Have you ever heard of the Butterfly effect? Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants is the fruition of a similar kind of phenomenon, brought to be through the unique life experiences of Bill Cohen. Although he never dreamed that his career path would lead to creating such an extraordinary service for Care givers across the Northwest, Bill has flourished as a business owner and active member of our community.
In Bill’s words, “If you had told me 15 years ago this scenario, sequence, the chain of events that got me to this point and I’d be sitting here doing what I do today— I would say you’re crazy.”
Through a series of unpredictable events in his family life, Bill has developed a unique perspective on what it means to be a caregiver and has used that experience to develop the purpose behind Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants.
“Who would have guessed that my mother would be showing some signs of something (later found to be dementia) and then lose her home in Katrina in Mississippi. That she’d be on the east coast with a couple of other family members for a couple of years while I started talking to a care community here (in Oregon).
Who would have guessed that I’d start attending a support group and then move my mother to Oregon while working full time in Salem, living in Tualatin while my mother lived in Raleigh Hills. All the while I was dealing with a horrible supervisor, so my stress level was extremely high. Then after my mother was in assisted living for a year, plus 4 years of memory care, she passed away at age 83. Not only did I keep going to that support group, I became the facilitator and then a volunteer for the walk to end Alzheimer’s, and joined in other fundraising, awareness and advocacy programs.
Then when I was approaching retirement with the State (after giving them a 2-year notice) I still didn’t know what I was going to do except more volunteer work, but I came across this concept of a caregiving support consultant; I did my research, I did my interviewing and reached out to everyone I could find in the industry and asked ‘what do you think about what I’m doing and how can I get paid to do it and market myself?’ They basically said, ‘there’s nobody else doing what you’re doing, there is a great need—and you’re gonna’ be busy.’ So, I started the business a little over 3 years ago, a few months actually before I retired, and I turned my personal loss and I turned my pain—into my passion and my encore career.”
What problem does your product or service solve?
If you have every asked a caregiver how they are feeling, you’ve probably heard them say they are ‘exhausted, overwhelmed and alone.’ Before the Retirement Connections Directory existed, all you could do was pick up the phone and start making as many calls as possible to discover what Retirement resources were available to you. That is where Cohen’s Caregiving Support Consultants comes in. Before there were CCS Consultants, there was no one in such a role to help navigate through all of these found resources and consult on the best avenue for each individual’s unique needs.
“I want to help the caregivers to reduce their stress and their time and money being spent trying to find resources. I help them find answers to their biggest questions, like ‘How do I take care of my loved one? How do I take care of me? How do I handle finances, legal and housing issues? Do I need in-home care or respite?’ I am here to help with anything they are experiencing with their personal family member, because I have been through it.”
Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants provide advice, guidance, resources and referrals to caregivers throughout the Northwest. They provide answers by asking the right questions, listening to their clients’ needs, and assessing each individual situation to provide the best possible information for an informed solution.
What is your business philosophy?
“I have had many different careers before I was working for the State” Bill says, “but the common thread through all of them has been helping and supporting others.”
Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants understands that support can take many forms which may be challenging and emotional, but believe it is always gratifying to help someone through their personal situation.
“What I am doing now is to help people and keep active—the money is secondary.”
How does your business give back to the community?
“I wish I could do more, but I think I am doing my part,” Bill says about his charitable work.
Bill is extremely active in our local Chambers, serving as Chair for the Health and Wellness Committee and volunteering for numerous events. Whether it’s supporting local businesses through buying local or leading the charge on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon & SW Washington, you can always find him out in the community, helping to make Tualatin a great place to be.
If you could say one thing to the people of Tualatin, what would it be?
“I would say—in a little bit of a tip of the hat to the Chamber and its Members—is that I think the Chamber is a microcosm of the community, that they are giving and social and neighborly and caring” … and that is why I joined “without a second thought”. Bill’s hope is that the Tualatin community recognizes the importance of this group and why it is “absolutely worth it to become a Member.”
Cohen Caregiving Support Consulants, LLC