If you live on the North Shore and are blessed with both children and parents who need your loving attention, you are in good—and growing—company. Our community is full of members of the “sandwich generation,” who juggle schedules and responsibilities for three or more generations of their families.
Busy “sandwichers” sometimes struggle to maintain a deferential, loving relationship with their parents, especially if they are also worried about helping those parents with their daily business affairs or errands. This trend created a North Shore niche happily filled by Kathy Sprau and her growing business, Aging Grace.
Aging Grace matches North Shore seniors with highly qualified “client advocates” who help with a wide range of services, including:
- records organization
- insurance coverage
- daily needs
- special projects like scrapbooking
Sprau, a Glenview mother of five and former hospice volunteer and lay minister, learned about the needs of seniors not only through her volunteer caregiving but also from working with her own parents. Following her mother’s death, her father moved to Evanston’s Presbyterian Homes. When she visited him there, she often helped his friends, too.
An observant manager encouraged Sprau to turn her nurturing and organizational gifts into a business. “I see you with these men. You hug them, ask how they are, make them smile. You are organized and have years of ministry and volunteering experience. There is a business here!”
Those words of encouragement spoke to Sprau’s soul.
Sprau launched her business in 2002, and she attributes Aging Grace’s success to the philosophy that seniors on the North Shore are used to being in charge and they are inherently interesting people.
“We work within the systems our clients have created over the years, respecting their independence and always asking permission before we suggest any possible change,” Sprau says.
Sprau created a formula that seems destined to succeed, matching high-achieving seniors with exceptionally well-qualified women who live nearby. A booming business reflects this; clients now range from Oak Park to Arlington Heights and Lake Bluff. Aging Grace will soon be opening a Chicago office too.
Thanks to Sprau and Aging Grace, some of the demands on the sandwich generation can now be alleviated. To learn more, please call Aging Grace at 847-721-5083, e-mail Sprau at [email protected], or visit their Web site www.aginggrace.org.