Wendy Sabin, Sabin Elder Care Solutions {Our NJ Mompreneur of the Week}


Wendy Sabin, our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, was balancing her work as a clinical social worker and caring for her aging mom when she had an idea. She knew firsthand how hard it was to help a parent age in place and wanted everyone to have the support and access to services she did, so she left her professional job and launched Sabin Elder Care Solutions in 2013. Today, her private geriatric care practice helps families with individualized, comprehensive care management plans and advocacy so that caregivers can find peace of mind in an often stressful and overwhelming situation. We sat down with this Cedar Grove mom to Ben, 29, and Aliza, 27, to find out the best time to start looking for a care manager, how she chooses to de-stress, and her go-to spot for everything fitness in Montclair.  

Wendy Sabin, Sabin Elder Care Solutions talk

Wendy Sabin, the founder of Sabin Elder Care and our NJ Mompreneur of the Week, is consulting with a client.

Please share a bit about your family. I grew up in South Orange, and my husband, Jay, and I raised our family in Montclair before moving just up the hill to Cedar Grove recently. Though I’m only in my 50s, seeing what I see daily, we decided to be proactive and move into a home that will make aging in place much easier on us later. We’re very happy with Cedar Grove, but because of its proximity to Montclair and the fact that I spent so many years there, I still feel like Montclair is my community. It’s where my business and practice are and where I spend most of my time. Our kids live in NYC and Brooklyn, so it’s nice that they’re not too far away.

Wendy Sabin, Sabin Elder Care Solutions mom

Caring for her mom (left) helped Wendy Sabin see the importance of having a healthcare navigator throughout all stages of aging.

What led you to launch your business, Sage Elder Care Services? After getting my Master’s in Social Work from NYU, I started my career as a clinical social worker in the Employee Assistance Program field. Later, I worked as a social worker for two Essex County synagogues for Jewish Family Services, which led me to work within two local senior centers. While there, I realized the importance of caregiver support groups and the need for professional support services for seniors and their family members who are aging in place. Around that same time, my mother was ill and needed more support than I alone could give her–having a care manager for her was invaluable. 

Do you have any advice for those who might need your service in the future? Adult children’s caregivers should start looking to care managers when their parents are aging in place. We hear from a lot of people when a crisis occurs, and of course, we handle that, but having a prevention care plan already in place gives peace of mind and helps things run smoothly from the get-go. 

Wendy Sabin Sabin Elder care Solutions man

Pet Therapy services are a welcome aspect to many of Sabin’s private clients and caregivers.

Tell us a bit about your pet therapy program. How exactly does this work within your business? It’s not the primary focus of my practice, but when appropriate or requested by my private clients, my dogs come along as therapy dogs–the seniors and our caregivers love it. I get so many people calling me about this service, so when it doesn’t work for us, I’m happy to refer them to other agencies, such as Creature Comforts, which has many pet therapy teams. 

What has been your biggest challenge since launching your business, and how did you overcome it? Since Sabin Elder Care Solutions launched, the biggest challenge has undoubtedly been the pandemic. People could not spend time caring for their loved ones who needed help, and everyone was scared because so much was unknown. It was an urgent and important time and the biggest amount of career work I’ve done. I worked with many people in the geriatric world—all of our colleagues and friends banded together to help one another so we could help as many people as possible. 

 Is there a particular client that stands out? We’ve made and continue to make a difference in so many people’s lives, so it’s hard to single just one out—you grow close to so many. But recently, there was an 87-year-old woman who was sick, living alone, had no children to help her, and refused to move where she could get some help. Her brother, not much younger than her, was doing his best to be her caregiver, but it was becoming too much for him and taking a toll on his well-being. It got to the point where he couldn’t do it anymore, and even though she continued to refuse to move, we worked with them to help her find the right fit. Now she’s in assisted living and gets three delicious meals daily, the care she needs, and they are both happy and thriving. 

Wendy Sabin Sabin Elder Care Solutions women

Wendy Sabin, with Sabin Elder Care Managers, Dawn Paglia Berman (center) and Dolores DeFranco (right).

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a very stressful day? All caregivers need to make sure they take care of themselves, too. On the weekends, I make a conscious effort to rest and relax because if I ignore my own self-care, I’m not as effective or productive as I would otherwise be. I like to knit, which I find so relaxing, but what helps me is being very physically active. I hike a lot with my dogs, play pickleball, go bike riding, and take many fitness classes. 

Tell us about some of your favorite NJ businesses and NJ spots that you and your family enjoy. I love DeNovo European Pub, a wonderful cafe in Upper Montclair with really great cocktails, too. FITloft is my go-to for everything fitness. The classes there are amazing. The MAX Challenge is another favorite—I did it to get fit fast and shred for my son’s wedding recently, and it was very effective. I also love 212 Salon and Day Spa. It’s wonderful and my go-to for hair.   

What’s your best practical advice for a mompreneur just starting? In addition to this business, I’m a professional networker and a human connector. I work with a lot of solopreneurs in the Montclair vicinity. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a great career coach specializing in working with women, specifically moms. You need someone that really understands what you’re dealing with. I also recommend that entrepreneurs join networking groups (I have my own Sabin Elder Care Professional Networking Group), especially those in their field, and go to as many events to make helpful connections. 

For more information on Wendy Sabin and Sabin Elder Care Solutions, please see their website and Facebook pages. 

About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, smartbeautyguide.com, zwivel.com, and beautyinthebag.com, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.