We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Sweeney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My husband and I were on a roadtrip and listening to a podcast about a nurse and her husband in real estate which was identical to our situation. They discussed how as a nurse it was not common to branch outside of the healthcare system and start something new. I had discussed with my husband several times what it would look like to have children and the commitment I had to work which would equate to me being away for 4 days in a row, often 12-14 hours a day. This did not seem to be the life I wanted even though I loved my job and had been in healthcare for years. I was then discussing with my husband the struggle I had as a case manager in the hospital when my patients would readmit regardless of the efforts and countless resources provided. I told him that often times my patients had all the resources they needed however did not have the ability to prioritize them and execute. There were several case managers in the community but often times were funded by grants which made access to them harder to qualify or they were private pay with the uncertainty of an end dollar amount. It was then I knew I needed to take the knowledge I had and create a better way for people to receive guidance after they discharged from an acute setting. I could offer different programs to meet the aging adult where-ever they were in their journey and have multiple ways to afford the help that was needed, while also having the flexibility to be a new mom and scale growth with a team. People need someone beside them that they can trust in a time they feel helpless. They deserve to make informed decisions and have someone educate them all about what options that exist in a non bias way. Someone who will advocate for them regardless of what they choose for their lives. This is when Maintain Me Senior Services was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Maintain Me, offers a professional and personal approach to navigating the aging process. We provide services, counsel and confidence to aging adults in the Denver Metro area seeking expert resources and peace of mind. Our goal at Maintain Me is to eliminate the stress of research and the fear of making the wrong decision. Most importantly, we prioritize a personal touch to ensure that families and seniors are being cared for as if they were our own family. Maintain Me Offers Three Types of Services: We all have different goals for our lives in those Golden Years. Whether it is staying at home to age in place or transitioning to community living, we are always here to help! 1. Consulting Consulting is for aging adults who would like to remain independent at home and need help identifying the resources around doing this successfully. Maintain Me would provide a medical, financial and social assessment. We offer a wide range of services, starting at a minimum of a personalized care plan through hands on assistance with any support setup and follow through. 2. Community Case Management Case Management includes coordinating initial care and 4-12 weeks of oversight from a Case Manager (RN, MSW) after a change in condition. This program is designed for our aging population to return home with extra support for a short period of time as they recover. The goal is to ensure a successful return to home and prevent re-hospitalization. 3. Transitional/Placement Services Transition services are for aging adults 55+ looking to transition to independent living, assisted living or memory care. Maintain Me assists with identifying and narrowing down communities based on a medical, financial and social assessment. We arrange personalized tours accompanied by a Maintain Me specialist. Our role is to ensure a smooth transition with all aspects of the process. It was not easy building our partnerships in the community but we truly believe in being helpful every-time. When we are talking with a case manager in the hospital, we are not there to sell to them, we are there to make their lives easier with better patient outcomes. When we are talking to families or aging adults we are not there to tell them how great we are but to listen to how we can best serve them. Remembering to be helpful every-time has allowed us to build strong report with referral partners and those in the community. Some challenges we faced were being compared to services that already existed even though we brought a very unique and flexible option to the community. We were not a franchise therefore had the flexibility to build programs that were affordable and flexible with the current issues at stake, We don’t have a large corporate ladder to get issues resolved and all of my team had extensive experience in how the healthcare system works as whole. This really set us apart and the challenge was getting in front of the right people to tell them these main difference. Time and persistence is all it takes. The other main challenge I had was how to grow a team that was based on commission versus salary. It was hard to ask people to take this leap and often times people couldn’t. I had to find creative ways to create a team and how to incentive them for retention. I had to create more that a hefty paycheck that came every two weeks. I focused on team collaboration and giving back as the company grew. The right people found us who find these things very valuable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is all about supporting the locals. Local breweries, ma and pa restaurants is our go to. The other thing people want to see here is our fun downtown feel however places like Lo-Hi, Hi-low and the highlands offer fun accessibility paired with this downtown, walk to everything feel. Here are some favorites: Old Major Senior Bear Root Down Avanti F&B Bar Dough Spuntino Its fun to catch a baseball game in the city and lunch in Hi-Lo or Lo-High Also if visiting in the winter, we would ski/snowboard, snow shoe and all the wonderful hotspings in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I decided to start my own company it was very well received and I had referrals the first month in business. I was busy enough in the first three months that I was actively thinking about how I would be able to cover more territory at my current volume. This is when I met with Morgan who was working as a liaison in the hospital when I was a case manager. Not only did Morgan take a leap of faith to come join my vision but she has been a crucial part of the growth and face of Maintain Me. Maintain Me would not be where it is right now without her partnership and dedication. She is now partial owner of Maintain Me and together we have built more programs to accommodate our aging population.
Youtube: Denver Senior Resource Channel