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Meet Sophia Akrami of Amber Personal Care

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophia Akrami.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the President of Amber Personal Care, a home care company here in Denver, Colorado. My job at Amber Personal Care is truly my calling! Here at Amber Personal Care, we help seniors and those in need of support to live independently and thrive at home. My story starts in the beautiful city of Shiraz, Iran. I was born in 1966 to a very kind and liberal Muslim father and a bright, hardworking, and feminist Baha’i mother. Shiraz, known as the City of Secrets, is a city with over 3000 years of history, poetry, and rich culture. People from Shiraz are famous for their hospitality and laid-back personalities. My childhood was nothing short of amazing until the 1979 revolution happened and then the Iran-Iraq war started. When I think of my life before the Iranian revolution, colorful memories of joy and happiness come back to me. But everything after the revolution comes back to me in black and white, and I am reminded of those difficult, dark days.

It was time for my family to leave Iran.
I left Iran in 1989 and went to Lahore, Pakistan where I lived for ten months. Eventually, I moved to Denver, Colorado on April 26th, 1990. I started two jobs, signed up for college, transferred to a university, met my better half, got married, and graduated with a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995. Life was amazing. My husband, an entrepreneur in the hi-tech industry, was working on his second start-up company in Longmont, Colorado. Together, we also started investing in residential and commercial real estate, and I started managing the real estate. We had our first son in 1998 and our second son in 1999. My first exposure to my work today was when my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The news was devastating to both of us. But we overcame the initial shock and kept moving forward with our lives: working, raising our two fabulous boys, and my husband started therapies for his MS. We moved on!

I was a full-time mother, involved with my kids’ schools, PTA, Sunday School and I managed our real estate company. Then life took another twist. In August 2005, my mother had a massive stroke that impacted her vision and short-term memory. She had to be assisted 24/7. I was devastated and scared. I knew that our mom did not want to live in a nursing home; that would have killed her. So, with a commitment from my amazing brother and my husband, we brought mom home and started the home care journey. The first year was crushing, but we never gave up. I got involved in the home care industry and learned so much from a client’s perspective. After using agency after agency, we ended up hiring caregivers on our own and finally we were successful in finding amazing caregivers who helped us care for our mom for 9.5 years. My mother passed away in 2014.

Life took another turn!
My husband was the founder of two hi-tech companies in Longmont Colorado and the founder of Industrialex Manufacturing company who he founded in 1995. In 2008, his MS started getting worse and his mobility and day-to-day activities needed to change. He is now on a full power wheelchair and still works full time as the President of Industrialex Manufacturing company. He always inspired people and he continues to inspire even more people in the way he has handled his personal life, his professional life and his MS.

And this is how my life journey brought me to where I am today!
My personal journey in taking care of my mother for almost 10 years and living with my amazing husband who has progressive MS helped me understand the needs of home care from a client’s perspective. Combining this understanding with my business mindset, I knew I had to be involved in the home care industry. In 2017 I began my search and finally took over a very small home care agency in 2018.

Amber Personal Care is a non-medical home care agency in Denver, Colorado. We serve clients from Longmont to Colorado Springs. We accept Medicaid, private pay, long-term insurance, and soon will be accepting VA benefits as well. We have an amazing team and staff that go above and beyond to serve elders and their families in our community.

Has it been a smooth road?
Lack of home care is a national crisis. We are facing extraordinary demographic shifts that already have created challenges in our society. Each day, 10,000 boomers turn 65, and over the next 30 years, the population of older adults will nearly double, with the largest percentage increase among those 85 and older. These shifts profoundly impact families across America and demand new policy solutions. As a business owner, my number one challenge is staff recruitment and wages. We provide home care services to all who need it, including seniors on Medicaid. However, we need much higher wages for our caregivers. Public reimbursements that pay for our services are too low. Having higher public reimbursements would allow us to overcome our greatest obstacle to providing home care services to everyone that needs it. I hope the administration, state policymakers, and community leaders will make the changes necessary to help home care providers and families solve these serious caregiving challenges.

Please tell us about Amber Personal Care.
Amber Personal Care is a non-medical home care company with its main office in Denver, Colorado. We provide older adults with quality care that enables them to live happier, healthier lives at home. Our team members provide the highest level of quality care and bring a positive, balanced approach to their clients lives. Is our city a good place to do what you do? There is a need for what we do all over the nation. The U.S. population is rapidly aging: roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center. More than half, eventually, will need some form of long-term care here in Colorado and across the United States.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
There is a need for what we do all over the nation. The U.S. population is rapidly aging: Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, according to the Pew Research Center. More than half eventually will need some form of long-term care here in Colorado and across the united states.

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Image Credit:
KIRA WHITNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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