Dr. Jivraj, a co-founder and Managing Director of AgeCare Ltd, Canada, operates a portfolio of over 2400 beds/suites for the elderly, employing over 2,400 staff. AgeCare, and their development arm, Hestia Construction, have successfully designed, built and put into operation multi-generational communities including care homes and care villages in Canada, based on a belief that all older people are entitled to a rich quality of life, with the opportunity to live as independently as possible.
Dr. Jivraj, an advisor to the board of Anavo Group, was honoured in 2006 as one of The 100 Alberta’s Physicians of the Century by the Alberta Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Alberta. Here, he shares with us his insights into the care sector and how he sees the future.
What was it that originally drew you to a career in the care sector?
I am a physician by background and over 30 years ago I was invited to be part of a care home business in the UK. Ten years later, I became involved in creating a solution to the shortage of dignified, quality care homes in Alberta, Canada. This led to my 30+ years in the sector, helping design and implement better care options for older people.
How is Canada leading the way regarding innovation in elderly care?
20 years ago, the model of care was very traditional, with residential homes looking very much like hospitals and functioning as institutions.
Since then, we have evolved, creating communities for older people with independent living apartments and supportive living units, as well as long-term care for the older adult including those with dementia and complex mental health needs, and palliative care as well as multi-family housing. Our care communities are multi-generational with intergenerational programs.
Our care philosophy is based around the residents and their families.
How do you see care for older people evolving so that it is fit for the 21st century and how will technology play a role in this?
Housing options will continue to evolve as needs arise and affordability is managed.
Watching what is happening in Japan with the use of Robots in Care and in other health care facilities in Canada, I see these being increasingly introduced into care facilities across Canada and UK.
Use of precision medicine, targeted at individual needs, will prolong longevity and will require a different level of professional and personal care for which we will need to be responsible.
What kind of built environment and operational infrastructure should Anavo target in order to offer something different in the UK care market?
Anavo should develop communities where multi-generational care is possible, with well-designed, warm and effective environments to improve residents’ experience. In addition, Anavo should offer community and children’s facilities, such as cafés, playgrounds and child day care facilities, to encourage resident and family-centred care.
What advice would you give to Ed, Jamie and Tom, the co-founders of Anavo, to ensure they continue on their innovative path and provide exceptional care?
Live the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would be done by. In other words, if you would not be prepared to move into your care facility – don’t own it.