My mother, Janet Sherwood, was certainly one to live in moments that matter. She founded Classic in 1974 as a nanny recruitment agency.
That agency was the manifestation of the challenges she overcame in trying to organize childcare for three small children in order to return to her native Australia to be with her dying father.
After returning to Canada, Janet’s network of friends wanted help recruiting nannies so they too might work and travel. An original Mompreneur, she founded Classic Personnel in 1974. Not soon after, clients and friends began asking for domestic and nursing assistance for their aging parents – an easy jump as my mother was a registered nurse.
By 1980, Classic had become one of the very first home health care agencies in Vancouver.
Based on Janet’s personal service, responsiveness, professionalism and compassion, Classic thrived. Then, as now, it was well known that a call to Classic would get you the help you needed no matter the situation – Janet Sherwood would see to it personally.
Mom used to tell us “you can’t fake compassion.”
She was right.
The 90’s saw Classic Caregivers Ltd. expand with nurses, therapists and exceptional caregivers, many of whom are still with us today. Classic focused on brain injury, stroke recovery, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, cancer and palliative care. Looking back,
Classic was truly a BC home care pioneer. It is one of Vancouver’s last remaining ‘original’ agencies.
Janet was diagnosed with cancer in 1995. The bile duct cancer that eventually took her life was initially treated with surgery and a lot of optimism. Circumstance demanded my wife Susanne, myself and many others take permanent leadership roles to steward Classic’s service through a difficult time.
In 1999, my mother died peacefully at home, surrounded by family and caregivers, just as she had helped countless clients to do over the years.
We would not be Classic today, had we entertained any of the many solicitations of expansion, franchising or global group mergers.
Organic growth has preserved quality of service, which is more important to our clients. We are the ‘right size’ for our industry. Big enough to have a solid foundation, yet small enough for a client to call the boss and get through.
Janet Sherwood would be proud to know that Classic has stayed true to her legacy. We continue to develop a talented team of nurses, coordinators and caregivers, who understand home care. It’s truly about living in those moments that matter.
What moments will you live in today?
President and moment reveller