Home care staff member Jewel Bohn at ComForcare in Santa Cruz is going the extra mile to ensure her elderly care clients’ needs and wishes are met. What started out as a kind gesture for one home care client, became the seeds of a new non-profit charter that would grow to benefit deserving seniors throughout Northern California.
The following article written by Keenan Weatherford featured in the Santa Cruz Sentinel highlights Jewel’s journey as she founded the Jewel Cultural Arts Program:
When Jewel Bohn, 87, shared her lifelong desire to see jazz musician Toots Thielemans live with Laury McInerney, Bohn’s caregiver through the ComForcare senior services program, neither had any idea it would lead to a first-of-its-kind wish-granting program for seniors.
McInerney, touched by the simple request of her ward-turned-close friend, remembered that Theilman would perform at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, so she arranged to take Bohn out for the concert.
“It was the best day of her life,” McInerney said. “She got to meet Toots. He called her kid’ because she was a couple months younger than him. He kissed her hand and she said she’d never wash that hand again.”
While driving Bohn home from the concert that night, McInerney was so touched by the appreciation and excitement that her friend showed that she decided to get into the wish-granting business for seniors.
“You know, I have to do something about this,” McInerney recalled thinking. “This is the most incredible feeling I’ve ever had to make her that happy.”
And just like that, the seeds were planted for the Jewel Cultural Arts Program, a new chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation, the Doylestown, Pa.-based nonprofit that strives to “honor and enrich the lives of deserving seniors through wish granting celebrations,” according to its mission statement. The foundation caters to people over 68 who have an annual income of less than 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $21,660.
After struggling through “Non-Profits for Dummies,” McInerney got frustrated and decided she would just call the headquarters of the Twilight Wish Foundation. Cass Forkin, the executive director of the foundation, loved the idea, and after some paperwork, McInerney had established her own chapter of the foundation.
The Twilight Wish Foundation now has 11 regional chapters in 10 states, but none quite like the Santa Cruz-based Jewel Cultural Arts Program, which will cater to seniors all over Northern California. McInerney calls her program the “first of its kind in the country” because of its focus on granting arts- and culture-related wishes to seniors. She plans on taking participants out for “whatever entertainment they want: the opera, the symphony, dining or jazz.”
“I expect this program could go nationwide,” she said. “If it takes off, this could be the start of a nationwide program.”
Home Care Nurses are Dedicated to Exceptional Service
Jewel Bohn is like many other home care nurses at ComForcare Home Care who are dedicated to providing the highest quality of service for seniors. Every ComForcare franchise owner is dedicated to providing exceptional care for seniors in their community. While not every ComForcare caregiver is the founder of a non-profit program, each one provides daily service for their home care clients to ensure their clients enjoy a more comfortable, independent, and dignified lifestyle in the comfort of their own home.
About ComForcare Home Care Franchises
ComForcare began in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in 1996 as a company dedicated to establishing a new standard in the quality of non-medical home care. After perfecting the winning formula, ComForcare began franchising. They are one of the fastest growing franchises in the country with more than 135 franchise owners who operate 150 territories throughout the United States and in Canada and the U.K.
Each independently owned and operated ComForcare office offers elderly care services including personal care, homemaking, transportation, companionship and family respite services to improve the quality of life and level of independence for every individual and family receiving our services.
ComForcare Home Care
2510 Telegraph Road, Suite 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302