As a former executive with one of the country’s largest home health-care and hospice companies and a Stage IV cancer survivor, Brian Carrigan has some novel ideas about the delivery of health-care services for senior citizens.
Carrigan is the founder and owner of Athens-based Remain At Home Senior Care LLC, which seeks to help the elderly avoid spending their sunset years residing in institutions like assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, allowing them to remain in their homes.
“When the end of life comes, you’ve only got one chance to get it right,” said Carrigan, who added that RAH will open for business in early May. “I’ve spent a good part of my career helping the terminally ill stay self-actualized through activities – it’s all about quality of life. So I figured, ‘Why not do something for people who aren’t dying, rather than institutionalize them?’”
RAH, which has offices at 3320 Old Jefferson Road, just north of the Athens Country Club, plans to have as many as 35 certified nursing assistants and medical assistants — as well as an interdisciplinary phalanx of professionals that includes physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and volunteers — available to provide personalized medical and non-medical care for the area’s senior population.
Carrigan said that each client will have a strategy specially designed for him or her, which he adds is a bit of a first with regard to curative care.
“This is probably the first time in health care where the patient has input into their own care,” he said. “This is the only time in curative care where the patient can dictate the direction of care. Why not empower people to be able to have control of their lives?”
Working under the motto of “Keeping the promise of independence,” RAH will offer three-tiered coverage to its clients. The company will have in-home coverage (which ranges from a few hours a day or week to 24/7 care), drop-in coverage (for clients who don’t require intensive supervisory care) and discharge coordination at local hospitals (which will cover “every aspect imaginable” for clients being released from hospital care).
A Philadelphia native, Carrigan spent several years as the community education representative for Odyssey Hospice and worked as a senior director for the Gentiva Corporation in Northeast Georgia. He’s built a considerable network of doctors, nurses and other caregivers, many of whom serve on RAH’s board of directors.
Carrigan’s own experiences with disease (he’s been cancer-free for five years) have shaped his attitude about both the quality of care and the nature of business.
“I’ve seen good and bad health care,” he said. “I have a different vision for the way health care can be. All my life experiences have pointed me to this path. This is my life’s calling.”
“The corporate world is kind of like a card game. Everybody wants to have a better hand and everybody wants your chips. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. By doing the right thing every time, business follows exponentially. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”