Corner Home Medical Helps People Age in Place
As baby boomers get older, Corner Home Medical is in the business of helping people age in place. Just in time for Father’s Day, the New Hope-based business centers around a father and his sons.
Inside the Golden Valley Corner Home Medical store, Mari Paese is one example of a typical customer.
“I needed a boot,” says Paese as she tries on different sizes for an injured foot. “I tore my plantar fasciitis.”
Corner Home Medical provides medical equipment that can help people stay in their homes after an injury or illness.
“It’s been proven that people that can stay at home, heal better, faster,” says business owner Al Neumann.
Neumann bought the business in 2003. Now his two sons run it after Al was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011.
“These guys have been great,” says Al of his two sons, Jesse and Bob. “I don’t know what I could’ve done with the business without them the last six, seven years.”
The Challenge of a Small Business
The medical equipment and supply business is a tough one especially for a small business.
“A lot of what we do is go to people’s homes, and show them how to use the stuff, make sure it’s working properly for them,” says Bob Neumann, vice president of Corner Home Medical. “We don’t just send it in a box and say, ‘here you go.’
Educating customers in-person on how to use a product is a more costly level of service than larger competitors offer.
“If there’s not places like us around, people are going to get put into improper devices which can actually cause more harm than good,” says Jesse Neumann, company president.
In an effort to survive and grow the business, Corner Home Medical merged in 2015 with Merwin Home Medical.
Merwin Home Medical was also a small, family-owned business owned by the Steinhauser family, another combination of a father and sons.
“We’re able to survive because of that partnership, and what we’re able to offer a wider breadth of products,” says Jesse Neumann.
Growing Needs, Growing Business
Corner Home Medical now has 12 locations and employs close to 200 people.
As the baby boomer population ages, the owners know the need for medical supplies and equipment will grow.
“The last few years, it’s been my passion to educate our legislators, not only at a state level, but at a national level about how important the equipment and supplies are that we provide,” says Al Neumann.
After surviving prostate cancer, Al Neumann has become an advocate for aging and disabled Minnesotans.
Neumann’s sons meantime, are proud to continue the business their father built.
“My dad has taken care of us our whole life, I think it’s time for us to step up and help take care of him and my mom,” says Bob Neumann.
According to the US Census Bureau, it’s estimated one in five Americans will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030.