Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around spending time with my grandparents, Nanny and Da. It’s not that they were your stereotypical Hallmark grandparents, to the contrary. My Da was a WWII veteran and he carried the scars physically and emotionally of veterans of that era. Nanny was kind, compassionate and a dutiful wife and mother. What they did have and lived was a solid sense of family and the priority it takes over all else. After my own parents divorced when I was young, I took solace and peace in being with my grandparents frequently. There was a structured sense of life and a comfort in all that was familiar when I was with them. I knew that I was important and loved beyond measure in their presence. They helped to anchor me, guide me and unwittingly launch me into my future career.
In the early 2000’s Da was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Nanny’s physical health began to deteriorate. They and those that loved them were left to figure out life solutions to address their current and complicated situations. Da was moved out of their home for safety and care needs. Nanny was in and out of the hospital with family attempting to fill in with care and support for her stints at home. It was a difficult period to navigate of their behalves, seeking the best in care and solutions to complicated life circumstances. In 2003 they passed, within twelve weeks of each other.
In reflection, I believe that the immense love and stability that Nanny and Da showered me with and their difficult last few years of life guided me towards a career of working with and advocating for older adults. I began my career as a care counselor and made it my mission to support the Alzheimer’s community through involvement in fundraisers, support groups, and trial match programs. Working with these groups and causes prompted to me to become a member of the National Association of Certified Dementia Practitioners© and the Society of Certified Senior Advisors®. As my career progressed, I focused on understanding the intricacies of dementia and other health-related issues that older adults experience.
Working as a Senior Living Advisor it was my job to present options to my clients and let them make the final choice on a senior living community. Once the choice was made, I was expected to hand the logistics of the move off to the older adult and/or their family member but I could sense their stress and many times would manage the logistics on their behalf. When working with my clients to help navigate the transition from home, many became overwhelmed by the process, particularly by the numerous professionals who had to be hired, managed, and paid-out individually. I looked for companies that could provide a streamlined approach to assist older adults as they transitioned from home, but quickly realized that there weren’t any businesses offering the full suite of services that I was looking for. At the same time, I found it difficult to find real estate agents who understand the unique needs of my clients, so I took the steps to obtain my real estate license and become a Realtor certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist and Seller Representative Specialist.
Dovetail Companies developed from real life experiences which repeatedly demonstrated the need for the streamlined approach that we provide.
Meeting my Senior Soul Sister…
After several years working in the corporate world, Lauren Watts wanted to make an impact in a more personal way. Her first job working in senior support services was handling professional outreach for a New England based assisted living company. In this role, she found her true professional calling, which was helping older adults. Lauren’s career progressed and she began working as a Senior Living Advisor, earning the designation of Certified Dementia Practitioner©, and Certified Senior Advisor®. This was the point in time when our professional path’s crossed and from the moment I met her, I was extremely impressed by Lauren’s professionalism and could sense her natural instinct help and care for others.
In June of 2019, Lauren was hired at Vice President and Director of Operations here at Dovetail Companies. She and I shared the same vision, which is to help the aging community thrive in the next chapter of their lives by providing guidance and one central point of contact. Together we are building a community of experts who will listen to seniors, understand their needs, support their families, and try to relieve stress during one of the biggest transitions of their lifetime. Our common vision and desire to help seniors thrive prompted the nickname we use to describe our partnership, “The Senior Soul Sisters”.