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A LITTLE MORE ABOUT DONA MCCURRY:
City of birth: Morganfield.
City of residence: Elizabethtown.
Family: Husband, Roger, and three grown children.
Favorite music: ‘50’s and ‘60s.
Favorite TV shows: Basketball and HGTV.
Hobbies: Gardening and spending time with family.
When she first started her business Aug. 15, 2003, Dona McCurry worked out of her home as the sole employee of Tender Touch Senior Services, doing light housework for seniors who needed help.
“I did anything I could to help the seniors stay in their homes,” McCurry said.
The business has been so successful in the past 10 years she opened another business, Care4Ever Senior Care Center, an adult day care facility, in 2009.
With a Tender Touch employee base of 115 including service in 13 counties and another six employees at Care4Ever, McCurry, 60, said she has been blessed with growth.
“I didn’t think about my age when I started it,” she said.
McCurry said she saw a need for such services, which prompted her to create her business. The mission of her businesses, she said, is twofold: to improve the lives of senior adults and to improve the community.
The first goal is accomplished by providing safe, secure care for seniors to keep them out of the hospital and keep them in their homes longer. The second is met by building local property, creating jobs and giving back to the community, such as to high schools and agencies including Warm Blessings, McCurry said.
Through Tender Touch seniors are offered in-home, non-medical services including shopping, transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry and personal care. Services also can be customized to fit individual needs.
At Care4Ever, day care services for seniors are provided on a full-day, half-day and per hour basis. Activities, meals and socialization are offered.
Many adults who stay at Care4Ever also enjoy visits from a four-legged friend named Roscoe. McCurry adopted the silky terrier after his former owner — a client — died, and now Roscoe is used as a therapy pet of sorts.
In fact, McCurry said Roscoe and another puppy that belongs to an employee have helped a widower at the center who enjoys their companionship.
“We’ve seen such a change in him since he first came,” McCurry said.
Quick to point out she has no background in business, McCurry graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in recreation. Her three grown children joke about that, she said.
“They say I majored in pingpong,” McCurry said.
Having worked with seniors when her husband was a minister at Severns Valley Baptist Church, McCurry wanted to continue them however she could.
Because the businesses are privately-owned, they do not depend of government funding. They are private pay, with Tender Touch accepting long-term care insurance coverage, and services are provided regardless of ability to pay, McCurry said.
The services help family members, too.
In cases where family members care or an elderly relative, respite care can be beneficial. Respite care can be provided for adults being cared for at home, an assisted living facility, a hospital or a nursing home.
“It’s just giving the family a break,” McCurry said.
Without breaks, caregivers often experience deteriorating health before the family member they are taking care of, she said.
Citing her “caring, generous, loving heart,” son Nathan McCurry expressed how proud he is of his mother.
“She has been a true inspiration to me and all of our family,” Nathan said.
He said his mother always taught him and his siblings to never give up, fight, work hard for what you believe in and always trust in the Lord, which he said are words she has lived by.
“My mother continues to amaze me every day with her determination to help others as she is always looking for new ways to improve the lives of senior adults,” son Nathan McCurry said.
McCurry foresees growth of services, perhaps another adult day care facility or personal care home, something between assisted living and a nursing home.
“I read once ‘If your business doesn’t grow, it dies,’” she said.
Despite growth her businesses already has seen, McCurry prefers to think of success in terms of those she’s helped.
“I don’t really think of myself as a business person because that’s not why I started the business,” she said.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.