Who We Are
We believe in the connectedness of life. That all life is precious and created equal. As such, we respect all beings and want to give voice to those less powerful or just a bit more quiet than the others. We want to give voice to our Older Adults and our Children.
We revel in the joys and experience of those who have been on earth longer than us, who have seen and experienced more than we can sometimes even imagine. We believe their experience lends itself to wisdom that we all can learn from, even if that wisdom may be cloudy from age or disease.
We also revel in the joys and innocence that comes from those who are experiencing life with fresh new eyes and innocents hearts. We believe our children, who need guidance and gentle boundaries, also have something to teach us. That being jaded through time, we perhaps have lost a wonderful perspective of life that all things are possible.
The life of the caregiver can be difficult at times. Much energy is spent on caring for other family’s loved one during odd shifts while missing our own loved ones. Yet, we gain a powerful satisfaction from knowing that our care makes a difference. That as we care, we offer a connection, a friendship that gives back to us and makes us feel good about our place in the world. We are needed and the care we provide really makes a difference in the world.
Philia knows how hard that the caregivers personal lives may be. Therefore, we do our best to care for them.
Kira Tewalt, Owner/ Founder
Philia is founded and managed by Kira Tewalt (Kira with a long “i”), a working mom. Kira once left a successful position because the location and demands of the job were antithetical to picking up her children from school and driving them to their afterschool activities.
But that is only one factor that motivated her to founding this caregiving business. When she was younger, her grandfather came to live with her. And she saw first hand how our older citizens, our most wise and experienced family and community members, are undervalued in our society. How we sometimes concentrate on caring for the physical needs, but forget their spiritual or emotional needs. And, yet, they aren’t able to attend to their own needs. This can lead to a spiral of depression.
She once dreamed of having a large piece of property where seniors and orphaned youth could live in a mutually beneficial community; and while Philia certainly isn’t that utopia, there exist elements to that dream within Philia.
Philia isn’t just a manifestation of her dream however. Kira has extensive and varied education, experience and accomplishments that provide the foundation for her success as owner of Philia. She has over 20 years of successful financial, program management, and systems engineering experience. She once even helped to turn-around a small company in Bolivia. With an M.B.A. and a Masters of Systems Engineering, she possesses the perfect combination of education for Philia because it provides both the well-rounded business smarts to lead a successful business and the knowledge to build a robust system. What is a business after all, if not a system of systems – various functions, people and technologies, working together towards common goals.
Kira lives in Washington DC with her husband, 2 children, dog and 2 cats. She enjoys spending time with her family and hiking/ running through woods with her dog.
Philia employs the best caregivers because we’ve implemented systems to ensure that we Compel, Access and Retain only the best people who have a certain Indefinite Quality we look for. (CARe IQ)
• Compel – Philia attracts the best people by offering competitive wages and benefits.
• Access – Philia requires the Caregiver applicants to pass a written test that measures their technical skills and judgment. The applicants must also pass federal, state and county criminal background and driver record checks. We also drug test the applicants as well as have random drug testing on the employees.
• Retain – Philia retains the highly qualified caregivers by offering on-going professional development and training.
• IQ – There is a certain intangible quality we look for beyond being highly responsible and competent caregivers. We look for caregivers who understand the holistic nature of caregiving. People who understand they aren’t there to only fulfill someone’s physical needs, but also to offer a connection of friendship.