Through coronavirus challenges, Lenka’s Loving Care wins Summit Chamber customer service award
FRISCO — When Lenka Lesmerises received her license a year ago from the state Department of Public Health and Environment for at-home caregiving, she could never have expected what the next 12 months would hold.
For the business owner’s team of caregivers and house cleaners at Lenka’s Loving Care, 2019-20 was an unprecedented challenge in caregiving. And that was especially true for so many members of the local elderly population the company serves.
The company was servicing about 60 locals, most in their 80s, before the novel coronavirus hit in March. The burden immediately fell on Lesmerises and her team. Decisions had to be made. And the lack of testing and delay in results made the situation “terrifying at times,” Lesmerises said. Namely, it was scary to undertake the company’s services in hands-on care. That included helping older people at higher risk of COVID-19 who still needed help recovering from surgeries or who were suffering from dementia or Parkinson’s disease. They still relied on Lesmerises’ company to execute such simple tasks such as showering, getting dressed or preparing a meal.
“Lots of clients had no one else but us,” Lesmerises said. “So we had to make sure we are going in (safely). Lots of clients canceled their services or recommended we could postpone everything if their family was around. It took until the beginning of June for everyone to feel comfortable. There was a limited amount of protective gear at the beginning. There was a lack of communication. Public health didn’t know what to do. It was the most challenging times.”
Luckily for her and her company, Lesmerises said she could lean on a group of employees who put their heart into what they do. This group of longtime locals had the connections with clients to make the best of a bad situation. They pivoted to helping many of their clients with grocery shopping during the pandemic, even those who previously would have had no problem going to a store.
It was time-specific services like these that led Lesmerises’ business to be named the Customer Service Champion in the Summit Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Excellence Awards contest.
“For Lenka, in a field that is rife with difficulty, her glowing online reviews and feedback from customers is remarkable,” chamber spokeswoman Angelique Lochridge said. “In addition, her policy of quarterly visits by a supervisor to visit one-on-one with customers is key to verifying that her customers and their caregivers are a good fit — from personality to workload.”
- Ben Fogle Award: Lori Gleason
- Best Place to Work: SummitCove Lodging
- Best New Business: The Frosted Flamingo
- Large Business of Year: Summit Express
- Medium Business of Year: Krystal Media
- Small Business of Year: Blue River Vision
- Team of the Year: town of Frisco
- Customer Service Champion: Lenka’s Loving Care
- Environmental Champion: Innovative Family Dental
- Workplace Wellness Champion: Mountain Comfort Furnishings & Design
- Marketing Champion: Building Hope Summit County
Lesmerises said her business also has adjusted to helping some potential local clients relocate their elderly loved ones from assisted living facilities elsewhere. Lesmerises said because some assisted living facilities have seen coronavirus outbreaks and because many are not permitting loved ones to visit, there has been interest in relocating those elders to Summit County homes where her company could help.
As for her business clients with difficulties such as dementia, Lesmerises said the hardest part for them is not being able to be in close touch with their families. That’s where Lenka’s Loving Care could fill the void, at least a little bit.
“For lots of people, it is that physical touch of holding hands with their daughter and son,” Lesmerises said. “… They do not remember one day to another, so that definitely is a big challenge that is lingering. We have clients that do not comprehend what is going on, and it scares them.”
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