This article first appeared on The Malaysian Reserve, by Lydia Nathan.
IN ABOUT 10 years, 15% of the Malaysian population is expected to be above the age 60, yet the information and knowledge on caring for the elderly seem to still be lacking among the society.
As part of its efforts to create greater awareness on the needs of the elderly, on-demand home care provider Homage Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched a bi-weekly web series to build awareness on medical conditions like stroke and cancer, while using the easiest terms for people to comprehend.
The company offers home care solutions, combining professional caregivers with smart technology to manage and provide on-demand holistic home and community- based caregiving.
Homage Malaysia country manager Gan Pooi Chan said the first video for the Senior Care Web Series was launched on its official Facebook page in June, 2020.
“We realised that when the Movement Control Order started, people were more inclined to videos as a form of engagement and this was our way of providing value to more Malaysians amid the new normal,” she told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.
The series covers a wide range of topics from dementia to fall prevention which dives into types of wheelchairs or mobility aids that look at suitability.
Gan said the series features various health experts who answer questions raised by the families Homage cares for or even by the seniors themselves.
“We’ve had experts such as Dr Ian Chik who specialises in haemophilia, and Mr Lee who is a known physiotherapist in Penang. We have also collaborated with Home Care Shop and Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia’s Day Care Centre for the web series.
“The series is only 10 minutes long and is aired on Facebook. We found that if we made it any longer we would risk losing the attention of viewers.
“We do aim to make it an interactive session soon so viewers can also type out questions or anything they might want to query on,” Gan said.
She said this series was important but even more so during this time as the Covid-19 pandemic has put the elderly more at risk than ever where mobility is concerned.
“Often, mobility is a challenge to both seniors and carers. Having to travel to consult a doctor and to get treatment can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Given this pandemic, seniors are deemed as high-risk groups, and should not expose themselves unnecessarily so this is aimed at assisting the elderly as much as possible,” Gan added.
Meanwhile, Gan said beyond building resources and discussing medical conditions with its long- term care, it is more important to have discussions surrounding prevention.
“It is vital for families to talk about prevention or steps to work towards in their lifetime as many don’t give any thought to it until something happens.
“It is also important to talk about what this new normal means to the elderly, and how we can help ease them into life during a pandemic,” she said.
Gan added that it is Homage Malaysia’s ultimate goal to enable and make wellness accessible to every Malaysian.
“This would mean having treatment and medical aids available at home and ensuring that recovery can be done at the comfort of your home, without the need to travel out which is what our tagline is, care where you are,” she said.
The group operates in Malaysia and Singapore and has been working with the government, health, as well as financial organisations to distribute and deliver home and community-caregiving services.