From Caregiver to Innovative CEO with Sydney Hughes

Some of the most passionate entrepreneurs are those who build a business out of a need. That’s how Senior Proof came to life. Sydney Hughes was taking care of her aging father when he had a fall, a common yet dangerous possibility many older people face. Even with her background in the construction industry, Sydney could not find a resource to quickly and expertly senior-proof his home and make it a safer space to age in. So, instead she made it happen herself. In this week’s episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories, Sydney tells the story of building a business as a full time mom and caregiver, with a passion for making homes safer for one of our most vulnerable communities. 

Finding a Passion

Sydney Hughes has always been a hard working woman. Even while being a full-time student, she held a job that kept her busy and taught her the lesson of hard work from an early age. One day at that job, a woman who noticed her hard work opened a door for Sydney to start as an admin for a real estate construction company. While she didn’t know it at the time, this was the start of her 15-year career in construction, working her way up from that first admin position. 

Sydney’s hard work didn’t stop there. On top of being a mom of two and taking care of her household, she stepped up to help care for her father for three years as he was aging. In these three years, she had a wake up call when her dad suffered from a bad fall. She realized it was a product of an unsafe environment and was committed to finding a way to make his home safe again for his new needs. 

Love and Necessity

After her dad’s fall, Sydney could not believe how difficult it was to find someone to hire to make her father’s home safer. There wasn’t a construction company, handyman, or business out there who could do it all or manage the project alone. In her already busy life, she didn’t have the capacity to handle it alone, yet she knew she needed to make it happen for her father. She realized she couldn’t be the only one having these challenges. Founded out of love and necessity, Sydney took this challenge and turned it into a business idea, creating Senior Proof in 2020. 

Building a Brand

When Sydney set out to start Senior Proof, she knew keeping her full time job was not sustainable. She was nervous to fail, but had the support system to give it a go. She took a loan out and started small, doing things “the right way” as she puts it. She wasn’t afraid to put in the work it took to get her business off the ground. She participated in a 14-week “mini MBA” program that helped her define Senior Proof’s operations. She won second place in the Miami-Dade Scale Up competition where she created a network of other amazing small business owners, and most importantly she learned how to recommit time to herself instead of always allocating it to others.  

In just two years, Senior Proof has helped prevent over 10,000 falls. They committed to helping their community, including low-income seniors who have had no choice but to age in place. They offer pre-safety consultations, fall prevention solutions, and resources to caregivers on being proactive with senior safety. Their goal is to soon take their business nationwide.

What else can you expect in this episode:

  • The story of how Sydney found the courage to quit her job and pursue Senior Proof full time. 
  • When Sydney doesn’t believe in luck, but instead relies on strategy. 
  • The personal growth Sydney saw from building a business.
  • Her motivation behind what she does, and why being an inspiration to other women is worth it.
  • Her health tip on maintaining positive mental health. 

Where to find Senior Proof: