Margot Nijsure started her company, Montclair Elder Services, just a few months into the pandemic. It was both the hardest and the best time to start a business, according to Margot. Older adults and those who love them needed help navigating elder care in a frightening world turned upside down by Covid. Margot had the depth and breadth of experience to provide that assistance.
Margot has a master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University, and she’s a licensed nursing home administrator. She ran nursing homes in the Bay Area for 15 years, which was tough work but incredibly fulfilling. With a young son at home, she switched gears to become executive director of a home care company for another few years, until the pandemic led her to examine her priorities even further.
After months of sheltering in place and helping her son, who’s now 10, manage the challenges of remote learning, Margot hit the reset button on her life in a big way. She left her job, launched Montclair Elder Services, and hasn’t looked back.
Frail, older adults with complex medical issues — the “old, old women,” as Margot calls them — are her special passion. Margot got her undergraduate degree in women’s studies, and the fact is that that the majority of older adults are women.
“There aren’t many things more personal than caring for your elders, and the Jewish community does a great job of that. I joined Hebrew Free Loan’s Business Circle so I could spread that message to other business owners who are equally passionate about Hebrew Free Loan’s mission.”
Margot understands that aging can be scary and isolating, and she guides elders and their families through the difficult conversations it takes to figure out what they want, what they need, and what’s realistic. Whether it’s home care, medical care, home renovations, nursing home transitions, or finances, Margot helps people think creatively about their options and make decisions that work for everyone involved.
Margot is one of the newest members of our Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle. She has been active in the Jewish community since college, when she got involved in Hillel and experienced antisemitism from some of the anti-Zionist groups on campus. She spent almost a year in Israel through Project Otzma after college, and she’s currently a member of Oakland’s Temple Sinai. She’s also a leader with Kesher Oak Hadassah, working to empower young Jewish women leaders.
“The Jewish community is an emotional security blanket for me. I know it would be here for me if things got bad, and I’m glad I can be here for others. I take comfort in seeing how Hebrew Free Loan has history and stability, yet continues to evolve and change as the world around us changes.”
Margot has always been inspired by opportunities to work with others to create a better world. Back when she was a nursing home administrator, this meant helping to craft an organizational culture of mutual respect and care for residents, staff, and families. Now that she’s the owner and director of Montclair Elder Services, she takes satisfaction in providing personalized care and expert guidance to elders and their loved ones. At the end of the day, her goal is to help elders age as well and as independently as possible, providing the support families need to worry less and enjoy the time they have together.