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Friday, July 24, 2015

Meet Our CSA Spotlight, Richard Russo

After a 25-year career in manufacturing and sales, I decided to sell the company that I owned and operated to one of my competitors. Windham Weavers manufactured and imported home furnishing products from Asia, which we then sold to large retailers in the USA. At 50 years old, traveling three or four months a year became less glamourous and more stressful. A changing retail environment coupled with increasing competition and import restrictions made me realize that selling the business was the right decision for me and my family. I worked with the new owners for two years while the business was integrated into the new conglomerate. Then it was time to close that door and start a new chapter in my life. 

After much thought and inner contemplation, I decided that I needed a total career change and was looking for an opportunity that allowed me to give back to the community. I did my research and found a company called CarePatrol, based in Gilbert, Arizona. CarePatrol, founded in 1994, is a Senior Placement Service helping seniors and their families find assisted living, dementia living, nursing homes and in-home care based on their specific care requirements. The service is free to families because CarePatrol is compensated by our referral network, similar to a real estate transaction. Sensing a great need for such services, I purchased franchises in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut in January 2011. Being a national franchise, CarePatrol offers extensive training and support. I earned my Certified Senior Advisor designation in the spring of 2011. I chose to partner with CarePatrol because of their commitment to personal service. We meet and accompany our clients on community tours that satisfy their needs based on location, services and budget. Ultimately, we help our clients find a comfortable “safe solution.” 

CarePatrol and the Society of Certified Advisors (CSA) have a long standing, mutually beneficial relationship. All franchisees are required to acquire the CSA designation with good reason. I find that being a CSA has given me much needed knowledge in many different areas that affect seniors today. I’ve learned to communicate with seniors regarding their health, social and financial issues in a sensitive and non-confrontational manner. I have a much better perspective of the aging process and the everyday struggles that seniors face. CSA courses and ongoing support has given me the confidence to properly refer my senior clients to the appropriate professionals who can help them with their specific needs. 

I love working with seniors and families in this capacity. It is personally rewarding for me to be able to help find safe solutions and ease the stress of these transitions. I am a son, husband and father with family members dealing with similar life-changing situations. I treat everyone” like family,” which means that I look at the senior as if they are my “aunt or uncle” and their children, whom I frequently work with, as “my cousins.” These are “my families” and not “my clients.” After helping a family get their loved one settled there is no greater reward than a kiss on the cheek saying “thank you, you are a gift from Heaven.” I wish everyone that experience. 

We specialize in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. 203-244-9562 or 914-357-8084

Richard was featured as the CSA Spotlight in the June 2015 Senior Spirit Newsletter

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors