Family & Nursing Care

“This is what my life, both personal and professional, is all about. When I founded Family & Nursing Care in 1968, my dream was to provide older adults and their families with peace of mind by offering them competent, devoted home care whenever it was needed. With the work of the Foundation, this care can extend to more people than ever before.”

–Sandy Kursban

Answering a need that's growing more and more urgent.

The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24% from 15% (Population Reference Bureau).

More older adults means an increase in the challenges older adults face—challenges like an insufficient fixed income that does not allow for the kind of care they deserve… even when all that is needed is a few hours of home care per week. In fact, according to AARP, nearly 90% of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their homes as long as possible, and four out of five in that age bracket believe their current home is where they will always live.

Simultaneously, home health aides are predicted to be one of the fastest growing professions nationwide in the next decade.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of openings for home health and personal care aides will increase nearly 37 percent by 2028. (npr)

Our mission is to support low-income seniors and students seeking to become CNAs.

Our mission is to support low-income seniors and students seeking to become CNAs.

Enter the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, established by Family & Nursing Care’s founder Sandy Kursban. A fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Foundation was created in 2008 with the goal of supporting older adults in two very important ways:

  • Awarding grants to community partners to help lower-income older adults gain access to the care they need to remain in their homes.
  • Providing scholarships for students to earn a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate in order to care for the aging population.

Making an impact since 2008.

Since 2008, the Foundation has supported three local nonprofit organizations: Home Care Partners, the Elderly Ministries program of the Community Ministries of Rockville, and the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA).

The Family & Nursing Care Foundation has given $20,000 annually to each of these three organizations. These funds have annually provided more than 7,000 hours of comprehensive home care services, allowing for more low-income seniors to remain in their homes.

In addition, the Family & Nursing Care Foundation has established a scholarship fund at Montgomery College in Maryland to support students pursuing training to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).

Through a partnership with the college, the Foundation has established a $50,000 scholarship; $10,000 will be awarded in each year of a five-year period to selected CNA candidates applying for financial assistance.

“Every CNA certificate awarded by Montgomery College means a larger skilled workforce, lower unemployment, a stronger tax base, and decreased need for government assistance, as well as growth in the home care services field, where there is a vital need for help.”

— Angie Pickwick, Dean of Health Sciences, Montgomery College

Stories of Impact

Here are a couple of stories of grantees who have been directly helped by the Foundation.

The Foundation recently awarded its recurring annual donation in the amount of $10,000 to The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), which will make 460 hours of home care available for at-risk, aging Holocaust survivors. Survivors like nonagenarian Josef Engel, who traveled to the U.S. with his brother to find opportunity 35 years ago. A career opera singer in Germany, Mr. Engel still has an amazing voice…one that he can exercise more frequently now that he is able to receive a few hours of caregiving services each day.

Mr. Engel lives alone and as a social person, this can be challenging. His daughter shared that she was happy that the grant will provide her father with companionship and help with the activities of daily living throughout the week.

Josephine remembers with awe the Spring day in 1945 when Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away, seeing people lined up at pay phones down the block and around the corner, all across New York, waiting to communicate the news to their friends and family. Of course, those were the days before cell phones, before every house had a television, and when Josephine, in her early twenties, took the train from the Bronx to Brooklyn College to earn her social work degree.

Fast forward seven+ decades and Josephine is talkative, proud, and with a lifetime of experience. Josephine’s mind is as sharp as they come—she is witty, laughs heartily, and stays socially connected with friends and family. A client of the Elderly Ministries Program of the Community Ministries of Rockville, one of the grantee organizations supported by the Family & Nursing Care Foundation, Josephine receives home care support from her Caregiver, Baraka.

In addition to light housekeeping, laundry, and companionship, Baraka also assists Josephine with bathing and personal care. It is incredible to think that, were it not for Baraka spending just 2 hours a week with Josephine, she would likely be in a nursing home.

Born and raised in Montgomery County, Mr. Ricketts spent his adolescence on a farm establishing the kind of work ethic you don’t see much anymore, waking up each day at 2 a.m. to milk the cows. He went on to join the military and raise six children.

Now in his eighties, Mr. Ricketts is a stroke survivor and suffers from ongoing back problems and Type 2 diabetes, but is determined to stay busy and work as hard as ever in his apartment. His various hobbies include harvesting Christmas cacti; making safety pin Christmas tree lamps; canning all sorts of food; painting; doing puzzles; and most impressively, latch hooking. His daughter taught him to latch hook and sells his creations at her shop in North Carolina. When she and the grandkids come to visit, they all have sleepovers in Mr. Ricketts’ one bedroom apartment.

Mr. Ricketts’ Caregiver comes to his apartment once a week for personal care, and he feels greatly indebted to her for keeping him company and keeping him clean.

“Thanks to the Family & Nursing Care Foundation CNA scholarship, I’ll be able to fulfill my dream of helping older adults.”

“ I am 19 years old, and am a first-generation graduate in my family. I am currently in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program at Montgomery College, where the professor is amazing and I am learning so much. I cannot wait until I am working in the field.

When I received the [scholarship award] letter, I could not help but hug my mother because of how far I have come—to be recognized by someone who is giving me a chance for the potential I have in this field. I am getting closer to my dream of becoming the first CNA in my family. This scholarship is a clear sign to me to not give up or stop this journey. I must continue on it while having the support of my family, friends, and most especially, YOU. You have impacted my dream in a really huge way. Thank you.”

“I had always felt in my heart that I was meant for more, but was not sure how to attain my goals. [Because of you], I am at Montgomery College and everything has turned around. I love caring for others, observing my surroundings, and listening. I want to be the best CNA I can because I have found my passion. Thank you for your support!”

Want to find out how you can make a difference?