Move over traditional seniors homes and long-term-care facilities, there’s a new kid on the block. Called Homecare Hub, the company is offering a new kind of care and living options for seniors, with an affordable on-demand creation process that may be a first in Canada, according to its CEO and co-founder Dr. Vipan Nikore. Dr. Nikore, a former IBM software developer, is also a physician at Trillium Health Partners and the Cleveland Clinic and serves as TD Bank’s chief medical director and is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.
Homecare Hub is built on the concept of multiple people in a neighbourhood sharing care and co-living together, where two to 10 seniors live together in a home with up to 24-hours of support provided by a certified personal support worker (PSW). Similar to group homes, what makes Homecare Hub unique is its patient matching algorithm powered by its technology, its ability to create these homes on demand and the high-quality system its operators have created, along with the cost-effectiveness of its solution. Homecare Hub also offers 9-to-5 day programs and other customized options.
“I was the site director of medicine at Credit Valley Hospital and treated tens of thousands of patients in Canada and the U.S. and found their situations were similar: seniors were in the hospital and families were struggling with no suitable options to remain in their community,” says Dr. Nikore. “Often, they didn’t need to be in the hospital, but there are often thousands of people on wait lists for long-term-care facilities. Or in many cases they couldn’t afford to go into an expensive assisted living (setting) or pay for individual home care in their house since costs can easily increase to over $100,000 a year. They had no where to go. For me, this was the driving force behind starting Homecare Hub with my talented co-founders. We knew there had to be a better way. After a couple of years of creating their powerful technology and system, in February 2020 — one month before the COVID-19 pandemic — we launched Homecare Hub as a new option for integrated affordable living with high-quality care, which I felt was sometimes lacking in the field. Homecare Hub is unique with our flagship solution being our Shared Living and Share Care program in small group care homes in a more comfortable environment with more personalized care in a social setting.”
There are Homecare Hub Shared Living homes in the GTA, including in Mississauga, Markham and Scarborough, and the company is expanding across Canada, the U.S. and beyond. People with a spare bedroom can even rent it to Homecare Hub, which will make all the arrangements for a senior to move into their home and provide all services to keep a patient out of long-term care.
“What we are offering is a game changer for senior care as we know it,” states Dr. Nikore. “As far as we know, we are the only company able to create these seniors’ live-in Shared Care home options on demand based on custom matching with a comprehensive suite of services ranging from medical care to physiotherapy and much more to care for complex patients at home. We are creating a system to create thousands of homes across North America in rapid fashion while creating a new standard of health care in the home. There are some smaller care homes, but we are creating them on demand and adding an extra level of quality care.”
As a physician, Dr. Nikore was seeing a fundamental shift in how people are thinking about long-term care. “There are not enough beds to meet the need, so our team had to get creative. A key feature is that we can provide homes on demand. If a seniors home has 100 people on a wait list Homecare Hub can serve them all by unlocking the potential of existing homes, or renting rooms if people have spare bedrooms, we basically create a long-term-care bed and we bring in all the services, from nursing to meals, and activities.”
Affordability of housing is a major concern for seniors and their families. “We feel very proud to offer a new option for seniors for quality care that is affordable,” says Dr. Nikore. “Depending on the patient assessment, generally we are about 25 per cent lower than the cost of a traditional assisted living or long-term-care bed. It’s not a knock against long-term care or assisted living. Everyone has different preferences, and some people want to live in a traditional facility while others may prefer a small setting that’s more like home. We are creating a new option for people and that option is more affordable.”
Talking about the company name, Homecare Hub, Dr. Nikore explains, “A hub is about connecting people. There are two plays on the word hub — we offer shared living in small homes or day programs so these are hubs, and the second part is we bring in all the services a senior needs, so that’s a hub as well. If you call Homecare Hub, we have geriatric specialists who answer the phone and can provide great guidance, even if they don’t want to live at one of our homes or need any of our services. Finding long-term care for seniors is a field where people are generally lost. Just give us a call — we provide navigation and are here to help those who need care. Yes, I’d love to provide patients with housing in one of our shared group homes or day programs, but we have a hub of 80 vetted quality home-care agencies we can refer people to and caring navigators willing to give guidance.”
The key to the success of the “hub” is to meet the growing demand for senior care by offering multiple solutions, from 24-7 nursing to more independent shared care, to clients staying in their own home with supports and/or day programs.
“It’s a new kind of care that offers a higher level of reliability so we are very excited and feel that this will fundamentally change senior care,” adds Dr. Nikore. “We are excited to be helping to solve the housing crisis and long-term bed shortage with solutions that help seniors readjust to a lifestyle that’s suited to their needs and their wallet.” For more information on Homecare Hub, visit homecarehub.ca or reach out to 1-888-227-3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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