Page 18 - BusinessWest January 20, 2021
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 is only so much that they can handle, especially during this time of COVID, when people are iso- lating; the agencies can only take on so many clients.
“So I think there’s more than enough room for these services,” she went on, adding, again, in the same fashion that Ruiz and others talk about the home-care side, that it is not merely about which services are being provided, but how.
And this brings us back to the Golden Years story. There are several, but this one is about Ruiz and his grandmother, who became the real inspi-
“There are many reasons why the home is now a safer haven than a facility.”
ration for this venture. She needed home care in Florida more than 15 years ago, and Ruiz recalled for BusinessWest not only how poor that care was (he said family members generally provided the care for her), but also his resolve to create some- thing much better.
That something better would eventually become Golden Years. That’s eventually. The tim- ing and the setting were not exactly right for a new venture back then, he recalled, adding quick- ly that, after he relocated to this region, and espe- cially after his father died in late 2016, he picked up the dream where he had left off.
Partnering with Lisa and Vincent Santaniello, who had similar experiences with caring for loved ones in the home, he launched Golden Years in
early 2017.
“Over dinner, we real-
ized that we had the same thoughts of creating a company that would satisfy a recognized need,” he explained. “We thought we could do bet- ter; we knew we could do better.”
Lisa Santaniello, exec- utive vice president of Golden Years Homecare Services, agreed, noting that, from her first-hand knowledge, she under- stands the importance
of home-care services to those suffering from a chronic condition, a dev- astating injury, a debilitat- ing illness, or even loneli- ness, and that such indi- viduals would certainly benefit from companion services.
“When chronic care
is needed or a medical
crisis occurs, I am very
aware the entire extended family is affected along with the patient,” she told BusinessWest. “Lives are turned upside-down; schedules are disrupted. Sometimes, needed care is short-term; the patient will recover, and normalcy will be restored. Other times, health conditions are far more long-lasting, and improvement does not occur.
“My own mother suffered from a debilitat-
   Brian Santaniello, chief of staff at Golden Years, says the pandemic, and its broad, negative impact on mental health, validated the company’s expansion into behavioral-health services.
   18 JANUARY 20, 2021
ing and chronic disease. She had the benefit of a large, extended family who could assist in coordi- nating care and provide the services she needed,” Santaniello went on. “Many people aren’t that fortunate; that’s where Golden Years comes in. We provide necessary home-care services to the patient, while also providing respite for their weary caretakers.”
Business was slow to start — Ruiz recalls that
Staff Photo

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