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Locally Owned Matters

As a locally owned business, the founder and employees of Cura Home Care Services had deeply rooted ties in the community well before they opened their doors. This level of connectedness to local support and resources contributed to their early success and it continues to make their work abundantly meaningful and rewarding. During its first year in business, Cura had massive support from the WBDC, friends and family, and other local businesses determined to ensure their success.

“We value our local, trusted relationships and we constantly share our progress and ideas with partner businesses, exchanging industry intelligence and resources,” says Founder, Shivonne Mathison.

Senior Concierge Services and Sahara Funeral Service are two examples of complementary businesses that are part of Cura’s network of locally owned and female operated businesses. Since senior care takes a village, these businesses are happy to support each other in contributing to the quality of life for our residents in Fairfield County. We recently had a chat with both of their founders.

Liz Rolle
Founder, Senior Concierge Services

Why did you start Senior Concierge Services?

There is a gap in the market. Cura works with clients who need help with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). The ‘wellderly’ who don’t need that kind of help or have graduated from it, often need a hand around the home just the same. Some tasks begin to feel too challenging. They don’t want to have to climb ladders, go out alone, understand new technologies, and more. We are here for them.

What makes it unique?

We serve this large segment of the older adult population – those who need help with paper taming, who prefer not to go out to the pool or the garden alone any more, who are ready to declutter decades of possessions, and so much more.

What services are most requested?

When I opened the business I did not anticipate the profound need for paper management. Even the daily mail can become too much to deal with. That’s our most frequent call. Even here, the needs vary: some just need mail sorting; others need bill paying; others need checks written to await a signature (their own or a loved one’s). We do the whole range of those tasks except for actual financial management which is beyond our scope.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for seniors in this area?

Most seniors are unhappy to give up driving, yet want to remain in their homes which are far from shopping and social engagements.

What are your favorite local senior resources and why?

I am deeply aware of what is missing for seniors and their care: a single place to find resources and to understand what is available. We often get calls from seniors or their children in need of something we do not offer. I do my very best to direct them to an appropriate resource for their need. We only age once – how can we possibly know all the different resources or how to figure out what kind of expert serves our narrow little concern? 

Why do you refer Cura?

I appreciate Shivonne’s personal care and concern for both her caregivers and her clients. Her social work training reflects her deep concern for people as individuals. She is very responsive. Her clients like to stay with Cura as long as they need care and come back to Cura when a new need arises.

For seniors with mobility issues, a PCA will make sure they are able to get around the house at their leisure and are trained in transferring techniques that are required as mobility issues increase. They also help with cooking, serving meals, and eating when needed. Outside of assisting with ADLs, a PCA will also help out around the house with household chores. These can include washing dishes and laundry, going grocery shopping for or with their client, reminding them to take medications, and tidying up around the house.

To learn more about Senior Concierge Services, check out their website,

Sahara Farrugio
Founder, Death Cafe & Sahara Funeral Services

Why did you start Death Cafe?

I started (my branch) of Death Cafe at the Ferguson Library as a response to a need: a lack of space for exploration and discussion revolved around death. It is my hope and intention to bring individuals closer together to connect on higher levels than we are generally accustomed to here in this time and space.

Which topics come up most often?

The most popular theme is just expressing our thoughts and feelings around the things we see and experience day to day. Given this is a bit of a darker conversation, topics that often come up are forms of disposition, questioning certain traditions/customs, legalities surrounding death, etc.

How do you join the discussion?

Anyone can easily join the mailing list by emailing me @

What do you think are the biggest challenges for seniors in this area?

The biggest challenge is the individuals own self-doubt and/or denial about their own mortality and how equipped their survivors may (or may not be) to handle that situation when the day inevitably arrives. 

What are your favorite local senior resources and why?

I have many friends in the elder care industry it would not be fair to single out some over others. I do referrals based on the evaluation of my clients needs and/or budget.

Why do you refer Cura?

I refer Cura Home Care knowing that every single person who calls will be treated with respect, dignity, and given the time and attention they deserve by Shivonne and her entire team.

Tell you tell us about your funeral home and what makes it unique?

I do not have a traditional funeral home and cannot assist individuals at the time of death. My service is uniquely set up to help people IN ADVANCE of their death. Ideally the client is of sound mind and body and is making the arrangements for themselves at least 1 year prior to any expected death. I sit with families and help them explore their options, while being sensitive to their overall needs and budget. I am essentially a broker for funeral homes all across the state of CT.

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