John McCooey: Why I Started Belvedere Home Care

bigstock-doctor-comforting-happy-senior-38742898.jpgNovember 14, 2017

For John McCooey, home health care is personal.

The Belvedere Home Care president experienced firsthand what it was like to have a loved one unable to stay in their home because the right care was not available.

“Belvedere’s mission is to keep people safe in the community,” he said. “We’re a community-based provider, and we’ve been that since day one.”

“Our mission is to keep people out of institutions and other settings and allow them to live in their homes, with their families, connected to friends,” he continued. “We want to empower them to live the way they’ve always lived their lives.”

McCooey had his eyes opened to the difficult decisions and heart-wrenching changes faced by the elderly when he was a young man dealing with these changes in his own family.

“The reason that I started Belvedere was that I had always loved my grandmother. And as she grew older and needed help, I knew that she wanted to stay in her home,” McCooey said.

“I saw how desperately she loved that house, but she wasn’t able to stay in her house. She didn’t have the support – it just wasn’t available.”

When he finished school, McCooey volunteered with the elderly and saw first hand that the heartbreak his grandmother faced was a universal experience for seniors who needed extra care with their health and the tasks of daily living.

“Frankly, I saw that they really wanted to stay in their homes. And part of the reason they could stay in their homes was thanks to people who were volunteering like I was,” McCooey said. “And many of them stayed in their homes well into their 90s.”

McCooey knew he had found his calling, and that he could make life easier and more joyful for seniors like his grandmother who needed assistance to stay in their house and for their families.

“When I was looking for something to do as work, as a career, I said, that’s what I really want to do. And that’s what I found here.”

Today, McCooey and his team at Belvedere Home Care carry on their mission for the health, happiness and safety of seniors and their loved ones.

“I know from my own experience that you can see in a loved one something that triggers the awareness that you’ve got to take action,” he said. “If the person you care for and love isn’t taking their medication, is confused, is making you nervous that they are no longer fully able to support themselves, that’s a trigger – that’s a call to action.”

Reaching out for help can be difficult for families who may feel guilty about not being able to provide more intense medical care or round-the-clock care. Seniors may resist having someone come into their home, or may resent the idea that they need extra help.

“That’s an important point for you to reach out and find where that support can be – where that support can come from. That’s one of the moments where we can be very helpful,” McCooey said. “We can go in and assess what someone’s real needs are because sometimes things are more complex than an untrained eye might be able to pick up.”

Belvedere is known for having innovative and creative solutions to help anyone who needs home health care remain in their home and retain as much independence as they can have.

“My grandmother couldn’t stay at home because there wasn’t really a home care option for her that could keep her safe there,” he said. “That’s really what we have been dedicated to, is trying to keep the people I saw who desperately want to stay at home, have them be able to stay there.”

“That’s what I really thought was important, and that’s what we do.”