HomeCare of the Rockies adds life meaning to senior care
Story written by: Shelley Widhalm
Sandi McCann of Longmont found that when she provided caregiving for her stepmother, she wanted the same kind of meaningful work in her professional life.
Sandi had been a marketer for 27 years and was tired of the career, and with some advice that a franchise wouldn’t be a fit, launched her own business. She and her younger sister, Maureen, who also desired a career change, started HomeCare of the Rockies, Inc., in April 2012, funded by her retirement savings. She is president and chief executive officer and a Certified Senior Advisor, and Maureen, who has a degree in economics, is the agency director.
“This work is so vibrant. It’s so life giving, if you will, even when someone is at the end of their life,” Sandi said. “I want to spend the rest of my ability to contribute to what I call the good stuff … working heart to heart with someone.”
HomeCare of the Rockies, 7105 La Vista Place, Ste. 100, provides in-home care services for seniors in Larimer and Boulder counties. The services include live-in and 24-hour in-home care, homecare after a hospital stay and respite care services, along with meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal care tasks and other non-medical services.
“We are the eyes and ears for them, so they can stay safe at home and give families peace of mind,” Sandi said.
Sandi, after graduating in 1984 with an advertising degree, went immediately into marketing and became senior vice-president of marketing for a Denver-based financial company, but after time, the work lost meaning for her. She turned in her resignation in June 2011 the same day her position was eliminated. Meanwhile, her father Jerry’s wife of 25 years, Nancy, was ill from a rare neurological disease, and she helped out as part of the family’s caregiving team, finding her visits to be more meaningful than her career.
“The bottom line is as hard as it was to see her suffer, it transformed both of us,” Sandi said.
Sandi started HomeCare to set the business apart as a local company, not a national franchise, providing a gold standard of high quality care. That care comes, in part, from a high ratio of staff to clients (there are 90 caregivers) and extensive, personalized care plans for each of the 60 to 80 clients the company serves each year.
“Our motto is, we hear you; we’re on it; we’ll keep you in the loop,” Sandi said. “It’s compassion and action together. That’s what really is needed in working with older adults.”
In 2016, Sandi, along with Maureen, developed the Caregiver Call to Serve, a program geared to build a sustainable network of professional caregivers. It includes a 100-hour professional caregiver training program called Home Care 100 with classroom instruction, hands-on practice and pay increases aligned with every 25 credit hours completed.
“This has helped the organization positively impact how professional caregivers are hired, trained and paid and results in a workforce where caregivers feel better supported to provide the important work in caring for older adults,” Sandi said.
In January 2015, the McCanns started working with Robert Coffey, a financial consultant with the Loveland Business Development Center and the Larimer Small Business Development Center.
“He helped Maureen organize already clean financials, so we could be on the path to greater profitability and better cash flow,” Sandi said. “He was so instrumental in giving us benchmarks, helping us measure and track the financial health of the business.” Coffey also helped Maureen make projections and forecasts that helped grow the business, she said.
“Anytime we are looking to make changes, he’ll say look at the numbers. If you make this change, how will it affect the rest of the business?” Maureen said. “How do we position ourselves to continue growing?”
Coffey commends the McCanns for a deep knowledge of their industry and Maureen’s meticulous recordkeeping.
“That has allowed the LBDC and SBDC to give them some very good advice based on their financial records,” Coffey said. “The trends are accurate; the projections we calculate based on the history are accurate. Maureen’s attention to detail as we go along makes my job pretty easy.”