Meet the founders of GrandCare: Charlie & Gaytha Hillman

Charlie and Gaytha Hillman, Founders of GrandCare Systems

Everyone knows that Charlie and Gaytha Hillman founded GrandCare Systems (before innovation in aging was even cool.) They started the company back in 2005, before the industry was even yet to be.  They blazed the trail, and educated people on why technology was a good idea, any technology, and not just GrandCare. They weathered the storms of a young and fragmented aging and healthcare industry, and came out better for it. The GrandCare technology became one of the most robust, tested and comprehensive technologies out there, perfect for the senior and disabled population.

Here’s what you might not know about Charlie and Gaytha. Busy as they are with their company, they spend a lot of time giving back to the community. And recently, they were  nominated by members of the community for the Champions of Change award, to celebrate their commitment to volunteering throughout the community. We wanted to share with you this other side, the side that originally drove the passion behind starting a holistic and helpful company such as GrandCare.

Here’s their story:

Charlie and Gaytha Hillman are a couple who have been giving back their entire lives, and who make giving back part of everything they do. They’re multi-talented people, busy with their business, and their hobbies, and their family, but they are deeply generous with their time and energy, volunteering in a wide range of activities. And they don’t just show up and pitch in, they have a long history of thoughtful, committed leadership.

Education is important to them, and their service reflects it. Charlie was elected to the school board, and served as president. Gaytha is a longtime board member for Columns, the organization responsible for raising thousands of dollars for college scholarships each year. An engineer who is good at math and science, Charlie is a volunteer tutor for students struggling to prepare for the ACT, and Gaytha serves on the Ambassador Council for UW-Washington County.

They’re also committed to the environment. Gaytha has served on the board of RiverEdge Nature Center, and of the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. When she maxed out her term of board service, she continued to volunteer. You may not think of her as the techie one of the two, but she designed and developed OWLT’s first database, and has since been back to design upgrades as the organization has grown.

If you know anything about Charlie and Gaytha, you know that they’re musicians. And that’s another area in which they give back. They both sing in the church choir, and frequently prepare special music programs for their church. After church, Gaytha offers free guitar lessons to anyone in the congregation interested in learning. When their children were young, Gaytha organized the McLane Talent Show. More recently, she performs in the Moraine Chorus, and in a quintet that frequently donates its talents to events hosted by non-profits. She has performed in community theater with Spotlight Productions and Musical Masquers, as well as volunteering with the Kettle Moraine Youth Symphony, and the West Bend Children’s Theatre, where she always seems to be cast in a male role.

Speaking of Church, Charlie has been president of his Church Council, and the church retired its debt under his leadership. He also donates his technical expertise to the church as head of their Tech Team.

Charlie grew up in West Bend, and the couple has lived here most of their married life. Our community is important to them. They’ve been active in the Chamber of Commerce, and Gaytha has served as its chair. She and Charlie are among the first people to support new businesses in town, enthusiastically trying out new shops and restaurants, and recommending them to friends. Gaytha has also served on the board for the Volunteer Center, and Charlie has served on the city’s Economic Development Corporation. He was also a longtime member of the Sunrise Rotary and served as its president. And the year they co-chaired the United Way campaign, they not only exceeded their fundraising goal, they set a record that took years to beat.

If you know Charlie and Gaytha, you also know that they’re serial entrepreneurs. Even by their work you can see the spirit of giving that burns so brightly in these two. One of their earlier ventures, HNet, was the first internet provider in West Bend. In addition to providing access to the Internet, the Hillmans educated businesses on the benefits of email, and donated websites and service to local non-profits. Their current venture, which keeps them busy, is GrandCare Systems. It’s a software system designed by Charlie to help elderly people stay in their homes safely. He was inspired to create it as something that would help his own great-aunt Clara. But he realized it could help many more people.

They were ahead of their time, and so part of their job in the early days was to help the country create and build the market for technology designed to help seniors. They were invited to participate in the White House’s first conference on aging to help educate the market on what was possible. And as high tech as their venture is, every chance they get, they hire their employees through Workforce Development, another way they offer a hand to someone who might need a little extra help to make a success of themselves.

