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Interview with CARLA & MARYANN CIAMBRIELLO

By Sharon Arena –
CARLA & MARYANN CIAMBRIELLO

Here is ultimate power couple, although this mother-daughter duo wouldn’t have ever dreamed of working in the same office, let alone running a company together. These two ladies had me laughing, smiling and I even shed a tear after learning their powerful story.

When MaryAnn, an RN for over 30 years, was working in Assisted Living Facilities, it was her job to call homecare agencies to come in and care for her high-end clients. She noticed that there was a lack of qualified staff working at these agencies, and she set out to change this. With both Carla and MaryAnn experiencing first-hand the difficulties families face in caring for their loved one with Dementia, it was time to do something about it. These two, set out to create a successful Homecare Agency in just a matter of 2 years.

What sets these women apart from other agencies is not only their strong bond, but how they take pride in getting to get to know each and every family that they work with. They are one of very few agencies that are owned and operated by RN’s, and also have specialized training from Yale and Columbia. …and don’t let Carla fool you. She is the operations behind the business with MBA from Fordham University.

While we were chatting, both their phones were constantly BUZZing, like a couple of teenage girls. “That’s the best way we can communicate with our caregivers and families,” said MaryAnn, “that way we are always there, 24/7.”

Having a loved one’s family go through the process finding home care or assisted living can create a lot of unnecessary stress. Carla and MaryAnn created a simple plan of action that will not only help families with the process, but much more. For instance, when a family comes in, the ladies like to provide a boutique-like concierge service to their clients. They help answer any questions or concerns they might have and give them advice and address concerns during the meetings. To begin the process, Carla and MaryAnn will go through a questionnaire with the families, followed by a scheduled assessment done personally by MaryAnn. Afterwards, they find a care giver that will be a perfect match. “It’s kind of like Match.com.” said Carla. They have a database of over 200 licensed and trained employees, which they will pair with their client, depending on their specific needs and goals. This can be anything from light housekeeping, shifts ranging from 12 to 24 hours, and also live-in care.

Carla will then orient the care giver to the case and keep in constant contact with the family via, you guessed it, text. MaryAnn showed me a photo she got earlier in the day of a caregiver going to her client’s high school reunion with her. Both dressed up, hair and nails done, they were smiling ear-to-ear. Another way that Carla and MaryAnn are different from the rest, is that they are totally involved with the families and like to build a relationships with them. What other owners, would do that? They bring value to their services and with their constant communication, and are able to make quick decisions on the spot – which for the elderly – can sometimes mean life or death.

Carla and MaryAnn are both certified Alzheimer’s and Dementia trainers and are known as the area-resource in Fairfield and Westchester County. They are highly sought after and respected in their industry and want to teach others what they know. They have done talks and seminars in libraries and have even participated in numerous professional panel discussions. One of the most fascinating things that MaryAnn explained, was that they do Dementia tours. The tour is where a person can experience what it’s like to live a day in the life of a Dementia client. They wear goggles, head-sets, and are exposed to different types of noises. This advanced technology will help many people understand what dementia clients go through daily, and that it’s not just about being forgetful. Since I have experienced my own Grandmother having Dementia, MaryAnn taught me a couple facts about this disease that I would have never known. Such as if you put a black doormat in front of a door, the client may think it’s a hole in the ground, and won’t step on it. This can help prevent the client from wandering and getting lost.

The business helps families in other ways too, such as having a Doctor and Geriatric Care manager on staff. They receive many referrals from CPA and Wealth Management firms.

I asked MaryAnn how this business has changed her. “It’s been very rewarding. You can always look back and see all the lives you’ve touched.” Recently, the company has been voted the #1 Home Care Agency in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Because this company is so consumer driven, they always question themselves how can they build upon their relationships. “You realize you’re doing something of value,” adds MaryAnn, “always ask, ‘what value can I bring to our clients?’”

I had a blast meeting with these ladies, and couldn’t even imagine working alongside my mother. They have future goals of expanding their market in the Greenwich and Manhattan regions, and would eventually like to open their own Independent Living Facility.

For more information on Carla and MaryAnn Ciambriello of Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, LLC, please visit their website at http://alzdementiacare.com.

– A Golden Featured Business at Gold Coast Connect .com

Interview by Sharon Arena, of Salty Red Dog Marketing

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