The concept for Circle of Care was formulated based on my experience as primary caregiver for my mother and the experience and knowledge gained in my efforts to locate and contract for in home assistance for my mother. I cared for her from late 1995 through March 2001.
After living and working in Jacksonville, FL for ten years, I returned to the Southern Maryland area in 1995 to care for my mother who had been diagnosed with kidney failure after a lengthy illness. From late 1995 into early 2001, I set aside my career and made the care of my mother and my young daughter my primary focus while working part time. By late 1999, my mother began to suffer from dementia and could no longer be left alone for more than an hour or two at a time. I knew the time had come to seek some assistance with my mother’s care. Identifying my options proved to be a tedious task: not knowing what type of help she needed or what was available. What I did discover was that companies providing this service were willing to “fill an order” but were not able to assist my in assessing my mother's “needs”. This was frustrating to me as an individual with extensive research capabilities. I became concerned with the difficulty facing the average individual, or even the elderly spouse of someone needing care.
After locating an unlicensed agency in Calvert County, I was sent a caregiver to care for my mother; then a different caregiver; then another. For various reasons, including dependability, transportation, and poor communication with the agency office, none of these caregivers worked out. Finally, a caregiver arrived in the fall of 2000 to care for my mother and an acceptable match was made.
For all the time and effort it took to locate a good caregiver, I began to feel called in the direction of owning a caregiver/companion service. I believed that my management and business background could be used to build a company that provided the kind of dignified care the elderly deserve. Research with other such companies reveals that there is no shortage of clients to the properly marketed company. One key to a successful business of this type is in recruiting trained, compassionate caregivers who are verifiably professional, highly motivated and have a genuine concern for the elderly. Another key to success is providing superior customer service and support for the entire family who are the primary caregivers for the individual. That is what you get with Circle of Care!
In March 2001, my mother moved to Arkansas to live with my sister. Fortunately, my family believed in sharing the care for our mother. The option to spread the burden over several family members is rarely available for many reasons. At the time of her passing in November 2003, my mother was still being cared for by the people she loved. The desire to serve others with my experience is the driving force behind Circle of Care.
Lee Ann Stedman
Circle of Care President and CEO