We Create Home Accessibility Solutions That Give You or The Person You Care For Complete Independence

We Believe That Your Life At Home Should Be One Of Independence, Safety, And Happiness.

Vision

Why we exist

We envision a world where everyone has a safe and accessible home in order to diminish the gap between housing and healthcare.

Mission

What and how we are going to achieve the vision

What – To provide tailored and affordable home modifications that enhance the wellbeing of lives.

How – We achieve this through education, advocacy, and partnerships with people and organizations that want to make a difference.

VALUES/Principles we live by

i. Provide ruthless client satisfaction, then everything else will fall in place.

ii. Transparency – We are an open book, communication is a top priority. 

iii. Empathy – We put ourselves in our client’s slippers, so we can make the right decisions.

iv. Integrity – We do what we say we are going to do.

v. Evidenced based practice– The clinical decisions we make are guided by research. 

vi. Simplicity– Our process is simple, so you can take care of what’s really important. 

vii. Excellence– The way a company does one thing, is the way they do everything.We do not settle for mediocrity.

viii. Innovation– It’s a byproduct of the principles we live by.

ix. Make a difference– 2% of our net profits are donated in order to help a family in need make their home accessible and safe.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s2-block1

Our 40 Years’ Home Modification Expertise Puts You In The Right Hands So You Can Live A Free And Independent Life

If you’ve recently experienced a catastrophic injury, a stroke, or currently live with physical challenges, enjoying an independent life at home can seem overwhelming. This is because home modifications are often needed, and for most families, this can be a big thing to change and get used to.

As experienced occupational therapists, we appreciate that supporting safe and independent living for clients in their own homes is by far the most important and rewarding aspect of what we do..

We’re Damian and Catia, who share a single ambition – to transform the lives of people who want to live a safe and independent life at home. Together we’ve built a partnership with a combined 37 years of experience both here and abroad. This has helped us understand the diverse and specific needs of people like you.

Then in 2011, we launched our own business – Thrive For Life.

Our Commitment to Continuing Education Impacts Your Life

Beyond our academic credentials, both of us hold the Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation from the National Association of Homebuilders and the Executive Certification in Home Modifications (ECHM) from the University of Southern California. Our commitment to continued learning and training provides our clients with the very best quality of life for them in their own homes as they retain independence and a high quality of living.

Recent credentials in Home Modifications have been achieved through the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM) – a rigorous, peer-reviewed process.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s2-block2
THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s2-block3

We Love Seeing You Thrive In Your Own Home

Did you know the average costs of a nursing home in Hawaii now exceeds $150,000 per year? For the elderly, remaining at home rather than entering supportive care or assisted living environments has become more important than ever – beyond the financial cost. It’s our job to look at what it would take to keep you living in the comfort and peace of home with the close support network you need as you retain maximum autonomy and independence.

Oftentimes, our custom-designed home modifications provide a comparatively inexpensive better-suited alternative for clients, families, caregivers, and the insurance companies that serve them.

We Support You Every Step Of The Way

First and foremost we’re highly experienced Occupational Therapists with an extensive medical background. But our combined years of knowledge working with the healthcare industry, insurance coverage, cost/benefit concerns, and patient well-being, gives us a distinct advantage when planning home modification solutions.

Adjusting to life at home following a serious illness can be a lot for you and your family to take on. With our medical background, we understand the specific complications that come with conditions such as dementia, catastrophic injuries, stroke, ALS, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and normal aging. As a result, we manage projects from start to finish that creates a happier, independent home – a difference that can literally transform the quality of your life.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s2-block4

Founders Of Thrive For Life

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s3-block1

Damian Sempio

Home Modification And Accessibility Specialist, OTR, CAPS, ECHM, CEAC

Over 17 years ago I began practicing Occupational Therapy after receiving my BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. My level of experience is pretty diverse and ranges from geriatrics in the skilled nursing/home health area, to adults with spinal cord injuries, to infants and children in school and hospital settings.

As my career progressed, I met my business partner Catia Garell at USC; we went on to create Thrive For Life LLC in 2011 – a solution-driven accessibility consulting and home modification business. As an Accessibility Consultant with a medical mindset, I help make decisions and provide unique solutions for my clients based on their specific needs.

Using my experience as a project manager, I’ll often take a project from “soup to nuts” creating a successful project, from start to finish.

The most rewarding part of my life? Above all, it’s having an awesome family to explore the hidden gems of Hawai’i…oh and squeeze in a surf every once in a while!

Catia Garell

Home Modification & Accessibility Specialist, MA, OTR, CAPS, ECHM, CEAC

I’m Catia, co-founder of Thrive For Life LLC – the only known leading residential, and commercial accessibility consulting firm in Hawaii. My medical background in Occupational Therapy gives me a unique problem-solving perspective when I work with my clients, caring for their accessibility needs.
These include the private, state, commercial
and federal sectors.

For over 16 years, I’ve provided accessibility solutions for clients with disabilities and had the privilege to work internationally helping people in Guam and Australia. My experience means that I’m able to provide accessibility assessments that can identify barriers to function & access – the very two areas of home support that enrich people’s lives. Nothing motivates me more than achieving my clients’ goals: to be safe, comfortable, and thriving in their homes!

