“This dream has been in my heart for such a long time,” said Sandi Heintz, 48, of her upcoming Right at Home opening. “I want to fill the gap and provide quality and loving care to allow the elderly to age with grace and dignity in their home environment.”
Heintz started caring for others at a very young age – she became a Certified Nursing Assistant at only 16. “I always knew I wanted to be a caregiver, and my relationship with my grandparents was a huge influence,” she said. “When I was looking for a job in high school, I started in the laundry room at a nearby nursing home. I thought I’d rather be a nursing assistant than do this. I wanted to talk to the residents and care for them, so I became a CNA.”
The driven young Heintz continued working with the elderly throughout high school and college as a private duty aid, as well as in a for-profit nursing home and on an ambulance. She went on to get her master’s degree in public administration with a plan to work on healthcare policies for the elderly. But her new marriage and a move to Houston directly upon graduation changed her plans. Although entering motherhood and spending time at home with her children halted her training to become a nursing home administrator, she nurtured her passion by becoming a volunteer ombudsman for nursing home residents. “The ombudsman is an advocate for assisted living and nursing home residents, and my role was to train other volunteers and participate in resident councils and family councils at the nursing facilities to ensure that the quality of care was what they expected and that their rights were obtained,” she said. For the past eight years, Heintz has also volunteered as a Meals on Wheels driver, which entails bringing home-bound seniors meals. “I’ve really enjoyed the companionship I bring to them in the process,” she said.
After working as a contracting consultant as her children grew up (two are now in college with one still at home), she serendipitously found out about Right at Home and is thrilled to finally see her dreams fully realized with the support of her husband, who will help her out while maintaining his full-time job as an environmental manager at an industrial chemical company. She’s also happy to have the support of her children, who she says have been a big part of this process. “This is supplemental to my family,” said Heintz. “That’s who I’ve cared for for a long time, and now I’m extending that out.”
How did you learn about the brand?
I had been praying to God to either take away the desire to work with the elderly or fulfill it, and the next thing I knew, I heard about Right at Home on Fox News. When I researched the company, my heart overflowed with desire to be a provider of quality care. I ended up using a franchise consultant as a sounding board but really didn’t expect to buy a franchise.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Right at Home?
I really loved their values and mission statement, which align with mine: to provide quality care for those in their home environment. I’ve tried to enter this field numerous times, so it’s been my heart’s desire to make a difference in the lives of the elderly.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?
I enjoy bible study, time with family and friends, biking, cooking and enjoying food.