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Meet Travis Remme, Owner of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services

Jan 03, 2019 10:00AM ● By MED Magazine

MED: What drew you into home care?

TR: When I left the corporate job after 12 years, I had some time to think about what I wanted to do next. My wife’s aunt had end stage cancer at the time, so I spent some time visiting with her. Her family was taking her to all her appointments and helping her and it was hard since it was planting time. When I found out about Visiting Angels, I thought, ‘Wow, this company is doing essentially exactly what I was doing’ and it came full circle. I could see there was a need for this.

MED: What kinds of services does Visiting Angels provide?

TR: Think of us as an alternative to assisted living or a nursing home. We commonly provide all the activities of daily living to stay safely in the home, from personal care and hygiene to meal preparation, errands, and just companionship.

MED: What about patients who need physical therapy?

TR: We are not physical therapists, but we do understand that successful rehabilitation means doing the exercises at home. We know that people rehab better at home. But everyone needs motivation to work out. Having our people right there to remind and encourage them can really help a patient keep up with their PT and make faster progress.

MED: Who is a good candidate for home care?

TR: Anyone who is likely to be unsafe at home. If they have frequent falling, dementia, Parkinson’s or they have had an injury and still need help when they come home from rehab. And anyone who just want to stay at home. Many people just do not want to leave their homes and will fight tooth and nail to stay there. We can help make that possible.


Below is more of our interview with Travis Remme:

Interview with Travis Remme of Visiting Angels, Sioux Falls

MED: What brought you to a home care company?

The short version is that I was in corporate America for 12 years...prior to coming to Visiting Angels. When I left my corporate job, I had some time to think about what I could do next. It sounds cliche but I really wanted to do something that made a difference.

Around the same time, my wife’s aunt was in end stage cancer and was on homecare. She was alone and didn’t have her own family. I had some time off so I went over there and stayed and chatted with her. I really enjoyed it. I got so much out of that.

It was later that I found out about Visiting Angels and it came full circle. I thought ‘Wait a second… so this company does essentially exactly what I was doing when I was sitting with her.’

I could see that there would be a need for this. Her family was taking her to all her appointments and helping her and it was hard since it was planting time.

At the same time, both of my grandparents had dementia. This was right when I was brand new opening my franchise. In their cases, we missed the early signs of the disease, but had we caught it in time before they started fighting with each other, we could have kept one or both of them in their home.

This is why I became so passionate about this.

MED: What exactly is home care?

Think of us an alternative to assisted living or a nursing home. We commonly provide all the activities of daily living to stay safely in the home...bathing and showering, personal care and hygiene, dressing, meals, basic physical therapy. We are not physical therapists. Everybody needs motivation to work out. Seniors need to encouragement to do their PT. Having our people right there can help them keep up with their PT.

For instance, we can go for a walk up and down the hallway if you live at a place like Primrose.

Some of the things we offer are errands, shopping, companionship. Respite care for family caregivers in 24 hour caregiving situations. We offer overnight care. We can be there round the clock.

We are especially looking for people such as patients who have had a stroke and need rehabilitation. Any sort of long term disability is an ideal candidate. We are hands-on caregiving.

MED: Why would someone recommend Visiting Angels to a patient?

The baby boomers are the first generation to say ‘we’re not going to do what you tell me to do’. Many people just do not want to leave their homes. Many will fight tooth and nail to stay in their home. We can help keep them in their home.

Especially this time of year….healthcare professionals may see frequent falling, especially in people with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Any injury where there is rehab necessary could consider home care. We can help patients come home from rehab. These people can still be at home. When they come home, they still need help but they are not at the level where they need to stay in the nursing home.

Studies have shown that people rehabilitate better at home. There is higher likelihood of successful rehabilitation process if someone rehabs at home. Rehospitalization rates go down if people are allowed to go home.

People just want to be home. They are just happier there. Many people have lived there for years and we have told their kids, don’t you ever put me in a home.

One of the misconceptions is that long-term care insurance typically has a home health addendum. If you are a veteran, there are lots or programs. Also, Medicaid helps to pay for homecare. SD has the caregiver program where they pay for us to come in to help with respite care. Most of our clients are still private pay.

MED: What kinds of things does Visiting Angels do with regard to rehab?

Successful rehab is going to be based on doing the exercises. We make sure they stay on their plan. In the first few weeks, we make sure that they aren’t doing the things they shouldn’t be doing. Laundry, dishes, etc. But we do know that a body in motion stays in motion. We train our caregivers to help out but to recognize when the client can or should be doing more, physically.

The whole point is to rehabilitate. We want them to be active in that. If they can stand and do dishes, that’s good for them. We want them using their hands and fingers. We want them to be an active a participant if it’s appropriate.

MED: Tell us about the caregivers at Visiting Angels?

One of the things that separates us from other home care agencies, we do what we can to make sure that we get the right people. You have to be the right type of person to be a caregiver in the first place. We want people who are passionate who have either had a personal experience or have the skills and ability to do the job. They must also have good interpersonal skills.

They do not need to be a CNA, but we do require one year of caregiving experience. They may be retired teachers looking for a way to be needed again. We have continuing education opportunities here. We want people to come in with experience. But we are going to make certain that they know things like proper body mechanics and proper lifting techniques.

MED: What is the best way for a patient or family to know if this is right for them?

We offer free in-home assessment. We determine what level care is necessary or if it is even safe to be at home. We can tell if skilled nursing care is necessary. Then we will come back out, have an introduction, do any training that might be necessary. Every home is different. We will do some on-the-job training.

One thing we are good at is turning around a 24-hour case really quickly. We can often start the next day. Sometimes families get in emergency situations where they need help NOW. Sometimes agencies will say we need five days to turn that around.

We believe in helping people live their best life with the freedom and dignity of remaining in their homes.

We offer a free assessment, no obligation.

Phone number: 605-540-4444

[email protected]

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