Ask-Carol! To Award Four Franchise Super Territories in New Jersey

Tinton Falls, NJ – Ask-Carol Franchising LLC, a free placement service that helps families find appropriate assisted living facilities, homecare agencies, and nursing homes for their elderly parents, announced today that it plans rapid expansion of its franchise program in New Jersey by offering “Super Territories” to the first four franchisees in the state. About twice the size of standard territories, they will be offered on a first come – first served basis, and the company expects to award them quickly. The franchise fee will be the same as for a standard territory.

The first four franchisees may select from any of these Super Territories: Bergen County, Monmouth/Ocean Counties, Middlesex/Somerset Counties, Passaic/Morris Counties, Essex/Union Counties, Hunterdon/Mercer/Burlington Counties, and Camden/Gloucester/Atlantic Counties. After the four franchises are awarded, the remaining Super Territories will be divided into standard territories.

“These first four territories will not only be larger than our standard territories,” explained COO Bill Shockley, “but will be the strongest in terms of facilities where our franchisees will make their placements. We want our early franchisees in New Jersey to get off to a strong start.”

Over the next several weeks, the company will hold informational meetings around the state.

“Placing a parent in assisted living, home care, or a nursing home is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most families. They have no experience or training, and their parent(s), usually in their 80’s, often have dementia and are unable to contribute to the process. We help those families make the right decision so they won’t have to do it over.”

Most Ask-Carol! franchisees have experience with their own family members, or experience working with seniors. All become Certified Senior Advisors to assure their expertise in helping families through this difficult time. The company currently has franchisees in Virginia and Ohio and plans further expansion into other states during 2015. Franchises earn income from placement fees paid by facilities.

Ask-Carol! was founded in 2009 by Carol Shockley, who was caregiver to her own Mom for many years and learned to navigate the care and financial difficulties of dealing with an elderly parent. She started Ask-Carol to share her experiences – positive and negative – so that others would not make the same mistakes. She has helped over 1,000 families.

Interested persons can learn more at or view a slide presentation at

For seminar dates, times and locations, contact Bill Shockley at, 732-200-1311.

Helping Her Mom Led To New Business

Carol’s Assisted Living Articles

Helping Her Mother Led to New Business

As told to Business Editor Dennis P. Carmody

I’m a girl from New York city who attended public and private schools, moved with my parents to Tinton Falls, NJ when they retired, went to college, got a job, met a guy, got engaged, quit my job, married, had two kids and for the next 35 years was a stay-at-home mom, helping my husband part-time with his business. I was never interested in a career.

Several years ago, my Mom fell and broke a hip. After surgery, she went to a nursing home for rehabilitation and three months later they said she was ready for discharge. She wanted to return to her apartment, so I hired live-in help. It didn’t work.

A nurse suggested assisted living and I began checking out communities in the area. It seemed expensive, and Social security and a small pension were all she had, so I started looking for help.

After lots of visits I found the right place for her. I learned that she could be eligible for a Veterans Affairs survivor’s pension, and filed the complex application. After six months, the VA “lost” it.

I called U.S. Rep. Rush Holt’s office for help and in two weeks the paperwork was “found” and the pension was approved, with back payments!

Next, I took on the responsibility for my Mom’s boyfriend. He had only Social Security, so I looked for help and found it in Medicaid. After a lot of work it was approved and I put him with my Mom.

Then the recession hit and our retirement fund dropped. I wanted to rebuild our savings, and I had learned a lot about assisted living. Coincidentally, I was asked by the administrator at the facility where I had placed my Mom if I would be interested in providing referrals. I agreed.

With no entrepreneurial experience, I started a website, named my business Ask-Carol!, and placed a Google ad reaching out to families in New Jersey who needed help finding and affording assisted living.

I offered my help for free (and still do). If one of my clients selects a community that I recommend, then I receive a referral fee from the community. If not, I get nothing but the satisfaction of knowing that I helped a family through a difficult time.

About 100 assisted living communities in New Jersey are on my recommended list. Ask-Carol! has been very successful and I’ve become known throughout the state. It is hard work, and I get requests for help seven days a week.

Three months ago I earned more than my husband for the first time, and he was very proud of me. I’ve also replaced the savings that we lost, and published a pamphlet on assisted living, “What’s Next for Mom?” which is available at my website.

It’s been a good feeling to know that I can still make a contribution not just to our own finances, but also to families who are in a panic and need someone to help. Now, I am hooked on my new career. Who would have thought it?