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Meet Cydney Kaplan of Independent Living Concierge in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cydney Kaplan.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Cydney. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started working at a VA hospital in high school, I thought I wanted to be an occupational therapist. I got a job working after school in the Recreation Therapy department. My job was to go play games with the veterans on the spinal cord injury unit. I did that my junior senior year and I knew this was my path…helping people have fun in an adaptive way. During my time at the VA I was also able to help train for the national and local wheelchair games. I went on to college and studied Recreation Therapy with a minor in communication disorders, which basically means I took four semesters of American Sign Language with some other speech and communication classes. Mid-college I dropped out to live in Vail, CO where I taught skiing to people with disabilities. The disabilities included developmental disabilities, paraplegics, quadriplegics, deaf, and blind skiers. I ended up going back and finishing my degree after two seasons on the slopes!

To cut to the point, I was working as an activities director at an assisted living in West LA and I saw a need that wasn’t being met…not everyone needs caregivers…they need someone to engage with, someone who shares common interests, someone who is engaging, someone educated, worldly, resourceful, etc. So, I started this company and the need and support has been overwhelming. Families love that they don’t need to worry about mom because they know I will handle “it” (whatever “it” is), conservators hire us because they have clients that are just sitting at home, in a nursing home, in an assisted living…just sitting. I come in, do cognitive brain fitness, take them on outings, laugh with them, be kind to them, be silly with them, hug them…connect with them…the seniors love it…and so do I. A conservator who hired me for one of his clients told me he doesn’t think our client would have lived this long if I wasn’t in her life…I’ve been seeing her for over 4 years.

Currently, my business is growing. I have one employee and I want to continue to grow and give people the quality of life they worked so hard to live for…and appreciate life. As a Recreation Therapist, I believe in leading a full and meaningful life…QUALITY of life, rather than QUANTITY of life. I love and respect my clients and the amazing lives they have all lived.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
HA…smooth???? NO!!! It’s been hard! Really hard! But I knew I wanted more out of life.

I was never into the corporate structure and I’ve always been very independent so this transition felt natural…but it’s been scary along the way.

Some struggles?? Getting clients!! Keeping clients…I work with a clientele that are in their golden years…the inevitable is expected. So I have to constantly make sure people know about me and know how to find me so I can serve more clients.

I also had no idea how much overhead costs were…there was a huge learning curve with finances and budgeting the business.

Independent Living Concierge – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in social and emotional well-being as well as cognitive brain fitness / neuroplasticity.

I’m most proud of making people happy each and every single day. My clients have fun when we are out. We laugh, we sing, they can be silly, they can be themselves…there is no judgement. It’s a comfortable and safe environment for them.

What sets me apart from others is that I have been doing this my whole life, it’s my passion, it’s what I have my degree in….this is me, inside and out. No one else doing anything close to what I am doing can say that. I am very proud of that too.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is happiness and living an authentic life. It may sound cliché, but it’s really how I live my life. I know a lot of people with “more” than me…money, family, better careers…but I don’t know that they are any happier than I am. My life jives with my career.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cydney Kaplan

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