Remain at Home Healthcare Treats Golden Years with Golden Rule

Cléa Hernandez

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Who will take care of us when we can no longer take full care of ourselves? Unfortunately, this universal fear is often the prize we win for surviving into our elder years. The good news is that Brian Carrigan, Founder of Remain at Home Senior Care (RAH), is proving that we can transform our current senior care model into one that guarantees comfort, dignity, and immediate, skilled medical companion care to complement longevity.   

Senior home care is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., largely due to increased life expectancy and the demographics of the baby-boom population. Studies are showing that when seniors are placed in Assisted Living Communities, Skilled Nursing Facilities (commonly called Nursing Homes) and Personal Care Homes, life expectancy can be reduced by up to 75%. Carrigan noticed an overwhelming marketplace need to provide seniors with an alternative to institutional living. 

“Traditional companion care mostly consists of lending assistance with basic activities of daily life (ADLs): bathing, changing, meal prep, etc.,” says Carrigan. “And this kind of non-medical care cannot be discounted, but it is not enough to prevent institutionalization. At some point, more contiguous medical care in the home will be required in order to stay there. If not, the alternative for most Americans has been relegation to a skilled facility, such as a nursing home. Given population trends, the wealth and disposable income of many seniors, and the very real fear of institutionalization among the elderly, the offering of skilled companion care has never made more sense.”

Enter the concept of skilled (medically-based) Home Companion Care through Remain At Home Senior Care, based in Athens. According to Carrigan, RAH revolutionizes the current sphere of home care offerings by providing both ADL and skilled medical care for seniors, in the comfort of the place they call home. “In essence, we bring the nursing home to our clients, with the added benefit of one-on-one care,” Carrigan contends.

“Remain At Home’s truly unique hybrid model of companion and skilled medical care plugs a huge gap in the senior homecare marketplace,” said Tim Collins, Chief Operating Officer of RAH. “By way of our skilled caregivers working under RN and MD oversight, we provide the full gamut of treatment options for the aging population – thus avoiding the unpleasant need for institutionalization. Our concept has been tested and refined in northeast Georgia; best practices have been established and are resonating throughout the country.”

For seniors paying privately for a nursing home, assisted living facility or personal care home, why not dedicate those funds instead towards aging-in-place, surrounded by friends and loved ones at home? Why not have the best of both worlds: full-spectrum home care with one trusted caregiver who provides companionship and performs the activities of daily life and home-based assistance, in addition to skilled medical care with clinical RN and MD oversight? 

“RAH is changing the model,” Carrigan continues. “The companion care category is the wild-wild west right now, floundering between the lines of skilled and unskilled homecare. This is mostly due to state and federal licensure requirements, which definitively separates the two genres of care (skilled vs. ADL). Since true companion care is not of the medical sort, barriers to entry are fairly nominal. Adding the skilled component to RAHs offerings, in addition to the time and expense we incur, places us under the stringent requirements of government regulatory standards, which we continually exceed. All of our caregivers are fully-licensed and supervised by both an RN and MD. Our trophy is achieving the very best in client outcomes; there is no greater responsibility than keeping our clients and their families happy and healthy, and in their own homes.” 

In addition to these services, RAH helps keep clients, staff, and families connected through an online family portal. Staff update the daily activities of clients so families can keep abreast of changes, regardless of where they live. Families, in turn, can make comments or ask questions. This added level of communication allows RAH to develop holistic, detailed care-plans.

People are beginning to see the wisdom of the model. So much so, in fact, that RAH is currently expanding into new locations in Atlanta, Greensboro, and Augusta. “RAH was built brick by brick in Athens, GA, with the overlay of national growth in every stroke.” said Carrigan. “Although RAH has national ambitions, our strategy is not ‘growth for growth’s sake’ – we have spent the last few years beta-testing and implementing our truly unique model of companion care. We are now poised and ready to scale, but we started here in Athens and plan to keep our corporate headquarters here. This work is my life’s dream, and I take tremendous pride in the company we’ve built and our success at keeping the promise of independence for seniors in Northeast Georgia.” 

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About Cléa Hernandez

Cléa Hernandez is a Savannah-based writer and communications specialist who serves up breaking business news for metropolitan Georgia. After earning a Philosophy degree from Fordham University, she forgot how to do everything but write and ask too many questions. So she became a journalist. Since then, Ms. Hernandez has written for local and national publications, non-profits, higher education, marketing firms, and big business. A recent escapee from the northeast hustle, the south summoned her with a whiff of collaborative innovation and authentic new enterprises.