Brooks Coaching

Dual Roles: Mastering Business and Caregiving

Are you a solopreneur, micro, or small business owner who also cares for a loved one?

I know from experience that each role on its own can be stressful and isolating. When combined, the isolation and stress can easily become overwhelming.

Let’s not let that happen.

I’ll share resources on various topics on this page to make your work/life rhythm less chaotic and more manageable. We’ll explore ways to organize your schedule, set boundaries and expectations, and develop communication strategies for more positive outcomes at work and home.

Mind you, I understand that every situation is unique. If you need a more personalized approach, feel free to reach out.

With over 20 years of experience as a small business owner and 15 of those years in the senior industry, I hope to lessen your load through my knowledge and expertise.

Welcome to Dual Roles: Women Mastering Business and Caregiving.

I’m so happy you’re here!

Dang, Mom and I looked so good in this photo!

I was in my early 50s, and Mom was 90. Being so far away when she needed help was challenging, but I had no choice. My family and business were in Londonderry, New Hampshire; she lived with my sister in Omaha, Nebraska.

I understand the stress of long-distance caregiving. Even though Mom and I were geographically separated, we stayed closely connected thanks to technology, and I helped manage her care remotely.

Notice the nametag I’m wearing? When this photo was taken, I had owned my Home Helpers home care agency for about five years and was a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA). I’m so grateful for the knowledge and experience I was able to share with Mom and my family to make their lives easier.

Mastering business and caregiving is a rich and rewarding experience. Remember that your work/life rhythm will have different tempos every day. Embrace the variety, and know that you’ll make it to the following change in tempo. No song lasts forever.

Keep scrolling down for videos and posts to inspire and inform your journey. If you need more personalized assistance, you may want to book an intro call to see if Brooks Coaching would fit your situation. The non-member private session or family caregiver membership option, just for a month or two, might be all you need to keep you successful (and sane).

Always remember, I’m here if you need me.


Dual Roles Intro Video

Lessons From Crochet

Professionally, few things light me up more than helping small business owners improve their communication skills. I especially enjoy using my knowledge and experience to help women master the dual roles of business owner and family caregiver.

You see, I truly believe that communication shouldn’t be a barrier to success. Whatever that success means to you at any given moment.

Why crochet?

First off, I need to let you in on a little secret: I’m probably the most un-craftiest person you’ll ever meet. My oldest sister got most of the craft genes, but that’s okay. Consider me a late crafty bloomer.

Back to the question at hand: why crochet?

My three main reasons were simple:

  • My eyes needed a break from screen time,
  • My hips needed a break from snack time, and
  • I couldn’t find the exact type of cowl I wanted in the colors I wanted.

Crochet has met all those reasons and more.

Crochet provides practical stress relief. It calms me and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

My stepdaughter Meghan bought me my first skein of yarn earlier this year at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival on Mother’s Day. Since then, I may or may not have become slightly obsessed with crochet. It’s a matter of perspective.

It’s also occurred to me that in addition to the numerous cowls and scarves I’ve created, crochet has provided numerous lessons that can be applied to business and family caregiving. Lessons I want to share with you.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

Lesson One: You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!


It surprised me that I picked up crochet reasonably quickly. Sure, I messed up a lot at first, and it took a lot of time and effort to figure out the stitch techniques and pattern instructions, but all things considered, I picked it up pretty fast.

Which got me thinking and remembering …

Let’s talk about the business lesson first.


There’s a lot of competition for small businesses. It seems as if every other business is hiring, and the candidate pool is getting smaller and smaller.

If everyone beats the same bush for the same candidates, you may want to find a different bush and consider older candidates.

In my experience, older employees bring a lot to the table:

  • They tend to be more reliable.
  • They have a lot of experience (and often more common sense).
  • Many have limited schedules, which is excellent if you don’t need a full-time employee.
  • They often don’t need health insurance.

Granted, they may need more time to learn new procedures and technology, but oftentimes, this isn’t even a factor.

When I worked in the family construction company, our most reliable project superintendent was in his late 60s. He didn’t want anything to do with technology (this was 20 years ago), but the clients and crews loved him. And when I owned Home Helpers, I had two caregivers who I could always count on for their common sense approach to caregiving. Both of these employees were over 65. Again, the clients and families loved them.


Your loved one may have to re-learn basic tasks depending on their situation. In my experience, it helps to let them learn at their own pace without expectation. Pressuring them usually causes stress (theirs and yours), which doesn’t help the learning process and can cause communication and emotional breakdowns.

Also, everyone wants to feel needed and that they matter.

If possible, involve your loved one in your work. Ask for their opinion and reassure them that you appreciate your help.

I used to call my mom every week to give her a rundown of what was going on, and I always called to ask for her opinion if I had a problem. It helped me to have a trusted resource and gave her a sense of purpose.

Mom was the best business coach. Rest assured, I learned from a pro!

Now for a few quick communication tips:

  • Show respect when speaking with older adults through your tone of voice.
  • Lower your voice and speak at a slower pace
  • Avoid slang and jargon. Remember, no one likes to feel belittled.
  • When teaching an older adult, use step-by-step procedures and don’t offer too many options, especially at first.
  • Ask questions and watch their body language to check for understanding since they may feel awkward asking for clarification.
  • As with all dialogue, speak and listen without distraction.

In summary, crochet reminded me that:

  • Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
  • Older employees can bring a wealth of talent and experience to your business.
  • Involving your loved one in your business and life can be an enriching experience for you both.
  • Communication with an older adult should be infused with respect, patience, and good listening skills.