Agency Establishes In-Home Care Fund

The desire to establish a fund for the elderly
The desire to establish a fund for the elderly "is something that's always been there for me," says Sandy Kursban, founder of Family & Nursing Care. (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)
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By Sarah Marston
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 4, 2008

Growing up next door to her grandparents, Sandy Kursban learned to respect her elders at an early age. It's a lesson that has guided her life's work -- a 40-year family business and, now, a vital community service.

Kursban is the founder and chairman of Silver Spring's Family & Nursing Care, an agency that matches caregivers with Maryland and Washington area seniors who want to remain in their homes as they age.

She celebrated the firm's 40th anniversary this fall by establishing the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, a fund overseen by the Montgomery County Community Foundation that is aimed at making home care an affordable option for more Montgomery County seniors.

"The foundation comes from 40 years of wanting to give back," said Kursban, who launched the fund with a personal donation. Over the years, she has donated to nonprofit organizations, hosted senior events and served on committees on aging.

The desire to establish a fund for the elderly "is something that's always been there for me," she said.

Kursban said she hopes the fund will help meet the increasing demand for care as baby boomers start to retire.

"I got very concerned about the shortage of caregivers," she said. "What's going to happen to our seniors down the road?"

The Family & Nursing Care Foundation aims to address the caregiver shortage on two levels: by providing grants to nonprofit organizations that can help low-income seniors afford home care, and by providing scholarships to people who want to become certified nursing assistants.

The grants will be awarded through the Montgomery County Community Foundation, which helps corporations set up charitable funds within its parent organization. Kursban and her colleagues will make recommendations for grants, which Community Foundation staff will help turn into a reality.

"It's great that this company can celebrate a special moment in its history -- its 40th anniversary -- by giving back to the community," said Sally Rudney, executive director of the Community Foundation.

Kursban's history of senior care began when she moved to the Washington area from her native Ohio in the mid-1960s. Married and the mother of a 5-month-old, she wanted to start a business.

"In the '60s, you go to college, you graduate, you get married and that's it," Kursban said. "I just wanted to have something of my own."

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