My name is Doug Stark, and I am the President of ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS. ComfortCare Homes is a family endeavor. It was originally founded by my Parents Charles and Mary Lou Stark with the help of my sister, Leigh Anne, in 1992. The impetus to create this new and dynamic model of care was our family’s need to care for both of my dad’s parents throughout most of the 80’s. J.W. and Reola Stark, after many years as productive citizens and entrepreneurs here in Wichita, were both struck with dementia presenting in 1983. At that time, they lived down the street from my wife and me. We, along with my parents became increasingly involved in their care, checking on them regularly the first few years. My sister then agreed to move in with them for a couple of years while she was attending Wichita State University. When they finally required around-the-clock care my family was determined they would not go to long-term memory care in an institutional setting. Instead, we moved my grandparents to my parent’s home until they passed. In the process of caring for my grandparents, we learned a lot about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We felt there had to be a better and more dignified way to care for someone who has dementia than a nursing home. Most people with dementia are confused, many times overwhelmed, and simply react better in a calm, familiar environment where they receive individualized care. The first ComfortCare Home opened in 1993, and we have since become one of the largest providers of dementia care in Wichita, Kansas. Currently we operate eight Traditional Memory Care Homes and an Advanced Memory Care Home called Founders Crest.
In the first paragraph, I used the word “dynamic” to describe our concept. That’s because we pioneered the idea of residential memory care in Wichita, Kansas. We recognize that most dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers don’t need clinical care in a large, impersonal senior care facility. Instead, they need memory care driven by their own unique behavioral needs, provided in a real home by well-trained and loving people who genuinely care for them. Over the last 20 years we have seen many other health care facilities move towards caring for people with memory-impairment in smaller groups by breaking their buildings into smaller communities, trying to eliminate the long hallways, or building new memory care units. In many cases, these institutions advertise themselves as “home-like.” ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS, on the other hand, IS a real “Home.”
ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS’s President Doug Stark. Doug Stark is President of ComfortCare Homes, Inc., and Founders Crest, LLC; and co-owner of Comfort Springs Home Care Services, LLC, dba Comfort Keepers. Comfort Springs Home Care Services, LLC is a franchisee of Comfort Keepers, which is a provider of non-medical in home companion care for anyone needing assistance in their own home. After six years owning and operating seven successful Little Creaser Pizza restaurants, Doug took the helm of the family business by becoming President of ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS in 1995. A native of Wichita, Doug, attended Wichita public schools and the University of Kansas. He served for 12 years as a Big Brother and has been a member of Wichita Downtown Rotary for 29 years, serving on the executive board for six years in the capacities of treasurer and vice president. Doug served on the strategic planning committee for USD 259 from 1990-1993. He has been very active with the local Alzheimer’s Association, serving on their board for many years and served two years as the board chair. Doug spent seven years on the board of Kansas Health Ethics serving as treasurer, vice president and president of the organization. He is married and has four children.