Valerie V: Hi, this is Valerie VanBooven with Approved Senior Network, and today I had the opportunity to interview Kimberly Burdo with Autumn Home Care. She’s located right here in the St. Charles, Missouri area, and we had an awesome interview. She’s so passionate and so committed to her clients. I think this’ll be a great one for you to watch and get to know more about Autumn Home Care and Kimberly Burdo, the owner.
Valerie V: So Kim, tell us how you got started with home care and what drew you into this business?
Kimberly Burdo: Well, Val, that’s a great question and I’m going to answer it like this, because I love people. I love what I do. I’ve been working 35 years in this profession. I have traveled all over, and since I was little, I always volunteered with my mom who was a nurse also.
Kimberly Burdo: So, I started out very young, just going to see people with her. She worked at a senior home. And I loved it. I enjoyed it so much. And as the years went by, I knew that I had a passion for people. I’ve loved working with people and helping people. There’s a sign out there, says talk to me or I could help you.
Kimberly Burdo: And decided that after working for several companies in the past, I had found that there was a large need for people who do and could help with every aspect of home care. Not just taking care of someone and it’s the whole aspect of their home, their pets, everything. And I just thought there was a big need for it. I loved it. I decided that people weren’t getting what they needed, so I started doing this probably on my own three years ago.
Valerie V: Well, that’s awesome. And what a great accomplishment. Being in business for three years, for a small business owner, you have made some milestones there. So, I was going to ask you how long you’ve been in business. So, you started this three years ago, right? But you worked in this kind of industry a little bit before that?
Kimberly Burdo: For thirty-five years I’ve been in the industry.
Valerie V: Wow.
Kimberly Burdo: So, I started my own, started this Autumn Home Care in 2017, yeah.
Valerie V: That’s great. That is great. So, yeah, three years. For all of us small business owners, we have to get past that first year, and then get to our five-year mark, and we know we’re going to survive.
Kimberly Burdo: We’re working on it. My clients are just amazing. I am truly blessed.
Valerie V: Well that’s awesome. So, tell us what makes owning and running a home care business so rewarding? You have described a lot of that, but I know there are some things that have probably happened in the last three years that have made you know this was the right decision.
Kimberly Burdo: Well, last year was a really big turning point for me and I really enjoy what I do. I love to go out and visit with my clients. We go for lunch. I spend a lot of time with them. I don’t just say, “Okay, sign the paperwork. We’re going to send a wonderful caregiver and have a nice day.” I really go out, I cook for my clients, we go out for lunch. I enjoy their company. We have a wonderful time. And it’s so rewarding to hear their stories and their whole life history of things, and just amazing stories that they have to share, absolutely.
Kimberly Burdo: And be there for someone who is going through painstakingly a horrible experience is heart-felt for me, and nothing else compares to that reward of just being there to help someone.
Valerie V: I would totally agree. And the stories that our seniors can tell us are often… You have no idea what kind of cool things they’ve done in their life, or interesting things, or sometimes a lot of the trauma they’ve had in their life. But they all have [crosstalk 00:04:21].
Kimberly Burdo: Yes.
Valerie V: What advice would you give families who are struggling with senior care issues? Because we know there are so many.
Kimberly Burdo: Don’t be afraid, you’re not alone, and no one is ever prepared for this to happen. I’ve seen a lot of people call and I’ve seen a lot of people out there in the industry who really don’t have any information. So, for me, I enjoy helping them to get the information. Because we don’t know. We’re like deer in the headlights. Something happens, it’s an emergency, we have a fall. It’s the most nerve-wracking and stressful time in someone’s life is when their parents are in the hospital. They have a fall, or they’re just not sure what’s going on.
Valerie V: Yeah. It’s always a crisis. It always happens in a crisis usually.
Kimberly Burdo: Sure. And ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because that’s the best thing to do. If you don’t know, there’s someone out there that could help you. Absolutely. And I always tell them, “If I can’t help you, I’ll refer you to someone who can, or direct you to a person, or some kind of a facilitator who can help with their issue.”
