Home Away From Home

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Right at Home offers comfortable assisted living services for seniors.

After living in a neighborhood in St. Paul’s east side, Right at Home owner and CEO Paul Blom and his husband quickly became known as the “neighborhood boys” who were always around to help senior family members and neighbors.

“As our neighbors aged, we realized that we didn’t have enough time to provide them with enough help, and we struggled to help them find services to help them remain in their homes,” Blom says. “Some ended up moving to facilities, and we decided that some day we would do something along those lines.”

Fast forward to 2000. Blom said his IT company was laying off several employees, and he knew he needed to make a change. He says that’s when they found the Right at Home franchise, which is based out of Omaha, and they purchased the Twin Cities franchise.

Right at Home offers seniors non-medical care and assistance, specifically for those over 60 years old. From companionship and socialization to homemaking and personal care, Right at Home provides seniors the comfort and support they need but often don’t receive properly. Services include a variety of tasks including laundry, meal prep, transportation, and help with bathing, dressing, and hair.

“Our services are broadly affordable for our private pay clients. They don’t blink an eye when quoted the prices.  Some of them have help because of long-term care insurance policies that they previously purchased,” Blom says. “If we talk with people for whom our cost is not affordable, we are very good at coming up with other resources to help pay for them. For example, Veterans Administration, Parkinson’s Foundation, MS Society, or county social services.”

Most Right at Home service recipients prefer to live in their own homes and apartments, but Blom says their services make it easy and convenient to do that.

“Another benefit would be that we are flexible as much as we can be with hours and days of service and many times go with what makes the most sense if problems arise,” he says. “If there are issues, I would say we generally do the right thing, whatever that is, in each situation.”

Looking for assisted living services for loved ones can be a difficult process, especially when there are so many options and so much information to consider. Blom says he suggests children and other family members of seniors don’t just consider the cost of the services but what they are actually getting for that cost.

“You can’t put a dollar value on peace of mind. You can’t put a dollar value on taking a break from caregiving.  Anything we can do to help you also helps your loved one,” Blom says. “Go with a company you feel comfortable with and who you trust will help you problem solve when issues arise, because they always do! And go with people who are not in this business for the opportunity to make money only, but who have servant hearts and care about the people they serve.”

Additionally, Blom says some things to consider include the difference between contracted employees and W-2 employees, what happens if a caregiver is ill or on vacation, how caregivers are screened, where or not it is the same caregiver all the time, what training they receive, if there is a contract tying the family to the agency for any length of time, a minimum number of hours required, if there are any intake or set-up fees, how soon they can start getting care, and if they feel comfortable with the relationship they’ve built with the company they’ve chosen to receive care from.

Having experience working—and living—with seniors, Blom strives to provide services to make the later stages of life easier and more comfortable for everyone.

For more information about Right at Home, visit www.rightathome.net.

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