When Nettie McKenna needed in-home care for her husband Jeremiah, who has Alzheimer's, she turned to GeronNursing & Respite Care in New Milford.

Seven years later, McKenna has nothing but praise for the caregivers provided by Geron for her husband, now 80.

"When we moved to New Milford, Geron had someone come a couple of times a week," McKenna said. "They were very, very good in increasing caregiver's presence as Jerry's condition escalated.

"We now have a strong group of four caregivers from Geron, with help here every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.," McKenna said. "They're meeting our needs and the administrators are always available and immediately responsive to any concerns."

This year is GeronNursing's 25th anniversary of service to families in the Greater New Milford area.

Its founder, Lois Morrissey, and her son, Michael Gold, take pride in meeting the needs of geriatric and pediatric patients, and their families.

Morrissey was a certified geriatric nurse when she started GeronNursing.

She registered nurses and nurse aides as independent contractors and provided their services to 12 nursing homes in the Greater New Milford area, as well as to private homes.

"I had taken my master's in nursing class at Western Connecticut State University and we developed a nursing theory presentation as part of our study," Morrissey said. "I discovered there was a tremendous need for geriatric care, based on a 1990 survey of population and aging."

Today, GeronNursing has a staff of 200, with a satellite office in Sharon and phone line in southern Fairfield County.

In 2008, the business bought Heritage Home Care in Sharon, expanding into the northwest.

GeronNursing's service area extends from the Massachusetts border to Westport, to Waterbury in the east and to the west into Dutchess, Putnam and Columbia counties in New York state.

Gold joined the business in 1993, buying it from his mother in 1994 when she remarried and left the area.

Several years later, Morrissey returned with a certificate in geriatric care management.

She rejoined GeronNursing as a consultant assessing patients and determining their needs.

Morrissey is registered with a national organization of geriatric care managers, allowing families from out of state with parents in Connecticut to find and contact GeronNursing for assistance.

"We offer a full complement of nursing care, along with paraprofessionals," Gold said. "We can set up an ICU unit in the home or supply a careperson for grocery shopping."

GeronNursing does not "fit the patient into a box," he said.

The business is not franchised from a large corporate entity, he said. It is privately owned, so clients' needs and wishes determine the service provided.

"It's so nice to help others and be the calming voice in people's time of strife," Gold said. "People often don't understand what is available and we tell them.

"From connecting them with an elderly law attorney to providing lists of geriatric care doctors, or specialists as needed, we can meet the family's needs," he added.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322