Provider Profile: Life Foundation Home Care, Sugar Land, TX

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Updated June 4, 2024
Life Foundation Provider
Key Takeaways

For Sabeen and AJ, Life Foundation Home Care is not just a business but a calling. Their approach, which combines entrepreneurialism with a person-centered care model and a lot of heart, has proven successful in hiring and retaining compassionate caregivers and expanding their referral base well beyond their original service area.

A CareScout Provider Profile

“They Count On You and They Want Your Love”

When AJ and Sabeen began co-managing Life Foundation Home Care (LFHC) in 2017, they brought with them a sense of purpose. The couple had watched elders in their family and community require more care as they grew older and realized there was a need for dignified, loving home care – and that the need would only grow.

Both also brought impressive leadership and business credentials. AJ worked in value-based care and clinical research as a Senior Director for McKesson, one of the world’s largest health care companies, while Sabeen came from a long line of entrepreneurs. 

The couple quickly discovered, however, that a home care agency is a unique business with its own set of challenges. Mountains of compliance paperwork. Constant staff turnover. Being on call 24/7, 365 days a year.

“It was overwhelming to begin with, to be honest with you,” said Sabeen, who manages the caregivers and office staff for LFHC, which is based in Sugar Land, Texas with an office in Dallas. “Home care is about learning something new every day, every time.”

“We come from families that have been entrepreneurial and business-minded in nature,” added AJ, who oversees operations and business development. “But this was our first real experience dealing with those challenges ourselves.”

They learned quickly, though. Today, LFHC employs about 50 caregivers and enjoys a good rate of employee retention. Their referral base has grown beyond their primary market of Houston and its suburbs to cover neighboring cities. The agency also has presence in the Dallas and Beaumont markets. Its caregiver retention rate is consistently 15 to 20 points over the average.

Among the keys to their success? Amazing caregivers and a reputation for quality care. A home care business can only expand if it can recruit and retain compassionate caregivers and establish a reputation for quality care. For LFHC, careful matching of caregiver to client and a commitment to person-centered care have allowed them to do both. Here’s a closer look.

Well-matched caregiver assignments

“When I'm interviewing potential caregivers, I find out exactly what kind of background they have and whether all of that matches a client’s needs,” said Sabeen. “Once I identify that this would be the right caregiver, then I make sure that they go and meet the client and the family, before services even start, to make sure that they all are comfortable and they understand each other.”

It's important that the match works for the caregiver as well as the client, she added. 

“I think a lot of times our focus is on the client,” said Sabeen. “But we've got to appreciate and realize that caregivers also want to work in a safe environment, and they want to work with somebody they like. Because after a while, they become a part of the extended family. You want to work in a place where you are comfortable and where you're treated well.”

In assigning caregivers, Sabeen also pays attention to their transportation needs. “All our caregivers are local to their area,” she said. “That's how we not only identify the right match with our clients but also make sure that for the caregiver the client’s location is within a drivable distance.”

“We talk about this with potential hires,” AJ added. “That before we get you started, we will introduce you to the family so that you know where you will be working, who you'll be working with and to make sure you're comfortable.”

LFHC reassures clients that they’ll be comfortable, too. “Many families that come to us are using caregivers for the first time,” AJ said. “So it’s important for us to prepare them for working effectively with the caregivers. We reassure them that LFHC will partner with them to provide comfortable care for their loved one. That initial conversation is important and establishes a strong relationship between LFHC and the family. It’s important for family to know that we are on the same team.”

LFHC assures the client that they’ll continue to look out for the client’s best interests and make sure that they are getting the right level of care, AJ added. “Until we do that, we will not rest.”

This person-centered approach to both client and caregiver combined with an entrepreneurial flexibility to find solutions has helped LFHC attract and retain talent. Many of LFHC’s new hires come from employee referrals. The agency offers referral bonuses to encourage that. It also has recognition programs to reward exemplary caregivers and office staff.

