Five years ago, Barb Achenbaum considered creating a company that would help adult children understand important parts of their parents’ lives.
A Chicago native who earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Princeton University, she’d been living in New Canaan for about 10 years and had come to know firsthand what it meant to help organize finances, healthcare and estate planning after taking on responsibilities for both her own parents and father-in-law. Just at that moment, the position of executive director at Staying Put in New Canaan opened up and her husband, Jonathan, encouraged Achenbaum to apply. “But I said, I hadn’t had a job in 23 years because I had been a professional volunteer,” Achenbaum recalled on a recent morning from a conference room in Staying Put’s Pine Street offices. “I had done a lot, I was involved in the PTA, Encore, and all of these different organizations. It’s a real job, but not a paying one.