All the hearts of Valentine’s Day remind us that February is a month celebrating not only love but also the loving people who give of themselves to make others lives better.

Jan Schuh started Companion Care in 2004 when she was 69 years old. That’s the age when most elders are thinking more about retirement than beginning a new business venture. But then, Jan is someone who has broken the mold in many ways over her 81 years. Despite her challenges with polio, she raised eight children and has operated two successful companies. In between, she acquired three Masters degrees including her most recent in Gerontology.

Jan created Companion Care partnering with her daughter Paula. They were one of the first in-home care companies to incorporate a holistic perspective that revolves around taking care of the entire person, not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. This is especially important in the company’s work with clients with dementia and other memory loss challenges. Companion Care creates active partnerships in a circle of care including the client and their families. They focus on how caregivers and care managers can best support the needs of each individual client. This attention on a personalized care plan is not something that all care providers take the time and effort to do.

Jan is still actively involved in the company, although she took a full day off to celebrate her 81st birthday with her daughter Paula and the office staff, all of whom aspire to be as vital as Jan is when they get to her age.