Giving Back: Luma Marcaccio

As a child in Venezuela, Lumareli Marcaccio often accompanied her abuelita, a retired nurse, to volunteer at local medical institutions. Caring for the bed-ridden and hospice patients taught her one valuable lesson: that elderly care was a family’s and a community’s responsibility.

So when Marcaccio’s other grandmother, “Nonna,” as she calls her, showed signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s, Marcaccio immediately got her round-the-clock help. She hired and trained the staff herself, stayed abreast of medication disbursements, and assisted with meal planning and grocery shopping. But when Nonna's children took back the reigns and placed her in a facility, Marcaccio watched Nonna "deteriorate drastically” outside “of her familiar surroundings."

Later, after moving to the United States, Marcaccio saw many of America’s elderly lagging in facilities; they needed better care. She was galvanized to open Boston's ComForcare Senior Services in July 2011. Her goal? To improve the quality of life for the cognitively challenged and the elderly within their own homes.

Marcaccio, a civil engineer by training, thought of everything. Not only does ComForcare provide home remodeling services to help clients with mobility issues, they also offer personal care suited to each person's particular needs. For example, ComForcare provides “services in different languages, retrofitting services for accessibility and safety, and training caregivers in different chronic diseases so that we can tailor our care plan to any person regardless of their health issue," says Marcaccio. When asked how other entrepreneurs could turn personal tragedies into triumphs, she responds simply: "Faith…everything in life happens for a reason."

by Stephanie Fairyington