Valerie V: Sure. And that is what we… Being honest and just help being dependable as far as other resources that are available in the community is another reason why we like businesses like yours so much, because it is that personal touch. And sometimes we can’t be everything, but we can certainly know all the resources available, and that’s so, so helpful.
Kimberly Burdo: That is the number one thing that I tell them, even if they decide that the company insurance wise, or whatever reasons they don’t come to me, I always tell them, “Please call me if you have a question.” I’m more than happy to help them.
Kimberly Burdo: Sometimes it’s not the right fit, but they have questions and they don’t know who to turn to. I’ve had a lot of people call me back and just ask questions, and I’m more than happy to help them and kind of guide them. Because I had a client who just didn’t know what to do, and wasn’t sure how to proceed and they needed other help that I couldn’t provide.
Valerie V: Yeah.
Kimberly Burdo: You’re not alone. That is the biggest thing. You’re not alone.
Valerie V: So many families struggle. So, let me ask you this, when you hire caregivers, because I know you’re not the only one in your company, so when you do hire caregivers, tell us what qualities you’re looking for in that caregiver.
Kimberly Burdo: Well, most of the time I do a very intimate interview. I’ll do a phone interview, but I normally meet with them because I want to meet them in person. I want them to be compassionate. They have to be a caring, and compassionate. They have to have patience. It’s really important for them to have patience with clients and just to be able to have that knowledge of the clients. How do I explain it? When you have clients of a variety of different disorders or problems that are going on, if you don’t have the patience or you’re not a caring person, it’s the wrong thing for you to be in it.
Valerie V: Right. That’s true. Yeah. Having patience is a big, big quality that I think all caregivers need. And I think over time, if you’re a caregiver for a long period of time, you gain some of these qualities and some of these skills to understand how to better be patient. And it just takes time to learn all this stuff. So, I would agree with you compassionate and patient and respectful. Those are the qualities that I would want my mom to see in somebody who is caring for her.
Kimberly Burdo: Right. Reliability also is a big part of it. I have to know that they’re going to… Accountability, reliability. And when I interview them, I tell them to tell me a life story. I don’t just give them the paperwork to fill out, I want them to tell me a story because they’re going to show me they’re compassionate, they understand what they’re doing, and they feel comfortable in dealing with different issues.
Kimberly Burdo: And that to me is probably the number one thing is to make sure that they can tell me a story. Tell me your life story. Tell me about one of your clients, and just how they dealt with different issues. It really shows me how compassionate and patient and caring. All of those things in a story, that paper just doesn’t cover.
Valerie V: Oh, absolutely. That’s so true. And it sounds like you have a great process for interviewing and hiring. Well, let’s do this. We have learned so much about you in just a few minutes. And I know that people are going to want to… They’re going to want to call, they’re going to ask questions. So, tell everybody, what is the best way to get in touch with you?
Kimberly Burdo: The best way is to call or email.
Valerie V: Okay. We’ll have your email address and your phone number and your website, and all that will be on the video for everybody to see. So, what phone number is the best phone number for folks to get ahold of you at?
Kimberly Burdo: And that’s (636) 448-9347.
Valerie V: Perfect, and-
Kimberly Burdo: 24/7.
Valerie V: Awesome. And then tell us the areas that you service, because even though I know and you know, let’s let everybody else know where you service.
Kimberly Burdo: Absolutely. We service St. Charles, St. Louis, St. Louis County, and North County.
Valerie V: Great. So, you are in a pretty wide territory. The sky is the limit.
Kimberly Burdo: Pretty much from all the way out from Warrenton to North County. The only area I’m not servicing right now is South County areas.
Valerie V: Yeah, that’s pretty far. So, yeah. Yeah.
Kimberly Burdo: For me, it’s mostly in St. Charles.
Valerie V: Okay. All right. That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to fill us in on all the awesome things about you and your business, and I am certain that folks are going to want more information, so thank you so much, Kimberly. We appreciate it.
Valerie V: Thanks for watching our interview today with Kimberly Burdo from Autumn Home Care. She did a great job. I hope you learned a lot, and certainly if you need help or services, be sure to give her a call, even if you just have questions, at the number on your screen. Thank you so much, Kimberly, and thanks everybody for watching. Bye-bye.