In her own words…
“I have always been a caregiver at heart and have always enjoyed helping those that aren’t able to help themselves. That’s why I became a registered nurse and that’s why I chose to start my career working on the frontlines of the AIDS crisis. There was so much need for nurses and so few willing to do the work. My mother– also a nurse– taught me that if someone needs help, you help them.
After two years of rewarding work with people with AIDS, I transitioned into working with seniors. I fell in love with the work immediately and knew that providing care for seniors was my calling. I realized that many of my patients required long-term, ongoing care and there were no reliable caregiving agencies to refer them to. This absence was hurting seniors and hurting families. When Mom or Dad falls or becomes confused, most families don’t know what to do. I knew that Chicagoland needed a reliable agency to provide that needed care. I decided if not me, who?
That’s why in 1994, I founded Custom Home Care on a simple principle: improving the lives of seniors by matching them with kind, dependable, honest caregivers.
For that last 25 years, I’ve done just that. I now employ over 300 wonderful caregivers, all helping to improve the lives of hundreds of seniors across Chicago and the North Shore Suburbs. My success has been built on treating my clients and caregivers the way that I would want my family to be treated. That’s why I make sure that every caregiver is well-trained, respected and supported. Even though they fill one of the most important roles in society, caregivers have too often been deprived of insurance and benefits. Not on my watch.
The current caregiver shortage brings difficulty to many families and agencies, but Custom Home Care has found that a fulfilled caregiver leads to excellent senior care. By supporting and enriching the lives of our caregivers we have cultivated a loyal and dedicated work force of caregivers from all over Chicagoland.
The world tells women that we can’t have it all, but I’ve got two grown sons and a successful company that beg to differ. I’ve got a message to any young women reading this: go for it. I know that many of you have an idea or a passion that you’re too afraid to chase. Chase it. The world will be a better place if more of us refuse to trim our sails and limit our ambitions. I know it’s easier said than done, but that’s all the more reason to get started!”
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Tamara. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 48 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!**