This week, we caught up with Jeff Reitberger, Chief Executive Officer at iAccompany. He discussed the inspiration behind iAccompany and how he felt the effects of elder care in his own home, prompting the idea that built our unique service.
“The iAccompany inspiration came from my wife. Her mom, who was in her mid-80s, had a number of chronic illnesses and saw her doctor and specialists numerous times a year,” said Jeff. “My wife tried to accommodate those appointments but it took a huge amount of time away from her full-time profession. One day she said to me, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a business that could provide those accompaniment services for me.”
And so iAccompany was born.
In 2020, Jeff Reitberger, Byrnes Benoit, and Doug Stoyko, decided to turn this great idea into a service that would provide care for elder parents on behalf of their adult children.
Jeff became CEO and focused the basis of the company on helping people in the same situation as his wife. People with full-time jobs, young families of their own, or who live in different geographical locations from their aging parents – iAccompany serves them all.
According to the Caregiver Action Network, more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
Many people do selfless work, but at their own expense. Oftentimes, caregivers feel guilt, stress, and anxiety when supporting loved ones, which leads to burnout. With very little options in terms of alternate solutions, iAccompany is here to alleviate those stressors, and lend a helping hand in difficult times.
“The iAccompany experience centres around the qualified nurse who accompanies your family member or loved one. That qualified nurse is going to make sure that your loved one gets to the appointment safely and reports on the details of the appointment so you can best assist your loved one going forward,” said Jeff.
The nurse is the key factor that bridges the gap between the elder parent and adult child. If you are busy with work, occupied by your kids activities, or do not live near your loved one, our service allows you to be in the appointment without physically being there.
In Jeff’s experience, a big issue was the miscommunication between his wife and her mom when she was not there to attend appointments because of work. She often missed out on what the doctor said, and information was not passed on from her mother. This issue sparked another idea – having the accompanying nurse send a full report including doctors comments, future course of actions, and answering any questions you may have had prior to the appointment.
“There will be clear and concise communication between the doctors, the nurse, and the patient. And there will be a clear readable report at the end of that appointment,” said Jeff.
In conclusion, the idea that sparked iAccompany hits close to home for many. It is a problem that numerous families face at some point in their lives as loved ones get older and doctor appointments become more common. Instead of taking on the stress and responsibility all by yourself, let iAccompany help.
CEO, Jeff Reitberger, knew it was a great idea from the beginning, and continues to work so our service can bring peace to families everywhere.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend iAccompany to my family and friends. We strive to improve appointment outcomes, we strive to provide peace of mind after your loved one has been at a doctor’s appointment, and we treat your loved one as our loved one.”