The staff at Elder Options, front row, left to right, Jessica Grijalva, Carol Heape, Cynthia Hayden. Back row, left to right, Rachel Carter, Syd Mize, Elizabeth Caldwell, Stacy Schmidt, Deon Batchelder. Additional staff not pictured: Genia Smith, Diane McGimsey, Robin Hochgrebe. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

Women In Business 2014

Elder Options team helps people live safe, independent lives

By From page WIB4 | January 31, 2014

Developed in 1988 by Carol S. Heape, MSW, CMC – CEO, Elder Options Inc. continues to provide an exemplary quality of care throughout El Dorado County and into the Sacramento Region.

Over the past 26 years, the company has grown from a one-person, home-based business to over 70 employees serving clients from three locations: Folsom, Placerville and South Lake Tahoe. The Folsom office opened earlier this year to better serve clients/families living in the Sacramento area.

“Having a service based company is a rewarding to work with clients and families,” Heape said. “The challenge is that each client and each family are different. Fortunately, our professional geriatric care managers have the education and training to work with each person to find the right solution.”

A “woman-owned” business from the beginning, Elder Options is unique with the various services that are provided with the full intent to serve clients of all ages and their families looking for options for remaining as independent for as long as possible.

Geriatric care managers, members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, are credentialed experts who meet with clients and families to understand the issues at hand, explain the public and community resources available to them and help them develop a cost-effective, safe and satisfactory plan for each of them. The PGCM then is available to oversee resources put in place such as a home care component to ensure the individual is satisfied with the results. Elder Options care managers live throughout the service area — Placerville, South Lake Tahoe, Folsom, Shingle Springs, Citrus Heights and Rancho Murrieta — to better serve the clients in their area.

Elder Options is also unique in that it provides a wide array of services including Medi-Cal waiver programs for individuals who need placement in assisted living but do not have the resources to pay privately. Another Medi-Cal program, Money Follows the Person, also utilizes PGCMs to assess the individual’s needs and assist him/her to move home from a skilled nursing facility with assistance. Another resource PGCMs utilize is to help the client/family review and understand long-term care insurance coverage. It’s not unusual that a policy was purchased years ago with benefits that can be accessed with the help of the PGCM. Home care benefits are usually covered within a comprehensive long-term policy and Elder Options staff will handle the monthly billing for the client/family. A handyman service began a short time ago is gaining in popularity as the handyman employee fills a variety of small jobs with his expertise.

All employees of Elder Options are reimbursed for in-service training which is expected and mandatory for all. A community supporter, Elder Options’ employees regularly collect and donate to support the less fortunate and needy in the community with food basket drives, calendar drives and most recently, collecting new socks, gloves and hats for the homeless community.

“With all of us living and working in the community, Elder Options employees recognize the benefits and responsibilities to be good neighbors and help as we can,” Heape said. “We benefit from the ability to give.”

To inquire about services or if there’s a question about older adult issues, call (800)336-1709 or 530-626-6939 or e-mail [email protected]. For more information about Elder Options visit

Special to the Democrat

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