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.

Founders Of Thrive For Life


Damian Sempio

Home Modification and Accessibility Specialist, OTR, CAPS, ECHM, CEAC, Thrive for Life, LLC

Damian received his BS in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California and has been practicing since 2001. His diverse experience ranges from geriatrics in the skilled nursing/home health area, adults with spinal cord injuries, to infants and children in school and hospital settings. A natural progression of his career led him to partner with Catia Garell and start Thrive For Life LLC, a solution driven accessibility consulting and home modification firm. Damian is an accessibility specialist with a medical mindset to help guide decisions and provide unique solutions for his clients. He is an experienced project manager and can take a project from start to finish in order to make a successful project. Damian is also adept in American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and can help guide organizations through their compliance needs via assessment, audit, and planning. Though above all the most rewarding part of Damian’s life is having an awesome family to explore the hidden gem’s of Hawai’i…oh and squeeze in a surf every once in a while!


Catia Garell

Home Modification & Accessibility Specialist, MA, OTR, SCEM, Thrive for Life, LLC, Instructor University of Southern California, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, Executive Certificate in Home Modification Program

Catia is the co-founder of Thrive For Life LLC, which is the only known premier residential accessibility consulting firm in Hawai’i, with a medical background in occupational therapy. Catia’s medical background gives her a unique problem solving perspective when working with clients and their accessibility needs which have included private, state, commercial and federal sectors. Since 2011, Catia has contributed to the health care community by providing accessibility solutions for clients with disabilities. Catia has also acquired international experience working with clients in Guam and Australia performing accessibility assessments and identifying barriers to function & access.
Catia loves spending time on Oahu and Maui with friends and family. When not working she can be found in and around the ocean – surfing, paddling, or swimming. She loves achieving her clients’ goals: to be safe, comfortable, and thriving in their homes!


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.


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.


Our 40 Years of Home Modification Experience will help you Live a Free and Independent Life.

If you’ve recently experienced a catastrophic injury, a stroke, or if you currently live with physical challenges, enjoying an independent life at home can be challenging.


If you’ve recently experienced a catastrophic injury, a stroke, or if you currently live with physical challenges, getting services to help you enjoy an independent life at home can be overwhelming.


Home modifications can help, and the right team can ensure you receive the best services to support your needs now, and in the future.

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

We Help You Live Independently, Without Limitations.
Here is How Our Story Began

We are 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 have built a partnership that combined 40 years of experience both here in United States and abroad. This has helped us understand the diverse and specific needs of people like you.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.




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.


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.




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.


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. Click Here.

In addition to this, Catia landed a wonderful opportunity in the same year as an Instructor at the University of Southern California, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, Executive Certificate in Home Modifications Course titled “How to get it Done”. Click Here.

And last but by no means least in this same year, Catia becomes Specialty Certification in Environmental Modification (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 she was approved for AOTA’s SCEM. Click Here.




Guest Speaker for Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Guest speaker Kapiolani Community College’s OTA program. At the Inservice for Business Management class, we had the honor of speaking about how Thrive For Life (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.


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.

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.


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.


If you would like to create a safe, independent, and practical living space:


A home modifications guide for accessible living

Thrive For Life

Because home is where you want to stay

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