If you or a loved one is growing older and needing care to maintain independence, then Beth Cayce has been a blessing to you, whether you’ve met her or not. The Georgia State University graduate, and founder of Atlanta’s CaraVita Home Care, played an instrumental role on the passages of the Proxy Care Act and the Aging in Place legislation, respectively. Together, these two shifts in state policy allow more seniors to live at home and receive greater affordable care than ever before.
Cayce credits her education at Georgia State University (B.S., physical therapy, 1975 and M.S., health professions leadership, 1985) in preparing her for this unique career. While her bachelor’s in physical therapy opened doors for her in health care, her master’s degree in health professional leadership taught her business applications that serve her well today. She also took advantage of the gerontology certificate offered by the university to prepare her for work with the elderly.
For Cayce, easing the caregivers’ burdens is both a business venture and a calling. She saw the price her own mother paid by caring for her grandparents, realizing that caring for an aging loved one takes a toll on family members who accept this labor of love. Cayce remembers building her home health care business with her mother’s experience in mind. The burden on caregivers is expected to rise as the number of elderly grows; by 2030 in Atlanta, one in five will be a senior citizen.
In 1998, she founded CaraVita Home Care to help the elderly and their families navigate the challenges of aging. The company provides a range of healthcare assistance to elderly living in a wide range of locations from skilled nursing facilities to their own homes. Cayce has a particular passion for providing care for the elderly who wish to stay in their own homes. Using technology like SmartHouse equipment to combine health care management with senior care, CaraVita serves hundreds of seniors monthly throughout metro Atlanta.
In addition to offering home are services, CaraVita operates two senior living facilities, as well as The Academy at CaraVita, a training center for prospective certified nursing assistants and families seeking to master best practices in care. The company is also very active in the community, showcasing independence technology at their SmartHouse office, and offering experiential dementia awareness programs like the Virtual Dementia Tour free each month to the community. The company even built CaraSyst, a web-based electronic medical record and risk management system designed especially for senior living facilities.
For their amazing efforts, Cayce and her team have not gone unnoticed. She was named Georgia Small Business Person of the Year for 2013 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and her company was listed among Atlanta’s Best Places to Work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Last year, the Georgia Senior Living Association (GSLA) unveiled the Beth Cayce Leadership Award, an annual lifetime achievement award named in honor of Cayce, and given to the state’s most accomplished professional in senior care.
Today, Cayce focuses on more than just business success. She looks for ways to share her knowledge with the next generation of health care professionals and future leaders around the world. She is one of a dozen or so alumni mentors for the current physical therapy students, and is active in a host of community organizations ranging from Georgia Watch to Roswell, Inc.
“GSU so prepared me to give back in so many ways,” Cayce says. “I have been blessed to have a great career working with seniors especially those with dementia but also to have the chance to leverage my successes and expertise for the benefit of others. Locally, I love to assist future leaders in our industry and connect with organizations building our cities, our economies, our communities and our policies. Globally, I’ve been so blessed to have founded a training institute and business that can help empower marginalized individuals around the world.”
Beyond her passion for seniors, Cayce spends approximately a month of each year in Africa, bringing health care, leadership and community building education to Kenya. She is a co-founder of Care to Learn, a nongovernmental organization devoted to equipping Kenyan leaders to change their own communities. Cayce’s group provides training in life skills, family counseling, biblical studies and health prevention. In addition the group conducts service projects and is developing a retreat center. Cayce’s group expects to return to Kenya in July and November to continue their work. For details on participating in one of the Care to Learn trips or to connect with Cayce and CaraVita Home Care, contact Cayce’s team at firstname.lastname@example.org.