BENGALURU:Elderly in the city who are looking for help with their daily chores or even for an evening chat may find an answer in Elder Care. The start-up, founded by a former Captain (Indian Navy) Harsh Kumar Singh and Manreet Kahlon, employs former servicemen as ‘care managers’ and ‘care buddies’ for this.
The founder and CEO Singh has served as the Captain of ships that were deployed for long duration. Therefore, he has first-hand experience of deploying a family support units. According to Singh, this has been proven as an efficient system. That’s how they came upon the idea of having veterans help out elderly. “It serves provides accessibility and delivery to clients, and provides dignified employment to veterans,” he says.
He says, “We have subscription packages for three, six and yearly packages. Our charges would be approximately `60 a day for care buddy or care manager. This ensures at least two free visits a month to assess general well being and help with little household chores, plus an opportunity for elders to talk to someone, helping them cope with isolation.” They do a mapping of neighbourhood services which includes ambulances, beat constable and access for vehicles before they sign on a client. “A care buddy/ care manager with local knowledge will be a phone call away,” says Singh.
He estimates their target market to be atleast seven lakh strong. “As per Central Statistics Office report about 7.7 percent of urban population is above the age of 60. Considering Bengaluru population is above 10 lakh, we can safely assume there are about seven lakh elderly,” he says. “We would be targeting elders with adequate mobility and independence and even those who need palliative care,” he says.
Eldercare will partner with various firms in home health care, legal services, concierge providers and assisted living companies.
Their startup has drawn the interest of angel investors such as Arjun Malhotra, Vishwas Tripathi and Suresh Rajpal.The biggest challenge they forsee in the market, he says, is “reluctance of elderly to accept that they need physical support to complete their journey of life independently”.There would be safety concerns but Singh assures that their staff will be those with “an impeccable service record, with over 17 years of service in Indian Armed Forces”. The startup does checks using their Aadhar cards, servicemen ID cards and through references from their former units.
They do employ nurses and caregivers through their associates or through independent hiring, but Singh says stringent verification is done. Besides Aadhar cards and reference checks, they rely on their local network of ‘care buddies’ and mandatory police verification certificates.