Home Fairfield Monroe’s Right at Home franchise earns plaudits for home care, employee satisfaction

Monroe’s Right at Home franchise earns plaudits for home care, employee satisfaction

Winning one national recognition for the work you do is impressive, but winning a second a few weeks later left Lisa Randall speechless.

“I didn’t know what to say” when her Right at Home franchise in Monroe was named one of the nation’s 253 top-rated in-home care agencies by Caring.com, a senior care resource that provides online ratings and reviews. “I didn’t even know we were up for it,” she said.

Last month, the franchise won an Employer of Choice award from Home Care Pulse, which measures the satisfaction of agencies’ clients and caregivers.

“It’s very nice,” said Randall, who with her husband Tim has run the franchise for 5 1/2 years, at the company’s 518 Monroe Turnpike office. “We always want to provide a good experience for our clients, but doing so for our caregivers is important as well. We’ve really stepped that up over the past year or so.”

Right at Home franchise
Lisa Randall enjoys a second career as co-owner of a Right at Home home care franchise headquartered in Monroe. Photo by Kevin Zimmerman

Right at Home provides in-home care and assistance for the elderly and those suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as patients in recovery after hospital stays.

The early years of the Randalls’ operation were mostly spent “putting out fires,” she said. “Now we’re in a better position to give our employees official recognition.” Not only has that included a day out to Broadway to see “Cats” for many of its female employees and a trip to Giants Stadium for an NFL game for their male counterparts, but the addition of a 401(k) retirement savings plan on Jan. 1.

“That can be very hard for a small business like ours to set up,” Randall said, “but we thought the time was right.” She noted that her company also offers “all kinds of discounts” for employees at various local retailers and restaurants.

“I’d worked at a group home for years and was burnt out,” said Dariann Gatison, one of Right at Home’s approximately 150 caregivers. “I knew someone who’d worked at Right at Home, so I called them up and made the move
pretty quickly.”

“You need to have a real love and passion for this kind of work, which everyone here does,” Gatison said. “You don’t get into it for the money. If you don’t care, you don’t need to be doing it.”

In addition to the Monroe office, the Randalls also oversee satellite offices at 100 Mill Plain Road in Danbury and at 8 Wright St. in Westport. Those locations help the staff cover most of Fairfield County as well as lower Litchfield County and parts of Southbury in New Haven County. Randall said that, although the numbers fluctuate, Right at Home averages about 70 patients in its care at any given time.

“You always want to have more caregivers than patients,” she noted.

The Randalls entered the caregiving field through the loss of their respective fathers after long illnesses, as well as Lisa’s witnessing both of her grandmothers’ battles with Alzheimer’s disease. And their son Ryan, now 21, has special needs that require ongoing care.

“I saw how having the right person could help make someone’s last days pass with more compassion, more dignity,” Randall said. “And together we decided to get into this field as a way of paying it forward.”

Tim Randall had worked for some 25 years on Wall Street — “a cutthroat world all about money,” said his wife — while she had worked in corporate communications for Citizens Utilities Co. in Stamford and the New York Power Authority in White Plains. After taking time off to be a mother, she returned to the workforce as a substitute teacher in Monroe. Teaching, she said, attracted her to caregiving through her occasional work with special needs students.

Having decided to begin second careers in the caregiving field, the Randalls’ research led them to Right at Home, the international in-home care franchise system established in Omaha in 1995 by hospital administrator Allen Hager. Each of its 500 franchise locations is locally owned and operated.

According to Right at Home’s website, the initial fee to become a franchisee is $49,500. The company recommends that potential franchisees possess at least $150,000 in liquid funds. The company also said it earned about $400 million in system-wide revenue in 2016.

While Randall declined to give specific financial details about her own operation, she said that it had seen 20 percent revenue growth from 2016 to 2017.

“But we’re not in it for the money,” she added. “We really believe in what we’re doing.”

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