fbpixel Home Care Success Story: Insights from Kathie Rivas

Home Care Expert Insights

In Conversation with Kathie Rivas to Bring Her Insights on the Real Meaning of Home Care

Home care isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution – it prioritizes the individual and their wishes. This means open communication: understanding the person’s needs, preferences, and routines.

Caregivers then work alongside them, not just for them, to create a plan that fosters independence and dignity. It’s about respecting their familiar environment and incorporating it into their care.

Family members are also seen as partners, offering support and ensuring continuity of care. This collaborative approach provides the best possible care while honoring the person’s desire to remain at home.

To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on the real meaning of home care.

Expert QA session with Kathie Rivas

Who Did We Interview?

At Heartsong Homecare Cooperative, Kathie Rivas, the executive director, is a powerhouse. She wears many hats: strategist, advocate, and cheerleader.

Kathie’s vision ensures Heartsong delivers exceptional in-home care that respects client wishes.

She’s a champion for both caregivers – fostering a supportive work environment – and families – working collaboratively to create a dignified and comfortable experience for everyone.

Let us now delve into what she has to say about the real meaning of home care:

Question 1. Can you share your background and what initially drew you to the home care industry?

I am the fourth generation of caregivers in my family. I began caregiving in a skilled nursing facility and completely enjoyed it for several years before a friend approached me to try in home care.

Everything about in-home care was better. The hours, the time you have to spend on one client, and the pay.

I worked privately for several years. I worked with other franchise corporations for so many years before I was presented with the assistance to start something new.

In 2021, we started the 15th home care cooperative in the nation. It is an organization of caregiver owners—we empower caregivers to own their careers. They go into clients’ homes and provide the most outstanding level of care, knowing that at the end of the day, they are their bosses.
Besides, the office support staff goes out of the way to help them in a way you don’t see in most agencies.

Then, there is the profit sharing which sets us apart from other agencies!

Question 2. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as an executive director of a home care agency?

Learning all small, back-of-the-house tasks and how to do all jobs. I came into my current position as a caregiver not knowing much about the inner office workings.

For the last three years, I have learned to wear all the hats and delegate the things I am not the best at. I have learned to be more humble and accept help when I need it.

Personally, that was the hardest thing. No matter what things you are faced with, you can always benefit from others’ support. Also, it is ok to accept that support and pass it on to your team!

Question 3. What leadership strategies or philosophies do you find most effective in managing a home care agency?

There are so many things I have learned on this journey. I think the most effective strategy is just to be real and not to try and reinvent every wheel.

Trust the process. Learn from your seniors and be the leader/boss you want to have.

Question 4. How to stay informed about changes and advancements in the home care industry?

I subscribe to and participate in as many industry-leading blogs, webinars, and state informational resources as possible. I also communicate with other home care cooperatives and stay informed regarding changes in state laws.

Question 5. What advice would you give to someone considering a career in home care?

There is nothing like the feeling of helping someone be their best self.
Sometimes, we help with daily activities, and some days we have the honor of holding the hand of someone taking their last breath. Home care is heart work! Be prepared to work hard and learn everything you can, along the way.


The interview explores the true essence of home care – prioritizing individual needs and fostering independence. Effective home care requires open communication to understand preferences and routines.

Caregivers then collaborate with clients, not dictate, to create a dignified plan that respects their familiar environment.

Family involvement is crucial for support and continuity. We interviewed Kathie Rivas, powerhouse executive director of Heartsong Homecare Cooperative. A multi-generational caregiver, Kathie champions exceptional in-home care that respects client wishes.

She fosters a supportive environment for caregivers, who are empowered as cooperative owners and work collaboratively with families to ensure a dignified and comfortable experience for everyone.

Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

Contact Us

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