Declaring Her Independence

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Dorothy Deutsch, like other parents, knows what the full-time task of raising children entails.

“It is plenty of work,” she said. “You really need all kinds of skills taking care of a child and your household.”

What Dorothy eventually learned, however, was that remaining independent can also require quite a bit of work. But with Manage On My Own, LLC, a company that provides various services to help people maintain their individual lifestyles, she and her husband can remain in their apartment while receiving the extra assistance they need.

Staying in their Bethesda home at Grosvenor Tower is certainly important to the couple who have lived in the area for 45 years. Dorothy, originally from New Jersey, met her husband while working at the Pentagon as a secretary for a major general in the air force. With one daughter, they have been married for 50 years as their family has grown with three grandchildren.

To some, the extremely active Dorothy does not seem like the type who would need the help of others to remain independent.

“I go to a low-impact exercise class at my local gym and do the machines,” said Dorothy. “I do a lot of walking, if not on the treadmill, along the grounds near my apartment.”

Not just involved in physical activities, she enjoys going to the movies and engaging in social outings, a quality that eventually introduced her to Manage On My Own.

About a year ago, the company started up a program in Dorothy’s building that featured all sorts of recreational activities.

But what Dorothy realized was that they could greatly help her in other ways.

With a mission to simplify access to services for seniors and their families, the company serves as a hub for accessing the best-in-class service providers. Dorothy knew what a breakthrough this would be for herself and her family.

A couple of years ago, her husband had a stroke that left him unable to walk. Although their high-rise features a concierge service and is in a convenient location for running errands, she knew she could not take care of everything on her own.

It was those similar to Dorothy and her situation that inspired the individuals who conceptualized Manage On My Own. The vision started with a man named Jack Hansan, who in 1998 co-authored a book displaying the positive impact of bringing long-term care services into the home titled Personal Assistance: The Future of Home Care.

In 2006, Jack’s son Mark, and his fellow entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, Bob Dresing, teamed up for another venture to apply their skills and utilize Jack’s ideas. This new venture was none other than Manage On My Own, which would provide seniors a single point of contact for everything they needed to continue living independently within their homes. By providing just one monthly bill for all services, the company prides itself on simplifying life for seniors and their loved ones.

Manage On My Own features Independent Living Planners who listen to the goals and desires of each individual to create a customized Independent Living Plan. They then tap into their network of pre-qualified service providers to support whatever their clients need to stay independent. Patient advocacy, housekeeping, companion care, dietary monitoring and caregiver training/assistance are just some of the many services that can be arranged for seniors and their loved ones.

Now Dorothy can rest assured that those tasks she cannot solely take care of will be accommodated. One such service she has found to be her most pertinent is transportation.

Before enlisting their help, it was difficult for her to assist her husband when traveling around to his appointments. While cabs with the capacity for his wheelchair arrived on time, it was difficult for the couple to find transportation home.

With the partnership between Manage On My Own and Transport Are Us, they can now have a ride wherever whenever. Dorothy cited one instance in which they were able to visit their daughter’s home in Mclean on a Sunday afternoon, knowing they definitely had a ride home.

“He drove us there and waited for us,” she said. “They’re always there within a short time and it’s just been wonderful having this service.”

Another way in which the company has helped Dorothy is through a personal organizer. With a large walk-in closet, she was grateful to have someone come to her home and sort through her belongings.

“Gretchen helped me get rid of things that I should’ve gotten rid of before and she just reorganizes everything.I’m thinking of calling her to help me again,” Dorothy said with a laugh.

Since her husband left the hospital, he has received in-home care from a different service. Dorothy, however, has kept in mind the services available through the company to which she has grown so accustomed.

“I know they do have caregivers, so if something were to happen, I may have to investigate Manage On My Own,” she said. “They have someone who can help with those errands that I am able to take care of now.”

With this invaluable resource, Dorothy could not be any more grateful as she has less stress and the opportunity to pursue her favorite activities.

One interest of hers is OASIS, an educational program sponsored by the Macy’s Foundation, Suburban Hospital and the OASIS Institute offering programs in the arts, humanities, wellness and volunteer services. Having joined in January, Dorothy looks forward to the various speakers including former ambassadors and the attorney general of Montgomery County.

“You just sign up for the list of activities you want and there are so many different interesting subjects to choose from,” she said.

And it is the freedom of choice that sums up Dorothy’s life right now. She can choose to go wherever she wants and do anything she enjoys knowing help is a phone call away.

“Manage On My Own has been a tremendous help for me and it’s really nice to know that they are there with their variety of services,” she said.

Although she is only using those services that primarily assist her husband right now, Dorothy looks to the future knowing who she will call in case she needs help for herself.

“Should I need something more in the future, I’m certainly going to call upon them,” she said. “I hope that they continue to flourish because I think there are a lot of people in this area that can use this kind of help.”

But it appears as though the company is definitely flourishing, as it is developing into a much more dynamic program. In partnership with IONA Services, Manage On My Own was named the service provider/manager for Kalorama Village located in D.C. in May. Serving as a core for the community’s service providers, the company remains the single point of contact, allowing those who participate in this new innovative concept for aging in place to save money.

Another successful venture for Manage On My Own has been the White Flint Mall program. They have collaborated on developing the mall’s senior programming by sponsoring the free monthly movie and providing the shopper’s concierge service. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect has been allowing seniors to meet and speak one on one with experts in the fields of law, medicine, financial services, insurance and much more.

And as the pioneering company continues to flourish, so will the lives of Dorothy and others who are extremely thankful for the convenient assistance they received to maintain their independence.

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