Eldercare in Dallas, Texas
In 2005, Laurie Miller decided it was time for a career change. She knew she wanted a career that would make a positive impact on other people’s lives, and after much research, came to the conclusion that “Eldercare” was the industry for her. She remembered how her grandparents had enjoyed the freedom and happiness that comes from living in one’s own home and on one’s own terms. They had round the clock help from caregivers to assist them with everyday activities which allowed them to experience independence without having to rely on their children. This allowed them to stay in their own home until they passed away.
In 2006, Laurie and her mother, Joyce Friedman, a licensed and board certified social worker (LBSW) started Apple Care and Companion.
Laurie later learned firsthand the stress of being a caregiver. In September of 2007, Joyce was admitted to the ER with complications due to lung cancer. Joyce was originally diagnosed in 2000 and had gone through surgery, rounds of chemo and radiation but had been living quite well since 2004. Laurie, her husband and brothers became full time caregivers while Joyce was in the hospital and rehab system. Joyce passed away 9 difficult months later in a long term acute care facility.
The lessons Laurie learned from being a caregiver to her mother, as well as being a wife and working mother, gives her a deep understanding of the difficulty that other families are going through.
Apple Care and Companion strives to not only care for the person receiving care but also for the family and caregivers who support their loved one.
Our Philosophy at Apple Care and Companion
Our philosophy is to provide affordable, competent and loving care while granting peace of mind to the families involved.
- We believe that seniors have the right to age in place
- We believe that seniors deserve quality, competent and affordable in home care
- We believe our caregivers are the most skilled and well trained available
- We believe our caregivers are ethical, compassionate, and empathetic
- We believe that our caregivers deserve respect and praise for the important work they perform
- We believe anytime a client or client’s family needs to speak to someone in charge that a staff member should be available 24/7/365, and they are!
We believe community outreach is a must to educate people about issues concerning seniors and their families.
The Apple Care Staff
President and Administrator-Laurie Miller
Laurie was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from The Greenhill School and The University of Texas in Austin. After receiving a BBA in Marketing, she moved back to Dallas and went to work in her family’s 78 year old business. Laurie is a hands on owner and is passionate about serving seniors in a respectful way regardless of their mental or physical capabilities. She has held every position in the company including President, Marketing Director, Payroll Manager, HR Director, Scheduling Manager and Caregiver. She has been the Administrator of the agency since 2008.
Laurie has been an active member of the Dallas Area Gerontological Society, more commonly known as DAGS since 2006, has been a Board member since 2008 and was a two term President from 2013-2016. She is currently “championing” DAGS’ mission in promoting The Conversation Project. DAGS is a voluntary organization in its 29th year of advocating for seniors, educating and providing CEUs for professionals and providing scholarship funds for those interested in gerontology.
She was a committee member for Dallas County Caregiver and Aging Conference in 2008.
She was a committee member for the Dallas Area Alzheimer’s Association Task Force 2010-2012 and was instrumental in developing their “Caregiver’s Day Out” program for local faith based communities.
Laurie cofounded and organized the Dallas Compassion Fatigue Symposium in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In 2013, Laurie along with Barbara Crowley, cofounded the iACT Summit (innovation in aging, caregiving and technology) a launch pad of new ideas and conversations about aging and caregiving while revealing the latest technological innovations brewing in the academic, corporate and entrepreneurial environments.
She has spoken on aging and caregiving issues at the American Society on Aging National Conference, the Private Duty National Conference and Expo and various local events.
Vice President and CFO-Mark Miller
Mark has been with the company since its inception. His 27 years of experience as a wholesale manufacturer’s representative and sales agency owner give him the business expertise needed to run an efficient home care agency.
In the beginning he worked behind the scenes mostly as a consultant on the business side of the agency. As the agency has grown, his responsibilities have increased and he is now an active participant in the day to day operations of Apple Care and Companion.
Scheduling Manager-Robin Richardson
Robin is your go to person with all scheduling requests. She started with us as a caregiver in 2013 and moved in to the scheduling position later that year. Robin loves seniors and is very dedicated to them. She loves talking to our clients and always has a smile on her face.
Robin was an Emergency Medical technician (EMT) for 23 years when she lived in Kentucky. Upon moving to Dallas she went to work for Walnut Place for 11 years. In her capacity as Assistant Activities Director, she assisted with everything having to do activities, as well as all aspects of patient care.
Robin graduated from Morehead State University with a BA in Health and Recreation. She has been certified as an EMT, Medication Aid, CPR, First Aid Instructor and Activities Director.
Robin is an avid sports fan and is very dedicated to her Church.
Caregiver Manager and Alternate Administrator-Kathryn Jones
Kathryn Jones, was born in Monroe, Louisiana, grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from David W. Carter High School. She has also lived in Santa Rosa, California where she graduated from Santa Rosa Beauty College and pursued a career in the beauty industry; all while raising three amazing children. In 1996 Kathryn decided to change her path from the health care industry. She began working with Stella’s Residential Home in Santa Rosa, where she gained valuable experience as a Care Provider and Administrator Assistant. There she worked with the elderly and developmentally disabled for 18 years. In 2010 she moved back to Dallas and began working with Apple Care and Companion as a caregiver and has served our clients with great professionalism, using her extensive hands-on training in California.
Kathryn’s role as Care Giver Manager is to provide guidance to ensure first visit precision between client and caregiver, assisting our Client Care Manager, supervising caregivers’ onsite and providing emergency care giving services when needed.
Client Care Coordinator-Sherri Slagle
Sherri was born and raised in Plano, TX. She attended Plano Senior High School and Texas Women’s University and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work. Sherri was the director of social work for Heritage Place Nursing Home for three years, until the birth of her daughter, Taylor. After her daughter was born, she became a stay at home mom has now returned to the workforce. During her time off, she was a caretaker to numerous family members and friends. It was then that she discovered her calling in the home care industry. Sherri is very committed to the clients, staff, and caregivers of Apple Care and Companion and their happiness and wellbeing.
Office Manager-Jezebel Benitez
Jezebel graduated from W. T. White high school in 2009 and studied music at Brookhaven College. Jezebel participated in an international tour with the Brookhaven College choir and sang in multiple churches and cathedrals in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
After much consideration, Jezebel decided to change paths and devote her time to a career in the health field. Jezebel became a personal trainer and a Zumba instructor, teaching two classes per week at the Farmers Branch recreation center.
Jezebel is currently attending the University of North Texas pursuing a degree in Kinesiology.
Marketing Manager-Sally Unger
A Chicago native, Sally graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Elementary Education. After moving to Oklahoma City with her family, she pursued her teaching career while raising her 2 children and actively volunteering in the community. Sally transitioned from teaching to a career in Real Estate. After earning her Broker’s license, she served as a Broker-owner of Group One Real Estate in Oklahoma City, a company she formed with three colleagues. In 1989, Sally was named the Oklahoma City Realtor of the Year, a highlight of her lengthy career as a Realtor. The award, a result of her superior marketing and “people skills”, was a tribute to her service-oriented nature. Since moving to Dallas in 1992, she has had a meaningful impact on the community by volunteering for various projects including Caring Congregation, a group which provides a wide range of services to senior congregants. Sally joined Apple Care and Companion as Marketing Manager in 2008. She enjoys working with the senior community and brings a lifetime of valuable experiences, along with a passion for service, to this position.