City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

HomeWell Cares With Kindness

Article by Melinda Gipson

Photography by Melinda GIpson, HomeWell Cares

Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle

Arizette Carrinho, CEO of HomeWell Care Services, was a nurse for 12 years – everything from labor and delivery to the ICU – before starting her own in-home healthcare service. “I've always loved caring for people. The only thing is, I just fell out of love with the hospital bureaucracy – just not being able to give the care that I wanted to, to my patients.”

She’s been working with HomeWell Cares for the last year and couldn’t be happier. “My ‘why’ is being able to see my patients beyond the hospital. A lot of times we would discharge them to go home and we would give them the instructions and then that was it. Just being able to have that continuum of being part of their care is more of who I am as a person. Being part of just their everyday life and providing them with that peace of mind is key.”

On her website ( she writes, “Kindness is the most underestimated component of a business.” She goes so far as to say that, in her experience, you can teach anyone to be a care-giver but you can’t teach kindness. “You can hire someone with 20 years of experience caring for patients or clients but if they don't have the heart to do what we do, you just can't work in this field.” It’s a quality she’s made her number one priority in hiring, and one she has modeled in her own life since learning to help care for a brother with autism.

When she discovered that one of her care-givers was homeless, she put her in a hotel until she was able to get back on her feet. “That’s what we have to do. It just goes back to kindness and being there. Maybe that one glimpse of hope helps someone and it becomes contagious when you pass it on to those you're caring for.”

 “When I meet my clients for the first time, I don't talk to them about what's medically going wrong with their family member in need of care. I tried to find what's emotionally going on. When I connect with families in that way, I find that a lot of them are exhausted, they're tired, or they feel guilty that they just can't help their family member anymore. I really take the time to get down to what's really going on emotionally and try to just give them peace of mind.”

For a closer look what that looks like, we’ll introduce you to Brian. Three years ago, Brian was diagnosed with ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease) at 38. When his wife left, and multiple assisted living establishments declined to admit him, his parents took over his care. Arizette could tell they were exhausted. When they talked, Arizette encouraged Brian's mom and dad to share the memories they had of their son and the times they enjoyed together. In so doing, she learned that his parents had moved from their retirement home in South Carolina to Northern Virginia so Brian could be a part of his children’s lives.  

Arizette told the family that of course they were aware that there’s no cure for ALS, and wanted to know how his mom and dad were dealing with that. Rather than feeling guilty about seeking help, Arizette said, “I helped them appreciate that they didn’t want their last memories of their son be only about their exhaustion in caring for him. They were shocked that I took the time to listen to them. It made me very sad because kindness is missing in a lot of businesses, especially in health care.”

Given the green light, Arizette found Brian a full-time care-giver, whom they all adore and she visits Brian every day to talk and pray with him. “I’ve become like family.... Eventually, Brian’s parents trusted us enough to move back to South Carolina, but they now drive or fly here so their son can enjoy spending time with his kids for five days every two weeks.” Despite all the travel, they feel they can enjoy their grandchildren and son together, without feeling like his care falls entirely on their shoulders.

That’s not to say the burden isn’t still substantial. Arizette tells us that Brian’s care costs upwards of $150,000 a year and that insurance doesn’t pay for home health care. “It’s out of pocket and it’s 24/7,” she explained. She’s willing to match up to $10,000 for anyone willing to donate to Brian’s GoFundMe campaign. Kindness wouldn’t have it any other way.

To help Brian’s family, donate at Or, if you’d just like to see if she can help you with your current home health care needs, give her a call: 703.431.4706 ext 1001. She’s a great listener.

Businesses featured in this article