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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Assured Quality Homecare aids the infirm and elderly

    Samanta Roseme and husband Caleb started Assured Quality Homecare, based in Norwich, in 2016. Photo submitted

    Frustrated with what she saw as inadequate, below-standard home-nursing care, hospice nurse Samanta Roseme decided she could do it better. So she founded a company to do exactly that.

    With husband Caleb’s encouragement and support, Samanta founded Assured Quality Homecare in 2016 for people who want to live at home, but need help to do so. The firm prospered, battled its way through COVID-19, which taxed to the limit every healthcare provider, and is prepared for a significant growth.

    Our aging population and the trend toward shorter hospitalization fueled the demand for the services ASQ provides.

    Based in Norwich, ASQ serves coastal Connecticut from Old Lyme to Stonington, as far north as Lebanon and Griswold. Services range from light care (meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping) to hourly and live-in care, and ultimately, when called for, end-of-life care.

    In 2016, Samanta worked for a hospice-care provider. Entering homes in patients’ final days as a hospice nurse, Samanta observed a variety of healthcare professionals who, in her evaluation, lacked the necessary training and skills.

    Samanta had earned a bachelor’s in nursing and an RN (registered nurse) from the University of Connecticut, after earning B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. She also had several years of clinical experience.

    She discussed with her husband, Caleb, her dissatisfaction with the patient care she was observing. At the time, Caleb was a mechanical engineer at Electric Boat in Groton.

    “You’ve got the knowledge and experience to train people for this profession and to deliver the care yourself,” Caleb said. “Why not do it?”

    Samanta was in touch with the eastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, a nationwide, nonprofit association and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration that offers free, confidential advice to small-business owners. The team of five SCORE mentors advising her also expressed confidence to a person in her ability to establish and operate her own business, and she acted.

    At the outset, Caleb helped part time, continuing to work at Electric Boat. Later, he transitioned to full time at ASQ, where he heads operations.

    Samanta trains their employees and oversees the delivering of in-home care by her caregivers. They have about 50 employees, only six of whom are administrative, with all others delivering client care.

    When COVID-19 surged as an epidemic in early 2020, ASQ suffered along with the entire healthcare business. Employees became sick or had to care for ailing family members; many were reluctant or unwilling to enter other people’s homes.

    Recruiting became difficult to impossible for the same reasons. Vital medical supplies were scarce, often unavailable. Meanwhile, demand for aid from their client base spiked 30 to 40 percent, and assisted-living centers pleaded for help as their staffs and residents fell ill.

    “Although COVID was a tough challenge, we feel stronger and more resilient for the experience,” said Samanta.

    “SCORE’s counsel changed the trajectory of our business at three inflection points,” said Caleb.

    The first was their original advice to Samanta to exit her business partnership amicably and start her own enterprise. The second was for Samanta to fire an ineffective marketing consultant and assume the business-development program herself.

    The third came just recently. With the worst of the pandemic in the past, Samanta determined she had hit a ceiling in her current markets, and she was looking for new challenges. SCORE mentors Michael Hinchliffe and Betty Wagner recommended expanding eastward into neighboring Rhode Island. As a result, an office is planned for East Greenwich – Warwick later this year.

    “Ours is a growth industry,” Samanta said, “and we are confident we can continue to provide first-rate home healthcare and grow with it.”

    Hugh Ryan is a mentor with the eastern Connecticut Chapter of SCORE, and can be reached at hugh.ryan@scorevolunteer.org.

    What clients say when they contact Assured Quality Homecare

    I need care for myself

    • I can’t live at home without help

    • I don’t want to be a burden on my children

    • I can’t go home from the hospital without extra help

    • I want to continue to live in my own community

    I need care for my spouse

    • I am hesitant to leave my spouse alone

    • I feel overwhelmed by my spouse’s need for care

    • My spouse wants to continue to live in our home

    • I need help bringing my spouse home from the hospital or rehab facility

    I need care for my parent

    • I can’t leave my parent home alone

    • My parent’s health is declining seriously

    • I am uncertain about exactly what services my parent needs

    • My parent can’t go home from the hospital without extra help

    I am unhappy with my current home healthcare agency

    • I feel let down by the current quality of care provided

    • It’s a struggle to communicate with our caregiver

    • I am never certain that the caregiver will show up

    • My concerns are not being addressed

    For more information, see the ASQ website, asqhomecare.com

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