Born in Wray, Colorado, a little farm and ranch community in eastern Colorado when my birth mother gave me up for adoption. I was taken from the hospital to what was to be my foster family but became my forever family. What a blessing! I had 3 brothers 10, 12, and 14 years older than me and was an independent child from day one.
After graduating high school, I moved to Greeley, CO to pursue my elementary education degree. Life lead me to New Mexico and Kansas and eventually back to Pueblo, Co, where I met my husband Rick. We blended our families and added a child of our own who is now 18.
Although, education is in my DNA, I found my love was in sales. I was approached by my “insurance guy” to join him in the financial services business. I laughed, but told him I would go for the interview, and here I am 15 years later with a successful financial business.
Around 2005 my mom who still lived in Wray, was getting a bit restless and looking to move. My Dad had died in 1987 in a car accident, most of her family was deceased and now as I look back, she felt herself slipping. She decided to move to Pueblo. She bought a beautiful patio home and got settled, we thought. Mom was bored at home alone. She couldn’t drive due to her macular degeneration, and although she had friends in her “retired people cul-de-sac” she just seemed to need more. We looked at bringing in a home health companion company, but she didn’t care for that.
Surprisingly one day she told me she would like to go visit a few assisted livings to see if she could just move in there and be around people. Well, my Mom had a little miniature dachshund, Jenny and we had to find a place that mom could move to that would also accept Jenny. No exceptions!
My question was, did this exist? Should I to call or drive around to every place in town and ask if they accept dogs? No I don’t think so. It was very hard trying to find what we wanted.
I began to think; what if finding the right living situation was as simple as booking a hotel when you go on vacation? The referral companies that take up the elder care search space are brutal. They don’t seem to care where you live, as long as they get their referral fee.
That is not how I think seniors and their families looking for care should be treated.
So I started CarematchAmerica, the company with the heart. The mission is to change the way people find care, by creating ways to help them understand the choices and how the elder care system works. We would like every facility and senior provider to build a showcase on our website to it makes it easier for seniors and their families to find them, and for us to refer them out.
With my back ground as a financial representative I began to realize how most seniors and families are not planning for elder care, or even talking about it as a family. My own clients had not had this conversation with their children or their parents. Most people wait until mom or dad has a stroke, and then everyone is in panic mode, making decisions that aren’t necessarily the best. So CarematchAmerica has created the Carematch Advisor program for financial advisors and agents across the country to be trained on how to get their clients to discuss their desires for eldercare as a family before something serious happens.
Families who understand what their choices are, what they want and how the system works are much happier, worry less and more importantly it takes a huge burden off of requiring the children to make those very scary decisions alone and without guilt.
Who knew my fate of the adopted child would have led me to being the caregiver of my mother and create a company that will forever honor her legacy. “CarematchAmerica, finding the care you love for the people you love”, all because of little Jenny.