help, it allowed them to stay in their home as long as possible, which was something they always desired. Over the years and under changing circumstances, you have arranged for wonderful caregivers for my parents, including, most notably, Sharon Oles. Sharon is a caring and compassionate soul who enriched Mom's life physically and spiritually. She kept Mom active, social, and laughing and helped keep joy in her life this last year without Dad. She watched over Mom as if Mom were her own mother. In the last few months when Mom's health was declining, she was invaluable in making sure that Mom received the medical attention and care she needed as soon as she required attention. We are ever grateful for the care and friendship that Sharon brought into Mom's life.

The quality of the caregivers that you attract is reflective of the personal and genuinely caring hands-on touch that you offer in managing Handle With Care. We wish you much continued success as you and your staff provide an invaluable service that can greatly impact the quality of people's lives.

With much appreciation and thanks,

Jan Podlesak

Dear Debra, Julie and Mary,

Thank you all for attending my mother’s Wake and Funeral Services on April 3rd and 4th.  I have very much appreciated the personal involvement and attention each of you invested in the care of my mother, Joan Sassetti, over the nearly three years of Caregiving services provided by Handle With Care. I also appreciate that you continually made an effort to make certain that Caregiving services were being provided in accordance with my mother’s needs and to my satisfaction as well.  Our primary caregiver provided excellent care for my mother over the entire three years we were contractually engaged.  I am thankful your office played an indispensable role in coordinating the scheduling, which alleviated the stress for me. 

I wrote our caregiver, Shelley, a glowing professional reference of her time as my mother’s Caregiver which she can now use as she pursues other employment.  I am happy to be a reference for the quality of the caregiving services provided by Handle With Care.

Thank you all for taking such good care of my dear mother.  I miss my mother terribly, but at the same time I am happy that her Soul has finally been set free from that Hospital bed which she was in for so many months until she passed away in March.

Thank you again for appearing at my mother’s Wake and funeral services, seeing each of you there was very meaningful to me because you all played such an important role in providing the Caregiving services she needed. 


Mark Sassetti, CPA



Thank you for the exceptional caregiving services provided by your company, Handle With Care, for my father Ted. Since Dad died 2 months ago, I've had much to think about. I'm taking this opportunity to write a note of thanks and recommendation.

We first met in January 2015 when we interviewed and did an assessment for your services. I appreciated the alacrity with which you responded to my very first call to ask about caregiver services and an in home appointment. Dad had a number of caregivers with him the almost 18 months you provided services. Each person who cared for Dad was warm, gracious, practical, knowledgeable, and service oriented.

In addition to the personal integrity and level of caregiving provided by your employees, I really appreciated the fact that your administrative staff stood behind the caregivers and worked to make sure there were no interruption of services regardless of the day or hour of the day. If a caregiver couldn't be present, your staff acted like a true team and never let us down. I work full time and had peace of mind knowing you were on top of caregiver schedules and availability.

I have recommended your company to friends and relatives. I speak highly of your professional and caring staff. I learned practical things from the caregivers who took care of Dad and appreciated that they appreciated him. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Your company allowed me to do what I thought was in the best interest of Dad, and that was to provide him the opportunity to be in his home and receive good care all the days of his life. Please feel free to use this letter as a recommendation for your business.

With gratitude,

Ann Marie Carey


To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to express how grateful I am to the caregivers and staff at Handle With Care in Elmhurst.  We hired Handle With Care about 3 years ago to help my father who was 89 years old.  Although he lived independently with my mom in a condo in Oak Brook, he still needed some assistance.  Begrudgingly, we got him to agree to hire a caregiver on a ‘trial’ basis.

We had a team of 2 caregivers who helped my Dad.  They both were very different in personality as well as skillset.  After a short time, both my Mom and Dad became very fond of each of the ladies and dependent of their care, looking forward to their visits. 

I felt good knowing it gave my Mom a break from helping my Dad, as well as knowing he was able to get out and do the things he loved to do; going to the farmer’s market, Whole Foods, lunch at the York Tavern, etc.  Not only were both ladies able to help with transportation, errands and housework, they were also able to safely assist him with showers, getting dressed, etc.

Sadly, my Dad died in November.  Although we miss him dearly, we feel confident you helped to make his finals days joyful and meaningful. 


Rick Dramm