“I think this model has really done wonders for us,” said AJ. “It has allowed us to grow our team and expand our services in areas where we felt there is a need.”

Organic growth and strategic partnerships

As LFHC has grown, much of its new business has come from word-of-mouth referrals. “A lot of our growth is organic,” said AJ. “It’s coming from our existing clientele and our previous clientele.” Their caregivers out in the field also help spread the word. “They get asked, ‘Who do you work for,’” AJ said. “’Who can we call?’”

Growth has also resulted from establishing referral relationships with companies inside and outside of home care who cater to older adults. “A lot of our expansion has come by virtue of them wanting to have reliable home care services partners,” AJ said. “So through their encouragement and through their partnership, we've expanded into other markets as well.” Strong partnerships with Houston’s Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other hospital systems and with other older adult care businesses also contribute.

“They know they just need to make one call and we'll be able to connect them with our local presence in whichever market they happen to be in,” said AJ. “That gives us a competitive advantage.”

How CareScout has helped

Another competitive advantage for LFHC has been its person-centered care model. The model, which emphasizes a care recipient’s goals, preferences, and values, is something Sabeen and AJ became familiar with from their exposure to value-based care. LFHC’s web site details its care model and spotlights the agency’s person-centered tools, including a custom care plan, an initial bonding period between caregiver and patient, regular reporting and supervisory visits, and ongoing review.

Working with CareScout has given LFHC welcome support in delivering this level of care, said AJ. “CareScout has been a partner and advocate in providing person-centered care,” he said.  

Prior to working with CareScout, AJ and Sabeen felt like they were on their own advocating for person-centered care. “Frankly, it felt like, at least in the home care space, we were the only ones who had person-centered care as a core tenet,” AJ said. “But having CareScout come to us sharing the same opinion and being on the same wavelength was really refreshing for us. Knowing that they've been doing this and that this is their core tenet has certainly been very helpful to us in reinforcing that this is a key tenet for us as well.”

Person-centered care: “It’s the only path forward.”

AJ and Sabeen believe the movement toward person-centered care as the standard for long-term care, which CareScout is spearheading, makes perfect sense. “In our opinion, it’s the only path forward,” said AJ. “In this space, it is a continuum of care, and knowing that every single stakeholder has bought into person-centered care means everyone is speaking the same language.”

Sabeen agreed. “If you really want to make sure that we maintain good quality and provide the right level of care – and not just in-home care providers or non-medical or non-skilled providers, but everybody, including hospital systems and rehab services – we all have to be able to hold ourselves accountable to similar metrics so that the continuation of care is seamless for the patient,” she said.

That seamlessness is important, said AJ, because in long-term care a client may start off with one set of needs but those needs tend to evolve over time. “Making sure that the quality is not compromised and the care plan is still relevant to the needs of the client – you can only achieve that if you have best practices in place,” he said.

Hard work, unmatched satisfaction

When asked what advice they would give to others getting into the home care business, AJ and Sabeen acknowledged the challenges but emphasized the rewards.

“I think if somebody wants to get into this business, it's important for them to know that it's not easy,” AJ said. “It's a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time to establish yourself. But at the same time, it's highly, highly satisfying. I've worked with small companies and big companies, but the level of satisfaction, the level of impact that you can experience in this field and in this business is almost unmatched. It gives us pure joy when we identify a good caregiver for our client, because we know that the client will have someone to look after them.”

“Home care is not just a business,” said Sabeen. “It's very important for everyone to know that this is not a 9-to-5 job. It's about caring for others. You have to show the care, the love, the compassion so those in your care can maintain a good quality of life at their own place and live happily. 

“You're taking care of a human being,” Sabeen concluded. “They count on you and they want your attention. They want your love.”

Count On Us

CareScout can partner with you to help make quality, person-centered care a key differentiator for your organization. Find out how.

Written by

Rob Kinslow

Rob Kinslow

Rob Kinslow is a health and medical writer whose work has spanned the healthcare continuum — from primary, hospital, and home care to long-term care and senior living.

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