Many people in their hometown know Charlie and Gaytha, and many people in town call Charlie and Gaytha friends, and it’s no surprise. They’re everywhere. And everywhere they go, they’re giving back.

GrandCare Systems, founded by two people who have dedicated their lives to caring about others, and who care deeply about the lives of their customers.

Thanks Charlie & Gaytha for your service to the community, to your family, to our families, and to an industry that needs you.

GrandCare Systems highlighted in Kiplinger Magazine

Kiplinger Showcases GrandCare Technology to Help Seniors Remain in Their Homes

Kiplinger, a national financial news magazine, recently gave a shout out to GrandCare Systems in an article called “Technology Helps Seniors Remain at Home.” GrandCare was highlighted as a device to help seniors remain independent in their own homes.

“Most of us want to remain at home as we get older, but safety and health issues and social isolation can interfere with that plan.” The article praises GrandCare for being a technology that addresses both of those issues, and that enables seniors “to stay put indefinitely.”

The author specifically mentions GrandCare’s comprehensive health and wellness features. Using home health devices, such as blood pressure monitors, weight scales, glucometers, and pulse oximeters, seniors can take their readings at home, and those readings are automatically (and wirelessly) transmitted and recorded to the GrandCare System in the residence. Family members and caregivers can login in remotely to view the readings at any time, and identify trends. They can also set rules to receive email, phone, or text notifications whenever a reading falls outside of a chosen range, or whenever the senior forgets to take a reading. And they can take printouts of the readings with them to doctor appointments.

The article also commended GrandCare’s socialization and communication features.

“With an interactive touch screen from [GrandCare] Systems, you can look at a photo of a grandson’s Halloween costume or a video replay of his baseball home run. You can listen to music, play word games, read the news or surf the Internet. No need to know how to use a computer.”

The article quotes GrandCare customer Randall Schafer, 61, of Houston, whose 90-year-old mother has a GrandCare system in her home. Schafer said that he and his mother especially love the video chat feature of her system.

“‘My mom is in love with our dog, Daisy,’ Schafer says. Her ‘face lights up’ when she sees the schnauzer, he says.” The GrandCare system makes it so easy to do, that she can simply push a button to start the video chat.

Read the entire article.

Get Connected with GrandCare Training at CEDIA HQ

The Connected Aging & Health Wave: Are you on Board?

Extensive Industry & GrandCare Implementation Training: July 25-27, 2016 at the CEDIA Training Facility in Indianapolis, IN

GrandCare is all about connecting. We connect seniors, their families, professional in-home caregivers, senior housing providers, healthcare systems, insurance providers, rehab/post-acute facilities, and end of life providers.

This July we are offering another way to connect with your customers. Please join us for a comprehensive three-day connected health and aging technology training at CEDIA headquarters in Indianapolis July 25-27.

Get Connected…

…in this deep-dive session, you’ll learn about the key aspects of technology implementation in the growing aging and disability market, with our mix of instructor-led sessions, roundtable discussions, and hands-on learning labs.

Connect your Caregiver Clients…

You will learn about medical, social and remote monitoring technologies; installation and support; sales and marketing; the hearing loss industry; easy computing for seniors; and more.

Connected Opportunities…

You can leave as an authorized GrandCare, ClearSounds and MyGait resellers from this one-time invaluable opportunity.

This training offers you a unique opportunity to brand your company as the go-to solution in the aging, disability and connected health technology space.

The training includes:

  • Practice installing and implementing the GrandCare socialization touchscreen monitor and all of the optional accessories including telehealth, HIPAA-compliant video chat, and activity monitoring
  • Building sales strategies and effective online marketing campaigns for this technology
  • New possibilities created by healthcare reform
  • Long-term care opportunities

This comprehensive and deep-dive training is open to technology enthusiasts, custom integrators/dealers/distributors, professional care providers, healthcare organizations and senior housing facilities.

Let us connect you!

Questions about the training? Contact info@grandcare.com or call 262-338-6147

Register for Industry & GrandCare Implementation Training at CEDIA HQ in Indianapolis, IN.

Additional Upcoming GrandCare Affiliate Training:
August 17-19 at GrandCare HQ in West Bend, WI