Bridging the Opportunity Divide

When the Elderly Need Help With Chores, This Concierge Service Does the Heavy Lifting

November 17, 2014
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When the Elderly Need Help With Chores, This Concierge Service Does the Heavy Lifting
Amanda Cavaleri was inspired to start her business while serving tea to an elderly woman at a Colorado retirement community. Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
This start-up caters to the needs of those in their golden years.

Who has time to launch a start-up while she’s still finishing her bachelor’s degree?

Somehow, 25-year-old Amanda Cavaleri of Denver, Colo. did, building on inspiration she received during a year off from school.

Six years ago, Cavaleri was torn about what to major in: classics or business? So she took some time off and worked as a server at The Academy, a Boulder, Colo. retirement community.

Cavaleri tells Claire Martin of the Denver Post that one woman at The Academy couldn’t communicate well, though she could indicate yes or no. “I was serving coffee and tea one day, and I noticed that she always had the same kind of tea. I wondered if she might be bored with it, and might want to try a new kind. So I brought over all the tea choices, so she could pick the tea she preferred. It made such a difference to her. Who knows how long she’d had to drink that same tea? And I knew I’d found my passion.”

Cavaleri began to dream up a business plan for a concierge service for the elderly — a company that would help clients with chores and errands, especially those who live far away from their family members, while connecting millennials with senior citizens.

Soon, she founded Capable Living, a start-up she runs while finishing her bachelor’s degree in business at Regis University.

Capable Living offers help to elders with day-to-day chores, post-surgery needs and travel. And Calaveri has become one of the leading lights of the eldercare industry.

As for her future plans, Calaveri tells Martin, “One of the problems we’re trying to solve is how to get high school and college grads to work with elders, at least for a couple of years, so the younger people can get the benefit of the elders’ experience…There’s such talent out there, and so much potential. How do we shift our attitude toward aging so that we, as a society, value elders’ experiences? We need a cultural paradigm shift.”

 MORE: These Startups Offer Sleek Technological Innovations for the Elderly

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