One thing I love more than anything is to spend time on Oahu and Maui with my friends and family. When I’m not working you don’t need to look far as I’ll be
in and around the ocean – surfing, paddling,
or swimming.

We Help You Live Independently, Without Limitations…
Here’s How Our Story Began

2001

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block1

Joining The Big Wide World

This was the time we graduated from USC! Eager to get started, we worked as independent Occupational Therapists for the next ten years, helping people gain mobility and a sense of independence.

2007
2009

Two Business Launches

After working as OTs for a number of years, our ambitions grew with our experience in the field. Working closely with pediatric clients, there was an intention to create a pediatric clinic, however this changed to focus on the business planning and research involved in starting an OT-focused care home.

However, neither of these gained the momentum to take them to where we initially envisioned – which was when we identified a far bigger need for accessible home modifications. However, we learned many valuable lessons about our own business from doing the research for our care home business idea.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block2

2011

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block3

3Rd Time Lucky

A couple of years later, we launched Thrive for Life, LLC – the company we continue to run today. But while doing research to start our previous care home business, we discovered a trend. That people would rather stay in their homes than go into a care home, and this opened up an opportunity for us because there we saw a gap…

That gap was the disconnect between rehab members discharging patients home from the hospital or healthcare facility and our clients then being at home. Because patients didn’t know where to start with the home modification recommendations required to support their medical needs.

2011

Time For More Study & Business Mentorship

Completed ECHM course on home
modifications at USC.

We began a mentorship relationship with the instructor from the course Susan Duncan – she provided us with documents and even role-playing to discuss our services with prospective clients until we were confident on our own. After all, we were more than OTs at this stage – we were business owners too! She reviewed our concept plans and provided us with the payscale that she uses, to help cut our learning curve to where we needed to be at that time.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block4

2014

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block5

Landed Our First Big Client

Our hard work and preparation had paid off. It was this year things took a positive turn for Thrive For Life as we landed our first big client which was a major insurance company.

2015

We’re Famous! (Almost)

We were showcased in the Entrepreneur Issue of USC Chan Occupational Therapy Magazine along with five other USC alumni described as “some of occupational therapy’s big thinkers, risk-takers and innovators.” It was a great opportunity to share how our services go far beyond what a regular contractor can offer because we have the medical background to understand our client’s intimate needs. If you’d like to read the article, click here.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block6

2016

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block7

Co-Author Contribution To Leading Book Release

During this year, we had the opportunity to become contributors to a book about spinal cord injuries. For many people, their homes aren’t set up to cope with the demands of daily life. As home modification experts and occupational therapists, we used our experience and training to insert our perspective on how people can live independent, safer and happier lives, despite their spinal cord injuries.

2018

On Stage At The American Society On Aging Conference

Here Catia was a co-speaker at the Conference which promotes leadership and advancing the knowledge and skills of adult support professionals. Her talks focused on breakthroughs in home modifications, supporting health, fall prevention and safety.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block8

2018
2020

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block9

Getting In Front Of Students To Share Our Experience

Guest speaker for Chaminade University, Honolulu at the Environmental and Interior Design school. Here we discussed with students universal design and accessibility concepts for home modifications.

2019

Our News Feature, A Teaching Opportunity, And Catia’s Big Achievement

In 2019 we had a couple of great things happen. Firstly, we were showcased on Hawaii’s local “Home Town Heroes” local news television show which gave us some incredible coverage to share our story, the work that goes into serving our clients each day and how we’re transforming people’s lives.

In addition to this, Catia landed a wonderful opportunity in the same year as an Instructor for the Executive Certificate in Home Modifications Course titled “How to get it Done”.

And last but by no means least in this same year, Catia becomes SCEM certified by AOTA – a rigorous peer-reviewed process that took 4 years to complete! The Board for Advanced and Specialty Certification (BASC) completed its review of Catia’s application and Catia was approved for AOTA Specialty Certification in Environmental Modification.

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block10

2019
2020

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-about-s4-block11

Guest Speaking For Business Class

Guest speaker Kapiolani Community College – Occupational Therapy Assistant program. At the Inservice for Business Management class, we had the honor of speaking about how TFL was started. We discussed the gap we saw in the market at that time to create a business that served a need for people who needed not only home modifications but expert guidance that supports their medical needs too.

2020

Another Guest Speaking Opportunity

We were invited as guest speakers for AARP. A particular highlight was teaching about fall prevention and Home modifications during a webinar hosted in 2020.

If you’d like to create a safe, independent, and practical living space…

One that’s perfectly suited to you (or your clients)…That enables you to live a normal life you love again…

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-home-s12-block1-img

Latest Blog Posts

THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-blog3-feat

Tips For Choosing The Right Wheelchair For Your Needs

Wheelchairs can be liberating or they can be aggravating. For people who are in need of a...View Post
THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-blog2-feat

How To Make Your Pool More Accessible

At Thrive for Life, we’re all about helping customers to age in place, as they experience what...View Post
THRIVE-FOR-LIFE-blog1-feat

Essential Ways To Make Your Home Handicap Accessible

By making your home accessible to those with disabilities, it means it will be possible for anyone...View Post

A home modifications guide for accessible living

Thrive For Life

Because home is where you want to stay