Assisting Hands West Austin was started in October 2016 when Emmie and Louis Knox decided to open up their own branch of Assisting Hands Home Care in the Austin area.
This decision mas made largely due to Emmie’s extensive background in social work both in skilled nursing and at Hospice. While at Hospice, one of the things that Emmie noticed was that patients would often want to request a specific person for all of their needs, but unfortunately they didn’t have the flexibility to be able to make those kinds of decisions.
Another problem she noticed was that many home care facilities in Austin required a four-hour minimum, which meant that the more independent patients were often denied the care they wanted to improve their quality of life.
Emmie’s desire to take on more of a leadership role was the final push that made them decide to make a leap of faith.
The prospect of becoming a business owner and dealing with things like paperwork for policies and procedures was a little daunting at first. For this reason, the franchise model was especially interesting to both of them, due to the fact that they would be able to rely on the support of a national support team.
One of the things Emmie would suggest to her former self would be to hire an office administrator right off the bat in order to have more support while promoting her business and meeting families that would benefit from Assisting Hands West Austin’s services.
One of the most challenging aspects of running this business would be the possibility of a national caregiver shortage in 2019 and beyond, but Emmie is optimistic about Austin’s market and job growth.
Other than the clinical skillset Emmie possesses from her previous work experience, their Director of Client Services Madison Darnell is also distinguished in this field due to being a licensed master social worker.
She and Emmie both oversee the initial intake with the family to ensure that their needs are properly provided for. Their combined resources mean that there’s always a solution whenever an acute need for a specific type of care arises.
Most of their patients currently come by word of mouth and referrals of current families they care for, which is a testament to the quality of care they Emmie and the crew offer their patients.
Emmie has a good understanding of the internet and the value of using social media and their blog to give value to the community, and their positive reviews also help attract those who might use their services.
Her plan for the future is to continue steadily growing the company, with the intent of making sure their quality of care increases as well.
Her constant involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the business is a theme she wants to carry forward into the future, with the intent of growing administratively to allow for a more robust infrastructure.
This is evidenced by the way that Emmie and her husband Louis both regularly visit their clients and do supervisory visits to make sure that everything is going well, and do things like delivering pies to their clients on the holidays.
Another great plan of theirs is to roll out Life Enrichment workshops to the caregivers at Assisting Hands, helping them increase the quality of their own lives and get more empowered.
They’ve been doing regular surveys with their employees to find out what their goals are, so that they can help them achieve the things they desire in life. Some of the things they’ve covered include the process of buying your first home, opening up a new savings account, or even improving your credit score.
Since their caregivers are the first point of contact with patients, making sure they live fulfilled lives will directly improve the quality of the care they provide the community.
In fact, one of the things that has brought so many caregivers into their business full-time is the amazing sense of well-being they bestow upon their team.
And the most exciting part of all? Emmie and Louis are having a baby in April!