During the years that his wife, Jodi, was sick with leukemia, Riverside resident Paul Horowitz and his children learned what it meant to have great caregivers look after a loved one. “There were people that you instinctively trusted and just felt good about,” Horowitz says. “And then there were some not great moments.” Case in point: The attendant that arrived with the flu to assist his wife who was vulnerable from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Horowitz’s experiences caring for his wife, who lost her battle with cancer in 2009, was the inspiration behind Greenwich HomeCare, the home health agency he founded last summer. “My goal doing this was to put the clients first,” he says. “I relied on the lessons that came from caring for my wife to create a different kind of agency and experience.”
With a staff of twenty caregivers who visit clients from Greenwich to Fairfield, Greenwich HomeCare offers traditional services such as help with dressing, bathing, shopping and light cleaning. Horowitz has also cultivated a team of experts to offer concierge-style services ranging from hairstyling to geriatric personal trainers and massage therapists.
Each team member also arrives with an iPad for patients, a service Horowitz says helps keep the family connected. “My wife was in and out of the hospital for twelve months, often with multiple-month stays, and our kids were young,” he recalls. “It was hard on them, me, and really depressing for her. I got her a laptop so that even if we weren’t there for dinner, she could be with us at the table.” greenwichhomecare.com
Service & Care
A few services that Paul and his team offer to make clients look and feel better.
Geriatric Personal Trainer
“A lot of the work they do is on issues of balance and stability,” says Horowitz, noting that falls can be devastating for seniors. “The idea is to prevent them from happening.”
Many frail and elderly patients lose interest in food and cooking. “There can be weight loss and that can make someone weaker,” says Horowitz, who says a nutritionist can help with strategies for weight maintenance and healthy eating.
“We noticed our clients don’t like to see people if they don’t feel like they look their best. Being self-conscious can be isolating.” By bringing hairstylists into the home, a client may be more open to spend an afternoon at the senior center or having a virtual chat with family.
The ability to chat with family via iPad while a caregiver is in the home can ease isolation. “I think it’s the most important thing we do,” says Horowitz. His team supports a client who loved gardening but was too frail to work outside. Her caregiver brought in some plants, pots and soils and they got busy planting at the kitchen table. “She was so excited she wanted to video-chat to show her family.”