By Molly Cerreta Smith
Cindy Harris, owner of Comfort Keepers in Scottsdale always knew she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, though she didn’t necessarily know it would be through the in-home health care services industry. However, a first-hand experience led her to the path that she was always meant to follow — one that has her and her staff bringing smiles to the faces of hundreds of people every single day.
An owner of Comfort Keepers since 2003, Cindy has a degree in business management and a breadth of experience in the quality assurance field. But she got into this industry because she saw some examples of in-home health care experiences — and she wanted to make it better. She knew through this industry she could do more than “just go to work every day.” Instead, she could make a difference in people’s lives, which was her plan all along. Cindy began researching options and existing in-home health care companies. She found what she liked in Comfort Keepers, which has individually owned franchise locations around the state and around the country. Today she owns five Comfort Keepers locations in the valley and northern Arizona, including Scottsdale.
In July of 2017 Cindy was actually called upon to take over the Scottsdale location when it became available. “Comfort Keepers liked how I was running my other locations so they asked me if I would be interested in taking on the Scottsdale location,” she says. The answer was a clear yes and Cindy has been putting her special brand of dedication on this location ever since. Having locations in multiple areas and connecting with other Comfort Keepers owners, Cindy has noticed that regardless of area, the people, the needs, the challenges and rewards are all fairly similar. It’s the approach, and the level of individualized care, that makes Comfort Keepers so unique.
“I really like the focus Comfort Keepers puts on each individual. The motto is ‘elevating the human spirit,’” says Cindy, adding that the company is intent on providing not only top-notch services for the individual’s daily living activities, but also interactive care that goes beyond just meeting basic needs. “It’s really about taking care of the individual overall and doing what it takes to make them happier,” she adds, noting that for many clients, their caregiver’s visit could be their only interaction of the day. “We want them to feel better about getting up every morning and sometimes we are the only hug in their day.” That’s not a responsibility that Cindy nor her staff take lightly, which is why she only hires the most caring and dedicated caregivers.
She admits that being a caregiver is a tough job, and it’s not for everyone. So when she is looking to bring on new staff, she has one extremely important requirement: a big heart. “You have to have a big heart to do this job because it’s hard work,” Cindy says. But she is quick to add that it is extremely rewarding work as well. As an owner, Cindy doesn’t interact with clients each day as closely as her staff does, but she is uplifted by the stories that her caregivers share and by clients’ responses. “It means the world to us when clients stop by the office just to say hi or our caregivers come in and share stories about meaningful experiences they have with our clients,” she says. “I am so rewarded when I hear these stories because it makes me realize that we truly are touching hundreds of people’s lives — and that is exactly why I got into this business.”
Comfort Keepers provides individualized in-home services to Scottsdale-area residents, allowing people to maintain their lifestyle in the comfort of their own homes with a friendly helping hand. Experienced, trained and professional Comfort Keepers caregivers provide a safe and healthy way for seniors to be independent, with an emphasis on warm, friendly care that helps them feel as though they are being cared for by their own family members. The company offers a variety of customized care services designed to meet each client’s specific needs. From assisting with basic daily personal care services (bathing, grooming, and hygiene) and light housekeeping, to specially-trained care for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, interactive caregiving is at the forefront of each visit.
Comfort Keepers believes that interactive caregiving can contribute to not only longer and healthier lives, but ones that are more purposeful, too. Comfort Keepers crafts a personalized interactive caregiver plan that is specific to each client’s needs, yes, but also takes into account his or her personality, interests, health and abilities. Depending on the client, specialized interactive care can include walks in the neighborhood, preparing a meal, discussing current events or personal interests, perusing photo albums together, going shopping or to church, and even dancing to their favorite tunes. All of this is designed to give each individual that extra dose of quality of life to help put a smile on their face and a little warmth in their soul. After all, it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference — that extra smile, hug, or a friendly chat — and it’s those things that people remember the most.
In addition to specialized services, Cindy notes Comfort Keepers is very dedicated to staying on top of the latest technologies that provide their clients with conveniences when scheduling and more. “We’re always trying to find new and different ways to provide our clients with the best care,” she says, adding that their website is very user-friendly. Internet-based scheduling offers convenience while The Family Room component of the site helps clients, family members, caregivers and Comfort Keepers itself stay up to date and in the loop, with options to add in notes for making a particular day extra special, reminders for medications or appointments, and more. “It’s a very good tool because it’s interactive and easy to use, so people love the convenience,” Cindy says of the site, adding, “Family members can leave messages for us there, and we can connect with them and our caregivers at any moment.”
Another important aspect of care that Cindy and her team offer at Comfort Keepers in Scottsdale is dedicated Veteran assistance. “We are very proud to be a veteran care provider and we can help veterans apply for the Aid and Attendance program to receive benefits,” she says. The Aid and Attendance program offers a variety of benefits for senior veterans. Cindy notes that once veterans have applied for and been accepted into the program, their benefits carry on even if they start with minimal care then gradually need to add more assistance. If and when they need to move to full-time care in assisted living or another facility based on their needs, their Aid and Attendance benefits will follow them.
Cindy gives due credit to her staff and personnel that propel the success of her Comfort Keepers locations and for the difference they are making in people’s lives every day. “We have a lot of great people working with us and everyone really does a great job,” she beams. When it comes to making a difference, some say it starts at home. Cindy and Comfort Keepers are making sure that difference is happening in hundreds of Scottsdale homes every single day. The Comfort Keepers office in Scottsdale is located at 6424 E. Greenway Parkway, #118. For more information, visit