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Companion walking with elderly adult in New York City

About us

Our history

It started with a simple idea

We founded Duet with an innovative concept: bring exceptional caregivers from unique backgrounds into the senior home care industry. The reason is simple. We want individuals who can connect with our clients in a genuine way and provide an enhanced level of social support, along with other important daily tasks.

Though we hire many experienced home care professionals, we look at the caregiving labor force as something much larger. New York City is home to thousands of individuals with remarkable caregiving experiences who may not identify first and foremost as professional caregivers. They are healthcare workers, artists, performers, graduate students, educators, and semi-retired professionals from various occupations.

Since our beginnings in 2015, we have built relationships with non-profit organizations, career centers, and recruiting sources throughout our community that have helped us identify remarkable caregivers. To date, we have hired over 1,000 of these special individuals. Some of them are lifelong home care professionals who typically work ten or twelve-hour shifts. Others are trained theater performers or semi-retired educators who enjoy supporting their client for three or four days a week for several hours at time.

The People Process

We hire fewer than 10% of
applicants

Caregiver sitting at the kitchen table with elderly man

Prior experience, patience, and compassion are some of the most important building blocks for great senior care.

And while personalities are unique and chemistry varies between people, all of our caregivers must demonstrate a passion for working side-by-side with our clients.

Our hiring process is rigorous – it includes multiple interviews, professional references, a criminal background check, and drug screen. Once hired, we support the development of our caregivers through training programs that enhance their caregiving knowledge and provide them with practical tools for creating a stronger connection with their client.

Creating a match

We take the time upfront to learn about our clients – their needs, passions, preferences – so that we can present the best possible candidates. Ultimately, they choose the person who they feel is best for them.

With a large and diverse pool of caregivers, we can create exceptional matches for our clients. Our unique database enables us to track and filter dozens of vital attributes of our caregivers, such as: personality type, education level, caregiving experience, and numerous abilities and interests. Some caregivers will have excellent culinary skills, while others will be able to speak a foreign language or play the piano.

Meet some of our caregivers
Elderly man and caregiver laughing in the park

Client Experience

Our team members are zealous about finding solutions for our clients and making them happy

Providing a great caregiver is one component of working with Duet. We also believe in providing outstanding client service. This means being attentive, thoughtful, and highly responsive to the questions and challenges presented to us.

Male caregiver supporting elderly woman as they walk down the street

Dedicated support

During the process of starting services with Duet, clients are assigned a dedicated advisor from our Client Services Team. Our advisors can make helpful suggestions when developing a home care, dementia care, or other elder care plan, as well as provide ongoing support.

This could mean making referrals to other trusted New York City service providers in the senior care industry, or perhaps working through issues related to a long-term care insurance policy. We maintain a list of well-vetted service providers in other categories, such as Geriatric Care Managers and Visiting Physicians, who may play a vital role in our clients’ long-term care.

Getting started

Meet the team

Leadership team

Kyle_Budinscak-image@2x
Managing Director & Co-Founder
Kyle Budinscak

Kyle began his professional career as an investor at Summit Partners, a private equity firm focused on high-growth companies. While there, he spent a lot of time learning about the healthcare services and technology industries. Though he came away with fond memories and a great education, he enjoys being mostly oblivious to the stock market these days. In 2015, he started Duet with the goal of providing a new type of home care experience for older adults. It was during his exploration into neuroscience and brain health, following his investment career, that he came away with a deeper appreciation for the power of social connection for brain health and overall wellness. This concept became an important part of the Company’s mission to hire engaging caregivers and match them carefully with older adults. Away from the office, he tries to take advantage of what New York City has to offer in food and great performances. And he remains an avid fan of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, where he played defensive end for its football team in the early 2000’s.

Larisa_Polonsky-image@2x
Director & Co-Founder
Larisa Polonsky

Larisa completed a BFA in acting, and then worked for many years in TV, stage and film. Her professional experience in the performing arts nurtured a deep curiosity and interest in the human condition. It also generated a sincere desire to find a way to help others. Performing live on stage provides a unique intimacy, an almost ethereal connection between other actors as well as the audience, and it was that communal experience which cemented in Larisa the notion that her true calling was to be of service. Working with Duet became the perfect marriage between her love of acting and her calling to serve others. At the core, Duet’s message is about the connection between the caregivers they employ and the seniors they support. For Larisa, this is both the most rewarding and challenging role she’s played to date. Away from the office, Larisa remains devoted to honing her craft as an actor, and enjoys spending her time off with friends, family and her pittbull-mix, Bailey.

Meet the team

Management team

Kayla_Noone-Picture@2x
Director of Client Services
Kayla Noone, LMSW

Kayla is a licensed social worker who has spent the entirety of her career working in geriatrics in New York City.  Growing up, she was very close to her great-grandmother who lived well into her 90s, which sparked an interest and connection to older adults from a young age. Before joining Duet, Kayla worked in private geriatric care management and also spent many years in the NYP – Weill Cornell hospital system assisting socially and medically complex Medicare patients in navigating their health care needs. As a native New Yorker, Kayla values the unique experience of aging in such a vibrant city and the role it plays in the lives of her clients. She is passionate about keeping older adults living safely and independently in their homes for as long as possible. Outside of her work, Kayla enjoys literature, cooking, swimming, and spending time with her family and friends.

Adrienne_Wagner-image@2x
Director of Staffing
Adrienne Wagner

Adrienne has worked in various capacities with children of all ages, individuals with disabilities, and as a caregiver to older adults, especially those living with dementia.  She earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, designing a concentration in Cross-Cultural Studies.  Always a writer and a dancer, Adrienne would go on to experiment as an actor, director and producer, collaborating with other artists to make everything from live performance art to short films and modern dance.  The power of creative expression inspired her to eventually earn her MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts.  For years, Adrienne continued to perform and make her art alongside being a caregiver.  When she found Duet, she experienced firsthand the fruits of our thoughtful matchmaking process.  The relationships she shared with her clients (two of whom she visits to this day) were incredibly meaningful.  They made such an impact on her life that she now finds great fulfillment and joy as the Director of Staffing, facilitating the very connections she was afforded.

Contact us today

Call us to start services or learn more about our approach to home care