The William Osler Health System is working with uCarenet, an online marketplace, to help connect seniors and their families with health care providers.
uCarenet was inspired by founder Nectari Charitakis’ own experiences helping his aging parents access the in-home care they needed. He was working abroad, but found himself constantly returning home to address care issues for his parents. These were everyday problems such as finding healthcare workers that were a fit for his parents in their home and that didn’t charge a hefty fee.
Through its online platform, uCarenet matches care seekers to caregivers. The service accounts for a senior’s criteria by type of care, location, schedule, language and interests, connecting seniors and their families with care providers that match their needs. uCarenet’s services are free to use, and eliminate any additional fees or charges someone might experience trying to source care through a broker service. The platform also creates employment opportunities for care providers to tap into a new market for their services.
“Everything we’re trying to do here is keep people in their home, keep them out of publically funded long-term care facilities and keep them out of unneeded emergency room visits,” says Charitakis. “Seniors prefer to age in their own homes, and we’re looking to replace antiquated, manual processes with digital solutions to make it easy and affordable for families to connect with health care providers.”
Charitakis recently received provincial funding, managed through the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), to run a research pilot project for this new online community. CABHI’s goal is to accelerate solutions that can help to improve the quality of life and care for older adults with dementia and cognitive health issues. uCarenet’s vision matches this goal. uCarenet’s model also aligns with Osler’s mission and strategic plan to move “Better Care Closer to Home.”
Osler has worked closely with uCarenet to obtain public funding and to support development of this concept from a public health perspective. Osler is now partnering with uCarenet as it launches in Brampton as one of its pilot communities.
“This is an excellent example of industry and research collaboration. The expected outcome is to ensure the continuity of care from clinical practice to the patient's home in a more cost-effective manner. This approach will also empower seniors and their caregivers in the care process, positively impacting seniors' quality of life, and minimize costs for the public health care system”, says Dr. Ronald Heslegrave, Chief of Research at William Osler Health System.
Building partnerships in health care is leading to new business and care opportunities in Brampton. Fore more information on uCarenet, visit www.ucarenet.com