Sue Wallace is the founder, President, Administrator, and CEO of Assisted Services, Inc.
She crossed over into the field of personal care after following a different career path. A graduate of North Texas Business College, Sue worked in the corporate world with Southwestern Bell for 22 years. She was also a marketing representative in the auto rental industry, manager of two restaurants, and an executive director of a retail for a recruitment organization.
It was in the early 90s while participating in a community project for her corporate employer that she went to a nursing home to entertain the residents during the Christmas season. She dressed as a Christmas character and enjoyed “playing with the seniors.” That was when she fell in love with them, around whom she never spent much time.
Sue couldn’t dismiss the feeling she got while “entertaining seniors.” She decided to attend clown school and continued to entertain seniors as often as she could, around her work schedule. Sue says it was then that God spoke to her, telling her she had been given a special gift … the gift of loving seniors.
Sue began Assisted Services as a ground floor operation soon after an accident which resulted in her having two broken arms. It was while recuperating that she made a promise, she would devote her life to helping others. She explains the accident as a life changing experience that was necessary in order for her to learn what it meant to care for others. She then knew what she needed to do … what she was born to do.
In 1994, Sue started Assisted Services with a small amount of capital … without a proven model to emulate (because this type of service was new back then), and a huge leap of faith. Today the company has successfully served Tarrant county aging adults since 1994 and employs 35 caregivers and office staff. Besides running the business, Sue is very involved in the community promoting active and independent lifestyles. She is a community resource, recognized for her special commitment to working with seniors and their families as a Senior Advocate.
Sue has earned the designation Certified Senior Advisor, a select society with members chosen for their commitment to working honestly and ethically with seniors and their families. In this capacity she serves as an advocate to many and a resource for people with no children or no local primary caregivers but who need someone to follow their plan of care.
Sue has served two terms as president of Continuity of Care, a local organization of healthcare providers and other related industries, and has served several terms as a Board Member of the Tarrant Area Gerontological Society and as President and Vice President of Texas Business Women of Northeast Tarrant County. Sue is a public speaker and a recognized aging issue and business expert. To the surprise and delight of the community and seniors – Sue can transform her persona into a Professional Clown who educates and promotes “aging in place.” She helped pave the way for Personal Assistance Services in Tarrant County in becoming State licensed in 2003. In 2012, Sue was honored to be selected as Business Woman of the Year by The Fort Worth Commission for Women.
Barbara is Vice President of Operations and the staff member who caregivers report to directly.
She is responsible for managing all of the Assisted Services’ employees, daily scheduling, assessments and evaluation of clients, conducting employee performance reviews, and making sure the company stays current and consistent with state regulations.
Like Sue, Barbara had no formal experience in personal care when she embarked on what would become her calling. It was by chance that Sue and Barbara were brought together; it was through a client whose family Barbara and Sue cared for separately. They met and instantly felt like kindred spirits, both gravitating to assisted care almost by chance. Barbara began providing care for the mothers of several of her friends. She found the work rewarding, something personal and worthwhile. It made her feel good to be able to enrich their lives. “Little did I know that this was the start of a new career,” recalls Barbara. She began helping one of Sue’s new clients and continued to do so for many years. While helping her client, Barbara began helping Sue in the office and was soon turning her attention to the business side of the Assisted Services as well as the caregiving side.
Titles don’t mean anything to Barbara – nor to Sue. Barbara makes things happen at Assisted Services, Inc. … things that need to be done for clients, like being on site when needed; giving families respite; providing care to residents in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes; talking to families who sometimes call in the middle of the night, who are desperate for help on what to do about a situation. This is the important work that makes up each busy day.
Barbara and Sue make home visits to meet clients and their families, to conduct evaluations, and provide information. “We want clients to feel comfortable, to have confidence the needs of their loved ones are being met,” says Barbara. Assisted Services. Inc. specializes in memory and dementia care, a service that is particularly challenging for families.
When she’s not coordinating schedules or managing caregivers or talking and working with clients and families, she is attending educational seminars. Barbara has clocked in hundreds of hours attending workshops on elder ethics, administration, occupational safety, state and federal laws/regulations, emergency preparedness, advanced directives, infection control, and other topics. She is always continuing to learn. Some of Barbara’s resources are geriatric doctors and GAP (geriatric assessment program) of Fort Worth. She is also a member of Continuity of Care (a county healthcare communication and resource organization) and the Alzheimer’s Association.