Concierge service keeps eyes on eldersTrueCareAdmin
AUBURN — Often times, Auburn attorney Bryan Nugen hears woeful tales from clients he serves in his practice, which focuses on elder law, estate planning, trusts and asset preservation.
Those tales of institutionalization in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities led Nugen and nurse Jami VandeVelde to develop a cutting-edge personal service agency called Concierge For You, which operates out of Nugen’s Auburn office and serves clients in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, Nugen said.
“I often see my clients aging and see their needs changing,” Nugen said. “They aren’t as independent as they once were, and they need a little extra help at home. We provide quality care in home so clients can maintain thier dignity and stay in their homes longer.”
Nugen said the goal is twofold — to match clients with a concierge who will serve as both a personal assistant while developing a friendship, and to allow clients’ families to enjoy life with their loved one without having to worry about being constant caregivers.
“Another goal is for families and loved ones to maintain traditional roles to clients so they don’t fall into the role of a caregiver, themselves,” Nugen said.
Nugen and VandeVelde have spent the better part of the past year researching the pitfalls of other personal-service agencies and hammering out a plan to avoid similar problems. The result, both agree, is a revolutionary way of caring for the elderly.
Concierge For You tracks all of its staff via GPS satellite on mobile devices to ensure they are where they are supposed to be. In addition, the company provides routine email updates and photos of their loved one’s day to family members.
“A child could literally have every-eight-hour updates of what is going on with their parent,” Nugen said. “They can feel like they are a part of mom or dad’s life without being in the home.”
The service, he said, is great for families who are spread across the country and worry about their parents’ well being.
Another unique feature of Concierge for You, VandeVelde said, is the matching of the concierges with clients. All concierge employees are age-appropriate for the clients they are assigned to, in order to build a companionship-based relationship. The company’s oldest concierge is 84.
“The key is to match a client’s likes and dislikes and needs with the likes and dislikes and skill level of a concierge,” Nugen said.
All concierges are subjected to rigorous screening, Nugen said, which includes a criminal background check, credit check, a sexual predator history and employment history, among other things.
Nugen said those accepted for employment then complete an in-depth training regimen focusing on skills such as detecting signs of stroke, dementia or Alzheimer’s, how to treat skin appropriately and how to lift clients when necessary.
Concierges also are trained to be at the beck and call of their clients. Nugen said the company’s philosophy is to never say no to a client.
The blending of Nugen’s elder law experience and VandeVelde’s 10-year nursing history, they say, has created a level of knowledge, expertise and care.
“I’d challenge any other company to try to compete with what we offer,” VandeVelde said. “This is very personal to me, I feel a personal responsibility to ensure every client is receiving the best care possible. We want every client to have a five-star experience.”