We started Constance to provide families with the support necessary to allow their loved ones to safely maintain their independence as they age. We came to this idea based on our personal experience, but have to admit that we started by trying to solve a different problem.
When co-founder Henry Yaeger and his father, Bill, got into a discussion about the mobility challenges seniors face as they stop driving, they thought there might be an opportunity to serve families like their own with a transportation solution. But after asking around and hearing many stories from friends, neighbors, and other family members, they quickly realized the problem was something much bigger. Many families are overwhelmed with taking care of their aging parents AND managing their work schedules along with raising their own families. They want peace of mind, while respecting the desires of their loved ones to continue to live independently.
Henry and Bill put together a small team to do some surveys. The research convinced them that not only is there a major need, but most of the solutions are healthcare-oriented and generally become available only once an older person already needs a lot of direct care.
What about helping families with relatively healthy seniors who are still living independently?
So, they started Constance. Henry Yaeger became the Constance CEO, putting to use more than 25 years of experience in roles including corporate strategy at Hershey Foods and finance at Unilever. Morgan Reiss, one of Bill and Henry’s interns who played a crucial role early on, became a co-founder following her graduation from Elizabethtown College with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, summa cum laude.
With more intern support, they continued their research -- eventually surveying more than 1,000 and interviewing over 150 people -- and developed several product concepts. Following lean startup principles, the team initiated a simple version of the Constance Check-In service. Along the way, they got great advice from more experienced entrepreneurs, iterated their offerings, and met outstanding collaborators.
Some of these collaborators they now count as part-time members of the Constance leadership team:
Greg Buckwalter, our Senior Software Architect, earned a Master in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, previously worked as a software engineer at Microsoft, and has experience in several technology startups.
Lisa Bond, the Constance Product Manager, is a startup veteran with more than 20 years of health IT experience, spanning electronic medical records, care coordination, and value-based medicine products.
Jane Reitmeyer, Director of Quality, holds a Master in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, is a geriatric specialist, and has several startup experiences including participation in the DreamIt accelerator program in 2015.
We feel grateful and privileged to be trusted by so many families who use our services to find peace of mind, while giving seniors something to look forward to each day.