Homage, the caregiving services platform that melds qualified care professionals with smart technology to provide on-demand home caregiving for seniors, officially launched in Malaysia. The company is rolling-out its solution in Kuala Lumpur and selected areas in Selangor, with a view to expand to other states in Malaysia in the near future.
The launch also featured a panel discussion comprising experts from academia and the government, discussing ‘How Malaysia is Preparing for its Ageing Future?’. The panel featured a variety of insights from Prof. Dato’ Dr. Tengku Aizan Hamid [Director, Institute of Gerontology, University Putra Malaysia; Supreme Management Committee Member, National Welfare and Development Council of Malaysia (MAKPEM)], Dr. Rajini Sooryanarayana (Public Health Medicine Specialist & Researcher, Institute for Public Health, the Malaysian Ministry of Health), Gillian Tee (CEO and Co-Founder, Homage) and Vijitha Sivanjanam (Care Professional, Homage).
During the session, the panelists deliberated pressing issues facing Malaysia’s aged care sector. This included making quality aged care more accessible to all Malaysians, how care provisions and services need to be innovated for the modern local landscape, supporting government leadership in national aged care, as well as creating avenues for increased public-private partnerships to promote the sustainable growth of the aged care sector.
“My co-founder Lily Phang and I saw the pressing need for holistic care services that not only met our seniors’ medical needs, but also help them be more mobile and functional, providing emotional and social care to them in the comfort of their own homes. So we started Homage to help our loved ones age with grace, control and dignity. We wanted to build a service we could trust our own parents with,” said Gillian Tee CEO and Co-Founder of Homage. “Ultimately we also want to help give family members and primary caregivers respite, helping them self care so they can continue to be a support to those around them.”
Malaysia’s Healthcare National Key Economic Area estimated that the country will reach ageing nation status in just 10 years, with more than 15 percent of the population being aged 60 and over by then. Homage sees the urgent need to revamp the state of aged care in the country and is therefore supporting efforts to improve the standard of aged care by mobilising and activating a local caregiving workforce.
All of Homage’s caregivers – which the company refers to as Care Professionals – in Malaysia are Malaysian citizens from diverse backgrounds who have met stringent selection criteria. This includes multi-tiered interview processes, thorough background checks as well as training sessions that have been recognised by established local partners such as the International Medical College.
Then, by using smart technology, Homage’s proprietary matching engine links its Care Professional with care recipients according to their specific needs – from the type of ailment and treatment needed to language preferences. Available on web and mobile, Homage’s platform utilises real-time home care data to provide 24/7 visibility between the care recipients, care owners and care professionals. This allows for full visibility on the persons being cared for and helps to ease the entire caregiving process; such as managing visits, payments and care reporting.
Throughout 2018, Homage worked with families in Malaysia to learn more about the challenges Malaysians face when looking for suitable care for their elderly loved ones. The company has been growing its team of Care Professionals in Malaysia and aims to bring on-board 100 care professionals in 2019, as well as sign up 1,000 in three years’ time to support its growing client base.
“The last few months have been a great learning opportunity for us since we had soo launched our solution in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, our first two major states in Malaysia,” said Kevin Hoong, Homage’s Head of Expansion, Malaysia. “Over our many conversations with the families here, we find that they struggle to seek the right caregiver for their loved ones due to the opacity of information and processes out there. Many of them require temporary relief either due to their work commitments, or when their helpers go on holiday. This is when our Care Professionals can step in to help, as even a few hours a day goes a long way to help the family members.”