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Chamber Chat with Alex Cox-Cuzzi, Co-Owner, CarePatrol Central Houston

Chamber Chat with Alex Cox-Cuzzi (she/her/hers), Co-Owner/Operator of CarePatrol Central Houston

It’s sometimes hard for older LGBTQ+ adults to take advantage of the progress that the community has gained in recent years. Each fall, as part of Long Term Planning Month in October and National Family Caregivers Month in November, we turn our attention to elder care. Aging isn’t easy, and it’s much harder when you’re more likely to be alone or have less income or not enjoy partner or spousal benefits, as many LGBTQ+ seniors are.

CarePatrol Central Houston specializes in providing tailored senior placement services to meet the diverse needs of its clients. CarePatrol helps match living arrangements for elderly individuals — be it independent living, assisted living, or memory care — prioritizing safety and quality of life.

Tell us more about you and your role at CarePatrol.

I am a native New Yorker who has been in Texas since 2012 and in Houston since 2017. I live here with my husband, Lew, son, Beau, and dog, Annie. Our business has been open for less than a year, so it was best for only one of us to operate it full time (we aim to bring Lew on full time soon). I manage clients, partnerships, operations, finance, an employee, and anything else that needs to be done.

How did you get involved with CarePatrol?

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and my career has been spent working at early/mid stage startups. For the past few years, Lew and I have been navigating the complicated systems related to caring for our aging parents. It became clear that this was an industry that desperately needs attention and innovative tools. Fortuitously, Lew met a CarePatrol franchise owner, and the business model piqued our interest. We did our due diligence and opened our territory in mid-December.

What do you want the LGBTQ+ community and our members to know about CarePatrol? 

It is critical to us that every individual receives dignified care and support designed for their unique needs. We avidly advocate for all our clients, regardless of their background or identity. We want the LGBTQ+ community to know that, with CarePatrol Central Houston, they will find a welcoming and respectful environment. Our advisors are trained to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ seniors and their loved ones, ensuring that everyone receives the care and support they deserve.

Long Term Planning Month is coming up in October and National Family Caregivers Month is in November. Can you share more about why observing these months matter for families? 

These observances not only spotlight the crucial role of planning for ourselves and aging loved ones in order to prevent hurried decisions under stressful circumstances, they also promote better living situations for seniors today. At CarePatrol Central Houston, we encourage everyone to start the conversation about long-term care early. By doing so, there is ample time to explore different senior living options, understand the associated costs, and ultimately make a decision that everyone is comfortable with.

Long term planning and senior care is difficult for many families. What are some of the concerns you see with lack of planning and how that creates difficulties for families?

Navigating the realms of long-term planning and senior care is overwhelming for most people. A common issue we see is the lack of adequate planning, which often spirals into a crisis, making it harder for families to make well-informed decisions under pressure. This lack of planning may result in hurried decisions, leading to less-than-ideal living situations for seniors. The emotional, financial, and logistical challenges that come with finding the right care can be significantly reduced with proper planning.

What is CarePatrol’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion? 

A hallmark of our dedication to those identifying as LGBTQ+ is our SAGECare certification. This reflects our team's extensive training and our pledge to meet the unique needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ seniors and their loved ones. We want the LGBTQ+ community to know that at CarePatrol, you will find a welcoming atmosphere, knowledgeable advisors, and a relentless commitment to ensuring dignified, personalized care and support.

Why is it important that your organization is part of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce? 

To support the LGBTQ+ community, I know I must be a visible and vocal ally. I joined the Chamber within the first three months of opening our business. The Chamber is an organization that promotes economic success for inclusive businesses. This strengthens the ability to combat the deplorable social persecutions LGBTQ+ identifying humans receive.

What has been key to your career success?

To keep striving for something better no matter what. I’ve faced a lot of hurdles and been stuck in jobs beneath my capabilities. Even though I would be crushed with disappointment, I always had a little fire within me to go for the next best job.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

A quote that I try to live by is: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” - Nelson Mandela

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