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Home Care Specialists ramps up accessibility division

Home Care Specialists ramps up accessibility division

HAVERHILL, Mass. – After slowly rolling out a new division, Accessibility Solutions, throughout this year, Home Care Specialists has begun ramping up the business.  

The division offers ramps, stairlifts and grab bars, along with installation and permitting services. 

“We wanted to get some experience and we did a lot of small jobs – a lot of low and no-profit jobs – and we learned a ton and now we’re starting to click,” says Brian Desmarais, CEO. “I had to crawl before I could walk and now, we're walking pretty well.” 

When Desmarais first began exploring the idea of expanding into home accessibility, he quickly realized he had a built-in customer base. Home Care Specialists, which opened in 1979, already had a reputation for providing DME like hospital beds and oxygen concentrators, along with good service. 

Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Desmarais noticed how it sent people home in droves and accelerated aging-in place trends. 

“I’m working from home and watching the neighbors getting delivery packages from Amazon tossed onto the porch and I’m thinking, ‘None of these companies are going to be able deliver a wheelchair,’ and if this is what COVID is going to bring, we should be well-placed to support these people at home,” he said. “And we've already given them equipment, so they’re comfortable having us in their house – we’re already known.” 

While Desmarais considers himself “pretty handy,” he and his team also took the steps of earning Certified Environmental Access Consultant certification through VGM Live at Home and became factory-trained for installations. That, in addition to his background as a respiratory therapist and HME business owner, gives Accessibility Solutions a leg up over companies that are focused on home construction and remodeling, he says. 

“You know there's a sale, but we're also kind of just educators,” he said.  

The Haverhill, Mass.-based Home Care Specialists also has locations in Concord, N.H., and Portland, Maine, and will offer its accessibility services in all three states. Desmarais says it’s part of his plan to invest in the future. 

“As this whole health care model shifts home, as soon as you do the math, just look at the savings,” he said. “If people can't stay home, they need to go into assisted living or a nursing home.”


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