Wowzitude started with a problem. In 2020, Lucille Steiner, the 97-year-old mother of Wowzitude founder Susan Black, was in an Assisted Living residence, recovering from COVID-19.
Lucille struggled with the anxiety of the pandemic's physical separation. Isolated from her family and friends, she was also dealing with the loss of in-person programs which connected her to her community. Like so many other family members of long-term care residents, Susan was concerned about her mother's social and emotional needs.
A key benefit of quality communities is their commitment to provide compelling, engaging programs to help residents socialize and connect with peers. Susan saw the need for such programs to continue even with vital social distancing.
Susan and Lucille were inspired to develop “Wowzitude”. They worked together to develop a series of remote, live, interactive programs designed to bring elders together with their community of friends and family.
The response was immediate - and positive. Weary after a torrent of bad news and divisive politics through the pandemic, families were delighted to have something fresh and positive to talk about with their loved ones. "They would say, 'Thank god I have something else to talk to Mom about - and they'd give me more ideas to build programs around," says Susan.
"My mother urged to me to expand it, and to think about how to run it as a business. It's not surprising that she would think this way - she earned her MBA in 1946! She is totally a co-founder - at the age of 97."
Sadly, Lucille passed away in July 2020, but this remarkable and accomplished woman continues to be Susan’s inspiration and role model.