Integrity Home Care of Hawaii

450 Kawainui St.

Kailua Village, HI, 96734

(808) 358-3118

Integrity Home Care of Hawaii is committed to integrity, providing truly gifted caregivers, and affordability for you.

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Scott: This is Scott Makuakane with the Elder Care Channel in Honolulu. And joined in our fabulous studios here in the 24th floor of Alakea Corporate Tower by Toni Pedro who is the owner and operator of Integrity Home Care. So Toni, tell us how you can up with the name Integrity.

Toni: In 2007 I actually started the business as Aloha Angel’s Care Givers and just last year, I was just feeling something’s missing a little and so I decided to change the name but after a lot of thoughtfulness and a lot of praying, I came up with Integrity because pretty much that’s what I’m all about, and that’s how I run my business is on integrity. And I might not be the right– or might not be the PC to say, but I demand integrity from the people who work for me.

Scott: And I think people hiring you in your company for care demand integrity because we want to be able trust our kupuna in the hands of somebody who we know is going to do it right.

Toni: Exactly! In fact, that’s one of the phrases on our website: www.integrityhomecare.net. If you’re looking for home care that you can trust, than you’re in the right place.

Scott: Okay, so long have you been in the business?

Toni: Since 2007. We took a little hiatus in 2013 but now we’re pretty much rolling again.

Scott: And what’s your background?

Toni: I have to say my mom is my inspiration for the home care because in early 2001 she suffered a nearly fatal heart attack and I was in between jobs at the time, so I was able to stay home and take care of her. But it was– it took about three, I think maybe three good whole months before she was able to return to any of her regular activities, including driving herself around.

What I realized was that I can’t do it all by myself, and it just– I really enjoyed it, I just felt like, wow, it’s such a privilege, and personally, I think every child should have the privilege of taking care of at least one of their parents. So I think I got that privilege, and along with it came the realization that home care is not cheap and if you don’t have insurance to pay for it, then you have a little bit of a problem.

Scott: And one of the things, you probably knew this already, but one of the things I’m sure you discovered in taking care of your mom was home care isn’t easy.

Toni: Oh my goodness. It isn’t easy, especially when you’re taking care of a parent. There’s so much emotion between you and your parent and I still struggle with it myself because I still have to take care of my mom, but I think it’s because to us they’re parents, they’re not people. And so the dynamic is a little more different, but it can be very rewarding.

Scott: So what exact services does Integrity Home Care provide?

Toni: We provide personal care attendants such as helping you dress, helping you with your teeth, all of this is assistance. Bathing, or showering, doing your hair– whatever you would consider personal hygiene, but in addition to that we also provide companions and chore services, basically. We will take you to the doctor, we will even go in the office with you, take notes, and– a lot of times I’ve accompanied clients and taken notes because they have families on the mainland.

So we take notes and email it to them later so everybody knows what’s going on. And that’s another thing I like to do is know all the people who are in the family. That way– I mean it– You know I was born and raised in Kailua, and I still have that old fashioned values where your word is gold, I’m going to keep you like family, and my clients are always right. [Pause] They are never wrong.

Scott: [Chuckles].

Toni: [Chuckles] But no, really. When it comes to the bottom line, they really are always right.

Scott: You know a lot of times people try and go it on their own, they try and– they think that they can hire an independent contractor and have the independent contractor take care of all of the withholding and insurances and things like that, and in my experience people run into problems when they do that. How do you respond to that?

Toni: We try not to let that happen. The reason is, some independents are just there to get the money. Some of them are very sincere caregivers, but a lot of that exchange is under the table. When you are with an agency, you may have some problems with the caregivers, but you’re always allowed to try a new one. With the agency, you have the security and the confidence of the business owning insurance.

That’s theft insurance, liability insurance, and vehicle insurance. And the thing is the individuals who come in your home and take care of you, they do make you feel like a family, but then they charge almost the same rates. So it’s not like they’re saving money. The family may think they’re saving money, but if something in the home happens, and the caregiver is uninsured, then that’s where the problem will arise.

The other thing is the individual caregiver is just one person. Whereas when you’re with an agency, we will make sure somebody’s there for the time that you’re scheduled. And if not– this has happened to me before– if my caregiver calls in sick too late, or I can’t get a replacement, then I will go myself or I the next visit is free. So I try not to let that happen because it inconveniences everyone.

Unless the family knows the individual caregiver or the independent caregiver personally, that’s something I wouldn’t do.

Scott: And I think the family can run into problems with income tax withholdings, with worker’s compensation insurance, and the kind of things that you don’t really think about as an employer. But those responsibilities really do lie with whoever’s hiring that caregiver.

Toni: Right, right. It’s called domestics. They’re hiring domestics so they have to actually pay for their domestics through insurance. I used to work for an insurance agency so I know a few ins and outs. But yeah, it’s kind of a risk, and even with my own caregivers, after we do the background checks and they have a clean driver’s abstract, if I wouldn’t put them in my home to take care of my mom, then I won’t hire them at all.

So, I think that my mom is like the bottom line test. ‘Go see mom, if she likes you, you’re hired!

Scott: Terrific, so it’s really personal with you, and you stand behind what you do.

Toni: I do, and from that first phone call when they’re just asking questions I feel personally responsible. And maybe I shouldn’t, you know, but– I don’t know it’s like I just–

Scott: I think that it’s good that you do. Yeah.

Toni: I just want to help them out. Make sure that they get what they need.

Scott: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about integrity?

Toni: They can always visit our website and give me a call. [Chuckles].

Scott: Terrific! Think you so much, Toni! Really appreciate you coming in.

Toni: Oh thank you! So do I! Thank you!

We provide non-medical, in-home care to senior citizens, new mothers, respite for the family caregiver, relief from light housekeeping, transportation & attendance with your medical appointments, assisting with personal hygiene, meal preparation, medication reminds, medication refills, light lawn maintenance.  Whatever activities of daily living one can no longer do on one’s own, is how we will assist.  We have also been Memory Care Specialist since 2011.  Our specialists were trained by Kapiolani Community College and the Alzheimer’s Association, Aloha Chapter Paraprofessional Training Class.

Our caregivers have experience with a wide range of care needs.  We are confident that one of our caregivers will be a perfect match for you.