Mother of six children and grandmother to nine Carol Heape is a community leader who intimately understands the unique preferences of various personalities when it comes to home care and care management.
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Although she started Elder Options Inc. in 1988, Heape’s life’s work caring for older adults began many years before as she was the primary caregiver for her own terminally ill mother, who lived in their family home. For several years Heape was the primary caregiver for her six children and her ailing mother, as her husband went to law school. She understands from a deep personal level that “Everyone needs a little extra help sometime. It would have been nice to know about all of the community resources available to my aging mom that I know about today. There are multiple funding programs that help pay for assistance, resources available for support and respite (relief care) many just don’t know about until you’re in this line of work.”
As Heape enters her 25th year in this business, she’s regarded as one of the most outstanding and knowledgeable professionals in the field of geriatric care management. She and her staff of seven care managers provide consulting for families and individuals of all ages who are facing changes in health conditions and wanting to make decisions, knowing what to expect and plan for their futures. Her staff of 75 employees look up to Heape as a role model, and are grateful for the flexible working conditions and outstanding benefits they are provided.
“Not many home care agencies offer medical, dental, matching 401k, vacation pay, professional paid training, raises based on performance and bonus structures,” Heape explained. “As a result of taking care of our care providers, we receive loyalty and quality performance in return. Many of our employees have been with us for over 10 to 15 years. They are truly ‘expert’ care providers.”
In addition to managing one of the “Fastest Growing Companies” in the greater Sacramento area, as awarded by the Sacramento Business Journal, Heape values community service above all. Driven to make a difference, she spearheaded an Elders Community Fund through the El Dorado Community Foundation to benefit seniors in 2004, and still supports this fund financially today.
“We facilitate free Alzheimer’s Support Groups and Parkinson’s Support Groups in El Dorado Hills and Placerville, while also providing extensive community resource directories for older adults and their families because it’s the right thing to do” Heape said.
In addition, when asked why El Doer Options participates in numerous state and federal funded programs helping those in need, Heape responded, “If not us, then who?”
While she’s received many achievement awards over the years for service, what makes Heape most happy is seeing what her company does for people in the community. “We’ve started to keep a gratitude journal to capture important feedback from our clients and our employees,” she said. “We’re a good employer and that makes me happy, knowing we’re making a difference in the community my children and grandchildren live.”
For more information about Heape and Elder Options, located at 82 Main St. in Placerville, call 530-626-6939 or visit elderoptionsca.com.