MCL: Where did you grow up and what is your education background?
Cindy Yelverton: I was born and raised in the Delta. I lived in Tralake, Mississippi, where my father managed a cotton farm. I lived there until I went to college. After graduating from Deer Creek Academy in 1978, I went to Ole Miss where I studied Business Administration.
MCL: When did you begin Sitters, LLC?
CY: I started Sitters, LLC, in 2001 as a home-based business. At the time, I had three small children that also needed my attention. As the business grew, I moved my office to Highland Village and have been there ever since.
MCL: What made you interested in providing a service like this?
CY: I actually started Sitters as a nanny matching service. With three children, I had a wealth of baby sitters that all of my friends wanted to use. I referred some of the people who helped care for my family to others so that my friends could run errands, have a night out, or do whatever else they needed. So when I turned 40, I decided to turn this into a business. That is when Sitters, LLC, was created. Matching sitters for adult care just happened as the need for senior care grew in the community. I started looking for sitters that were interested in providing adult care at that point.
MCL: Your service differs from a lot of the others that people think of as a “sitting” service because I notice your services are not limited to taking care of the elderly. What can you tell me about the specific services you provide?
CY: We connect skilled and compassionate individuals with our clients who need additional care for children and adults in the home, hospital, nursing, or assisted living facilities. Most of the sitters with whom we have relationships require a three-hour minimum stay, and we are available to connect families with a sitter 24/7. The sitters generally provide transportation, errands, assisting with personal needs, meals, cleaning and especially companionship. As a complimentary service for clients who have Long Term Care Insurance, we will file the expenses paid to us with their insurance company for them.
When you assign a caregiver to a particular job, how do you match the need and the caregiver?
CY: Finding the right match is very personal from client to client and is an important undertaking. I start by personally contacting the client or a family member to assess their wants and needs. I also like to have a feel for their personality, the time of day or night a sitter is needed, etc. I then take the information the family has given me and match that client with a sitter according to experience, personality, and availability. I always tell my families that the personalities have to mix for the match to work. If one particular sitter does not mix well with the family, I ask them to call me so that I can refer a different sitter.
The family is the heart and soul of our society. Inviting a caregiver, a stranger, into someone’s home is a very personal decision and can be a daunting task that I take very seriously. I personally match all my sitters to my families no matter how hard or difficult the situation may be.
I know all my sitters on a personal basis. I see them regularly when they are in the office and know their personalities. When I talk to clients, I am automatically thinking of the best fit for them. Most of the time I get it spot on.
I still make it a priority after 14 years in business to personally interview every sitter in my database of potential sitters. Also, personal contact with every client and family has always been a priority for me.
MCL: I notice that Sitters has more than one location. What cities do you serve?
CY: Yes, we have clients and relationships with sitters really over most of the state, especially cities in the surrounding Jackson Metro area, Oxford, and Tupelo. If a client calls from an area where we do not have a relationship with any sitters, we will do a search until we find the person or persons right for that client. I go beyond the call of duty to help anyone in need.
MCL: As a business owner and entrepreneur of sorts, how do you integrate your personal faith and values into your business?
CY: My faith has pulled me through many personal and business situations through these years. My faith is based on trust and love of God. I would hope that my clients have the faith and trust in me to help them to the best of my ability. I take pride in doing the best I can for all of my families and for the sitters. If distress or problems occur, they know to call me whenever needed.
I do want to mention the sitters that I have developed relationships with over the years. I am grateful for the dedication they have to their clients and to me. I am able to place sitters in positions with clients that fit their time and needs. Some of these sitters would not otherwise have flexible work opportunities due to children, school, or geographic location if they didn’t have a relationship with my company. I always tell them they are like my second family.
God has blessed me with many talents. This is my way of sharing my gifts from God with other people. I am trying to use my talents in the service of others, and consider this my life’s mission and ministry.
With the help of God and my loving family, I have built this company on love, honesty, integrity, and dependability. I am honored to help match clients in need of assistance with sitters that need work.
“…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40, KJV).
Scripture tells us that we are to be compassionate and caring of others. It is our mission to offer helping hands from compassionate caregivers. “Care is our calling” is our motto. By treating every client with tenderness, dignity, empathy, and respect, we strive to show our clients how important they and their loved ones are to us.