Who We Are
Founded by a nurse in Portsmouth, NH in 2005, our goal is to ensure that our members live the lives they want, focused on their families, hobbies, and interests and not on simply getting through each day. We provide guidance and support to help our members avoid health crises. For members who find us during a crisis we help them navigate the path to recovery and return to the life they want for themselves. Our professional caregivers are caring, reliable, trained, insured, and bonded. We have been serving Wayland and the surrounding communities since 2008.
Victoria Abend, Director of Client Services and Co-owner
Victoria was a stay-at-home wife and mother for most of her adult life before opening Extended Family of Wayland. She has a B.A. from Syracuse University and an M. Ed. From Wheelock College which she earned when her kids were young. Victoria has the social-awareness that brings out the best in our caregiving staff and makes our clients feel safe and cared for. Another of her strengths is her ability to cut through red tape – an invaluable trait when advocating for clients (both for medical and non-medical issues) or providing general care management support. Victoria personally hires every employee and makes all hiring and caregiver placement decisions. She is also the brains behind our scheduling and care coordinating effort, managing everyone’s appointments, grocery deliveries, keeping care supplies stocked, etc.
Michael Abend CDP, Director of Business Services and Co-owner
Michael has been a small business owner for 30 years, much of that as a self-employed consultant, serving a client base with varied needs and demands. He has an A.B. from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business. He is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). While much of his earlier experience was in an unrelated field it is relevant to the concept of Extended Family.
Too often challenges facing elderly clients seem overwhelming to the elder and to their families. Michael’s greatest strength is to look at the big picture and how the various parts fit together. He then breaks down the big challenges into manageable parts from which manageable goals can be set and achieved. This insight, combined with his “can do” attitude allows him to help clients develop a strategy to achieve their goal of aging in place or remaining as independent as possible for the rest of their lives. Michael manages the nuts and bolts of the business and is always the first person to meet with potential clients and their families. He is an avid skier, golfer, enjoys reading non-fiction and biographies, and recently took up woodworking.
Tracy Piper, Assistant Director of Client Services
Tracy Piper received a B.A. in Recreation and Geriatrics from SUNY at Brockton. She then put these skills to work both as a chief purser aboard cruise ships and then as an activity coordinator at a nursing home. After a number of years as a full-time mom she returned to the work force with Extended Family of Wayland in 2009, soon after we opened. She quickly demonstrated an ability to put clients at ease and to take charge and get things done when needed. Her strengths include her willingness to roll up her sleeves and do what needs to be done to accomplish a project and her social skills with clients and their families, caregivers – and just about anyone! Tracy assists with care management support including day to day scheduling caregivers. Tracy loves interacting with clients and families and puts even anxious new clients at ease about needing help.
Debbie Shooshanian, R.N., Clinical Coordinator
Debbie received both an Associate in Science degree in Nursing and an Associate degree as a Medical Assistant from Lasell College in Newton. Her career has spanned more than 30 years in a number of different settings. It began at nearby MetroWest Medical Center in Natick where she worked on a cardiac floor gaining vast experience in assessment and treatment of patients with multiple diagnoses. Preferring to spend more time with each patient she chose to move to the Natick VNA as a Home Health Case Manager where she traveled to the homes of patient’s who required post-hospital services. During this period she became qualified as a remote tele-monitor nurse and gained extensive Medicare training. Debbie also took time to work as a Geriatric Case Manager as a patient advocate for elderly clients without family nearby. She was also a Care Manager with LTC insurance responsible for training field nurses in assessments and then setting up in-home services based upon the assessments and monitoring their care. Debbie is presently working towards her Case Manager Certification. She has three grown children and lives in Natick with her husband where she enjoys cheering on the local sports teams, golf, a good book, and her friends and family. Her overall experience and talents in supervising staff and quality control are invaluable to Extended Family.