This week, we interview Ivy Low, a recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award 2010 and the founder of a homegrown social enterprise that seeks to help recovering patients and caregivers to cope with the demands placed on them. Find out more about Ivy’s meaningful work here!
- Hi Ivy! Could you tell us more about your social enterprise?
WhiteAngel Caregivers Consultancy started in 2010. We aim to help patients and caregivers cope with the nursing demands after discharging from health care institute. By far, we have helped over 1,500 families by not only training their caregivers and foreign domestic workers but also providing valuable nursing support to minimise the need for hospital readmission.
- Share with us what inspired you to start this
As a nurse, I witnessed how patients and caregivers feared the thought of coping at home after an illness and saw a huge gap during the transition from hospital to home. These experiences drove me to start a consultancy to help families manage nursing for a loved one needing care at home. Isn’t it great for all caregivers to have a home nurse whom they may trust for advice?
- What is your background?
I have been a registered nurse for over a decade. I spend half of my career in a restructured hospital as a ward nurse as well as an emergency nurse. The other half was spent seeking ways to improve our home care support to patients and families.
- How do you hope to grow your business to meet the community’s growing needs?
There are a lot of opportunities and space in the healthcare sector in Asia. However for me, I am still searching for the right partner and team who believes in the same vision to bridge the healthcare system.
- What are the needs currently unmet in elder care/caregiving and similar sectors?
Recently I came across a man on an automated electrical wheelchair in France. He had no caregivers with him and had to move about on public transport alone. What amazed me was also his need for a respirator (a breathing machine) that was attached to him through his commute.
It struck me that Singapore needs to be more patient friendly. Patients and caregivers have to be open to living outside the walls of their own homes. What I see today in our local context is how uncommon it is for patients to be enjoying life outside after suffering a major illness or accident.
Needs are no longer limited to food, air and water. It can be religious need, shopping need, sightseeing need or even the need for a hobby – something that keeps our inner spirit going rather than being caged and chained.
- What are 3 things you would want to share with Singapore Youth who may also be harbouring a secret dream to start a social enterprise?
1) Start something you are fully passionate about. Don’t do it for the money or for glory, do it because you believe that you can make a difference.
Ask yourself, are you willing to lose sleep, not make a penny and still persevere to make this idea work? If not, keep looking for that one love that you will make you want to do so.
2) Do not procrastinate.
3) Keep your vision close to your heart and refer to it as many times as needed so that you do not lose sight.
- Share with us your challenges and struggles.
Managing employees. In today’s day and age, it is difficult to manage staff’s expectations. What we think, is not what it is. What we do not think it is, actually matters. Even when they are satisfied with how things are, they still may not stay.
- Who do you look to for mentorship?
- How do you hope to see Singapore in 50 years time?
A compassionate, grateful and forgiving society. Definitely one that is friendly to old folks and the disabled.
We would like to thank Ivy for sharing her passion and her inspiring work with us. If you would like to know more about the WhiteAngel Caregivers Consultancy, you can visit their website: http://www.whiteangelcaregivers.com/
Ivy Lo. Founder of WhiteAngel Caregivers Consultancy and Winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award 2010, Ivy continues to improve the lives of families today with her organisation’s work.