Entrepreneur

How This M'sian Startup Modernises Elderly Care So That Nursing Homes Aren't The Only Option

In 2020 itself, the number of people aged 60 and above would reach the 3.5 million mark, according to Universiti Malaya’s Social Wellbeing Research Centre.

Malaysia is poised to become an ageing nation, which brings new challenges in terms of relevant services needed to aid in elderly care.

A few of those problems are quality, safe and affordable personalised care options after hospitalisation.

After his late grandmother suffered a stroke, Martin Yap ran into several challenges trying to find someone qualified to guide and assist in her care.

So, in 2017, Martin and his co-founder Justin established CARE Concierge to supply nurses, therapists and caregivers to post-hospitalised elders.

Vetted Professionals Who CARE

“Our services provide reliable part-time or full-time professionals to elders in the comfort of their own home,” said Anna Chew, Acting Chief Marketing Officer, to Vulcan Post.

According to her, most Malaysians are still under the impression that nursing homes are the only option.

Besides, hiring an average maid is worrying to some, as they might not have the training to take proper care of the elderly.

On the other hand, CARE has registered doctors and nurses to help out with elders who might need post-op care.

Through CARE’s services, professionals manage everything from Activities of Daily Living (ADL) right down to dementia, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and post-op recovery.

Meanwhile, caregivers help out simply with the day-to-day stuff, which can include medication reminders, companionship, driving around to doctors’ appointments, and more.

If patients require different care periods such as short-term care, one-day medical chaperones, or full-time live-in caregivers, CARE’s team is able to fulfil that too.

Image Credit: CARE Concierge

Essentially, this is a service geared towards two types of customers.

First, children of the elderly, who are unable to abandon their career to take care of their parents.

Second, the older generation themselves, who would like to make their own decisions in the absence of family members.

As of right now, they record 1,000 CARE pros for daily living tasks, 250 registered nurses, and 100 specialists that are ready to either to provide daycare or round-the-clock services for elders.

“CARE partners with UTAR, who now works alongside us to certify our caregivers. We are the first provider in Asia to do so,” Anna explained.  

Their professionals are also vetted through a process where they’re required to undergo police checks, health screenings, have verified documentation, and proper training, so you can be sure that grandpa and grandma will be left in good hands.

Peace Of Mind Via Accessible Technology

In an effort to constantly keep family members updated about their elders’ status, CARE has also engineered their very own mobile app.

The app provides a day-to-day diary of each of their clients.

Through the app, all approved family members would be able to track the condition of the patient.

Here, family members can go through everything from scanning vitals, reading notes and updates, and viewing images of the patients.

It’s also beneficial during doctor’s visits so that doctors are able to monitor the progress and pick up on relevant data that would help.

The app also provides peace of mind for family members currently not in
the country.

“Any of them (children, siblings, etc.) from around the world are able to track the condition of the patient through the vitals and read notes, updates, and view images from our caregivers so they feel like they are engaged in and part of the care,” Anna said.

CARE also has a 24-hour call centre that handles calls from families and guides them through any concerns they have.

Big Plans For The Future Of Elderly Care

It would appear that many saw the potential in CARE’s service as a few angel investors had raised RM500,000 in initial funding to support the startup.

And to this date, CARE proudly told us that they are already profitable.

Perhaps this might be because, in addition to their live-in homecare service, they have another value added service for families who may not even have space for their elderly at home.

This is where CARE’s premier living facilities come in.

CARE manages 4 assisted living facilities homes, with another 5 to come onstream in the nearing quarter.

“Our focus is on innovation for the elderly, building products that they actually want and need,” Anna elaborated.

When asked about CARE Concierge’s big plans for the future, Anna mentioned the expansion of their existing products.

This includes the development of a clubhouse concept for the elderly, as well as an introduction of the Caregiver Training course aimed towards helpers/foreign domestic workers.

Before we ended the interview, Anna also shared some industry insights about the state of elderly caregiving in Malaysia.

“Assisted-living units (ALU) or most commonly known as old folk’s homes or nursing homes are starting to move towards less squalid and more professional care,” she said.

Hopefully, we will no longer see old people sleeping in a hall together separated by curtains, nor for the families to walk into a home only to be greeted by a sense of dread and filth. The industry needs to restore dignity to the older folks in their later years.

Anna Chew, CMO, CARE Concierge
  • You can read more about other startup features we’ve written about here.

Featured Image Credit: CARE Concierge

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