CarePatrol Franchise Review: Meet Kirsten Copenhaver
Leading senior-placement franchise allows entrepreneurs to run a hands-on business in the often impersonal health care industry
CarePatrol franchisee Kirsten Copenhaver owns two territories in San Diego County. Her 20-plus-year career in health care and a passion for helping families make her uniquely qualified to run her CarePatrol senior placement franchise business.
In addition to developing relationships with area families, gaining trust from local agencies, hospitals and social workers is extremely rewarding to Kirsten. Ultimately, CarePatrol is about helping others, and she shares how that has been fulfilling to her in the nearly two years she has been part of the CarePatrol family.
What makes CarePatrol a unique business to own?
I’ve been in health care for 20-plus years and had not heard about the senior placement franchise industry. Once my business partner and I started researching the options for businesses to own, it dawned on me this is a very niche business and area of health care that I had not seen filled in quite the way that CarePatrol fills it. It is very high touch, hands on … it’s a very personal business in an industry that can often be impersonal.
What makes CarePatrol special?
CarePatrol is special because it is so hands on. We are not about giving families a list of errands to run while going to go see different places. We actually take them to the places. We know the places and we’ve seen the places and we have screened them before the families even get there.
You’re not just a number. You’re not going to just get a lot of emails and fluff from us. We are going to do our research. We are going to figure out what is best for you and your loved one based on your budget, based on the level of care for the individual and geographic preference if that is important. Whereas some other agencies might just say, “here’s 15 different options. I don’t know if they are right for you and your loved one but go check them out.” We do that research. That’s our business. And then we bring you the best for your situation.
What is a typical day like for you as a CarePatrol franchisee?
Every morning at 8:15, my business partner Julie and I meet, whether it’s over the phone or in the office. We chat about who’s called, where are we at with each individual client and their family, where are we at with the social workers, where are we at with some of the hospitals. What are we doing today and tonight and throughout the day as far as marketing and networking is concerned, and we discuss any tours and make sure everyone has been called. We go through a list of things in a short amount of time to make sure we are both on the same page by 9 o’clock.
And then our day can go from there and obviously there are changes to the schedule. There are things that come up like phone calls with social workers and making sure that our clients are always being taken care of. We’ll change directions. We’ll go see our social worker. We’ll make sure everybody is taken care of.
What are you most proud of?
I think the thing that is the most fulfilling for me in working with CarePatrol is the connections I have fostered throughout the San Diego area. I’ve been in health care for 20-plus years. I’ve worked in hospitals. I’ve been a consultant for hospitals. It’s invaluable to gain someone’s trust. That is what is the most rewarding for me. When that social worker or that hospital or case manager calls us again because they saw how well we performed and the level of integrity that we performed at is very rewarding.
Personal story about a case in a difficult situation?
We were working with a son whose mother was in a skilled nursing facility and she had a feeding tube. I would go to see her from time to time because we were having a difficult time finding the right fit because of her clinical needs. Meanwhile, her son was desperate to get her out of there and into somewhere they would take better care of her. We ended up placing her, and I went to see her after she had been there for two weeks and I almost didn’t recognize her. She didn’t have the feeding tube in. She was up. She was sitting up in a chair sitting in the sun and reading a book. And this was a woman who, the last time I had seen her in the skilled nursing facility, I really wasn’t sure was going to make it. I was sending up prayers because I wasn’t sure. So that was a huge accomplishment and we hear from her son on a regular basis. He cries often when he talks with us and meets with us for lunch.
Why is now a good time to get into this business?
We have all heard of the silver tsunami. We don’t like that term because tsunami implies disaster. We have a huge number of people aging over 65 every day so we are calling it the golden wave. There is almost more need out there than the health care industry can fill at this point. So being able to make a small dent in that is what we at CarePatrol aim to do. There is no better time than the present. The aging population is not going to shrink. And to be able to help these folks and their families find the right care in the right place for the right price is so important. Business is booming and business is very rewarding.