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Thanks to the support of The Cameron Group an Arosa Company and O’Rourke & Associates, older adults can enjoy the best possible health care experience later in life.
Older adults have seen and experienced just about everything imaginable, from the Great Depression and World War II in their younger years all the way up to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is a generation marked by dignity and hard work, and in Amy O’Rourke’s eyes, its members should be celebrated for all they have accomplished.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. As they start to break down physically, older adults often get pushed aside and forgotten—but not on O’Rourke’s watch.
As the founder of The Cameron Group Aging Life Care Services and its sister company, O’Rourke & Associates, O’Rourke is an influential leader in providing compassionate care for older adults. To her, it is simply unacceptable to treat them with anything but the respect they deserve.
“It’s always bothered me that people can live all those years and not have anybody speaking up for them,” she says. “Older adults know more, they’re more experienced and have more wisdom, yet they’re physically diminished and that means they get overlooked. Somehow they become less of a person because they’ve got a lot of wrinkles. It’s just inherently wrong. I’m very gratified when an older person knows that I see them and that my staff sees them, and they can feel heard and trusted.”
O’Rourke’s passion for helping older adults manifested itself at a young age when she began volunteering at a local nursing home as a freshman in high school. While her peers were turned off by the sounds and smells of such an environment, or by even having a conversation with someone 60 years older, O’Rourke embraced this population and soon discovered working with older adults was going to be her life’s work.
After many years in the health care field, she took the leap and started The Cameron Group in 1999. Two years later, she won the National Entrepreneurial Achievement Award from American Express and the business took off from there. “I loved older people and I was meant to help them. Lots of people need help—even with COVID, we’re still busy.”
The Cameron Group an Arosa Company often works with adults whose parents or other loved ones enter what O’Rourke refers to as “The Fragile Years™.” This is a three- to five-year period, usually in their 80s, when older adults start to slow down and see a decrease in their normal activities, and might also be precipitated by a medical event. O’Rourke has a book on the concept that will be released this fall titled The Fragile Years™: Staying Ahead of the Crisis.
“Many adult children don’t know that companies like ours exist,” she says. “They’re just responding to the crisis of the day: taking their parents to the doctor, managing their medication or running back and forth to the hospital, all the while trying to work and raise their own kids. They’re overwhelmed, stressed out and overwrought, but our aging experts can guide everybody through the process that they’re in.”
If a loved one is starting to slow down and needs help living independently, The Cameron Group’s experienced life care managers can provide assessments; arrange in-home care; review financial, legal or medical issues and refer appropriate professionals; serve as a liaison to family members who often live out of state; and, if necessary, find assisted living facilities or nursing homes that will fit the patient’s budget and personality.
O’Rourke & Associates collaborates with The Cameron Group an Arosa Company by assisting with the financial side, helping clients access services and benefits from Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, etc.
“We’re housed in the same office and we work together with all of the clients who call,” O’Rourke says. “The first step is to have a meeting with the children and the parent and get a lay of the land; get an idea of what issues prompted the call to us. Then we come up with a game plan for their care in that moment, and look at ways they can adjust the care in the future.”
Since most older adults prefer to remain in their own homes, The Cameron Group an Arosa Company does its best to grant those wishes. It creates at-home assisted living, which can include help with dressing, bathing, medication and meal preparation.
“Rarely does an older person say they want to move to an assisted living facility,” she says. “We have a reputation locally of keeping people at home for a really long time by managing their care. We’re the only company in the country that has integrated care management and home care.”
O’Rourke sold The Cameron Group last year to Arosa, a company she found to have similar values and ideals, but she has remained on board as the Director of Care Management. She praises the staff around her, who share her commitment to helping older adults age any way that they want to.
“You really can do whatever you want as an older adult—with support,” she says. “And that’s what we take pride in.”
The Cameron Group and Arosa Company | O’Rourke & Associates
341 N. Maitland Ave., Suite 130, Maitland
407-896-2010 | TheCameronGroup.us
This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s July 2020 issue.
Thanks to the support of The Cameron Group an Arosa Company and O’Rourke & Associates, older adults can enjoy the best possible health care experience later in life. Older adults have seen and experienced just about everything imaginable, from the Great Depression and World War II in their younger years all the way up to [… […]Read More