The Media School

Comfort Keepers owner Doug Johnson provides at-home care for senior citizens in Bloomington

April 1st, 2021 by
Photo by Kendall Cole

Owner of Comfort Keepers in Bloomington Doug Johnson saw a need for better senior care in Bloomington. Now he runs a successful business connecting senior citizens to in-home care professionals to help with their daily needs and keep them comfortable.

Doug Johnson sits confidently in his office at Comfort Keepers with art and ribbons hanging behind him. The antique art creates a contrast between the crisp first place award ribbonsHe is alert, his hair freshly cut, his large, framed glasses resting on his nose. His phone rings multiple times, which is expected from a business owner of this scale.  

In 2008, Johnson opened the home health care business in Bloomington. The community was embracing of home care as an alternative to institutional care and he passionately cared about it. He believes that senior citizens thrive and live longer when taken care of in the comfort of their home. Comfort Keepers in Bloomington has had steady growth for 13 years. 

“When I describe my work, first of all, there is a great satisfaction in solving problems for people and that’s what I do,” he says, “I make things work. I say yes to just about everything.” 

Johnson was born in a small southern town in Virginia where he grew up breeding and working with dogs. When he turned 18, he attended George Mason University where he majored in art history. Art history was a well-rounded education for him, and he continues to collect art as a hobby. 

 The world evolves, changes, and manifests in art, he says. 

After graduating college in 1986, he became involved in dog showing, which took him on an unexpected career path where he became a professional dog handler. He still judges and breeds dogs 25 years later.  

“One of my claims to fame in life for sure is being successful in the dog world, he says.  

Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

For Johnson every day is a new day, every day is different and every day is fast-paced. Each day provides challenges in his industry whether that be a patient with a fractured hip, severe mental decline, or triaging a family in crisis.

In 2008, Johnson was living in Bloomington working as a professional dog handler and working for the hospital. There is a large number of senior citizens in the dog community and Johnson was constantly surrounded by people in their 70s and 80s.  

Johnson and his nurse friend Ann Harrison both saw the need for better senior care in Bloomington and decided to go into business together and open Comfort Keepers. 

He prides himself on not taking a traditional approach to working 
 “I tell people I never had a full-time job until I was about 40,” he says “At 40, I thought oh, it’s probably time to do somethingShe (Harrison) and I got together and said let’s start this in Bloomington and the rest is history.” 

 Now, Comfort Keepers employs over 800 people and grew 10-20% during COVID. They have been voted the top non-medical agency for nine years in a row and the Bloomington office is top 20 in the nation.  

“It’s a really nice thing at the end of the day to be able to say you created this from nothing. When we bought the business, it had 3 employees,” – Doug Johnson, co-owner, Comfort Keepers Bloomington

Although Johnson finds peace within collecting art and breeding dogs, he lives a chaotic life. He describes his life as juggling plates. His days are fast-paced, never dull, and rarely slow, but he is always satisfied at the end of the day knowing he made a difference. 

“In the circus when they keep the plates spinning in the air on a stick… That is how I see my day-to-day. I keep things going, he says. 

 Elyse Moser, 20, works for Comfort Keepers in Bloomington, Doug Johnson provides an amazing work environment, truly cares for his employees, and stays true to Comfort Keepers mission.”