The founder of Advocates for the Independent, Kim Tweedel, knows what it's like to be in desperate need of compassionate, skilled care at home for a loved one.
Her grandmother was placed in a nursing home in 2008, and the conditions were less than ideal. As a respiratory therapist, she decided to leave her career behind to provide the care her grandmother needed and deserved.
In 2010, Advocates for the Independent was born, so that others in the Houston area would have access to the best possible care and the chance to continue living in the comfort of home.
If you're facing the daunting task of selecting the right care solution for someone you love, we want you to know you're not alone.
As one of the top-rated home care agencies in Houston, TX and the surrounding areas, we’re here to assist you every step of the way with helpful resources, educational information, and answers to all of your questions.
Accredited by the Better Business Bureau, we are also proud recipients of the BBB’s Awards for Excellence designation.
Kim Tweedel, Founder/Owner
Kim Tweedel, founder and owner, has a history of caring for older adults that goes back to her childhood. With her love for the elderly, she enjoyed spending time in the nursing home with her aunt, visiting relatives and residents who had no other visitors. As an adult, she provided care for both of her grandmothers in their final years.
With a degree in respiratory therapy from Lamar University and a former career as a respiratory therapist, along with 20 years of sales experience in the molecular biology and cell culture field, she opened the doors to Advocates for the Independent in 2010, fulfilling her natural inclination to care for seniors. She truly believes that if a senior wants to age in place in the home he or she has spent a lifetime building, then that option should be available. With Advocates for the Independent, this dream has become a reality.
Kim is deeply involved in the local community, helping the Chamber of Commerce promote local businesses, and also volunteers time to conservation groups to help prevent overdevelopment of our beautiful, natural lands. In her spare time, she loves cooking, gardening, spending time at the beach, and is an avid hunter.
Fatjona Tula, Operations Manager
Fatjona was born in Shkoder, Albania, coming to the United States in 2010. In her role as operations manager, she is involved with long-term planning to create initiatives that further the company’s overall goals, along with assessing and analyzing documentations, motivating our employees to perform at their best, communicating with the board on company priorities and projects, identifying potential problems and points of friction and working to find solutions – and much more! She has worked in health care for over a decade, with a strong background in home care and in working with those with disabilities. Her strengths are her positive and caring demeanor, her honesty, flexibility, trustworthiness, and prompt attention to meeting our clients’ needs. She is the mother of two daughters, Meghan and Juliana, and enjoys photography, reading, traveling, music, lying on the beach, and retail therapy.
Tim O’Brien, Community Liaison
Tim has dedicated his life to helping the aging community. As our community liaison, he is involved with marketing and educating the community about the services we provide, meeting with potential clients and guiding them through the assessment process. He was born in New Brunswick, NJ but moved to Texas with his family shortly thereafter, so considers himself a native Texan. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin in 1995, and has been in the medical field for the last decade. Tim resides in Houston with his wife and four children. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, gardening, and following Houston’s sports teams.
Michael Simmons, Care Manager
Michael has been with Advocates for the Independent since 2015, after spending ten years working with differently abled children in inner-city schools as an occupational therapist aide. As care manager, Michael is responsible for scheduling and our new hire orientations. Born and raised in Nederland, TX, he has lived in Houston now for many years. His main passion is helping people, but he also enjoys gardening in his spare time.
Denise Johnson, Scheduler
Denise Johnson has served as Scheduler for Advocates for the Independent for nearly two decades, and loves what she does, especially going out to meet clients and spend time with them. Denise handles scheduling for our clients and skills training for our caregivers. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and grandchildren, as well as gospel music and reading devotionals.
Mary Allen, Office Assistant / Caregiver
Mary Allen serves as our office assistant as well as a caregiver. She was born and raised in Orange, TX, moved to Baytown, TX in 2011. She has two beautiful kids, Christyan and Saige, and enjoys spending time with loved ones and having a good time. She has been part of the Advocates for the Independent team since 2015, and truly enjoys working in the health care field. Putting smiles on our clients’ faces and making a difference in their everyday living is what she loves the most.
Why You Can Feel, Secure With Our Carefully Chosen Care Team
Finding just the right caregiver for a senior you love can be challenging. You want someone with a kind and caring heart, who is skilled in meeting a variety of care needs, and who is compatible, for a comfortable bond of friendship.
At Advocates for the Independent, we take time to thoroughly interview, screen, and train our care staff. Families have the peace of mind in knowing the caregiver their loved one is paired with will be fully equipped to meet their needs, and also carefully matched based on personality type, likes/dislikes, and more.
We run extensive criminal background and reference checks on all of our staff members.
Because we know how important it is to be matched with a caregiver who is compassionate and skilled, we consistently ask ourselves this question: “Would we want this person taking care of our loved ones at home?” Only those who meet our strict criteria become part of the Advocates for the Independent family.
Our training process begins with a live skills evaluation for each caregiver, followed by appropriate training based on each person’s particular strengths and opportunities for growth. We then provide ongoing training to ensure skills stay sharp and up to date at all times.
Contact Advocates for the Independent, one of the top-rated home care agencies in Houston, TX and surrounding areas, to learn more about how we can help someone you love live life to the fullest.