By Tracy Fuller
Ken Sim, the co-founder of Nurse Next Door, started his business following his own unsettling home care experience.
When his wife was pregnant with their first child, doctors concerned for her safety committed her to bed rest. To ensure her comfort, the Sims hired a home care service out of the Yellow Pages. When they asked the caregiver about her employer, she revealed that she had never met them.
“She said, ‘Well, I don’t know. I faxed-in my resume yesterday and they told me to come here today and I’ve never met them,'” Sim said.
Both Ken and his wife were shocked.
There were no home care regulations then and there are none now.
“That was one of the reasons why we started this company,” Sim said. “It started with me.”
Nurse Next Door sets their own hiring standards high and makes every effort to provide the best possible care. “We will only hire someone if we feel comfortable putting that person into our own mothers’ home,” said Sim.
“There are still a lot of people that are receiving services from unregulated organizations,” Sim said. “There’s no way of telling whether or not the care they’re receiving is fabulous because there’s no screening mechanism.”
Sim is not trying to compete with the public system. He wants to help BC’s resource-thin and unsustainable public health care service.
“Whenever our clients do qualify for public coverage we actually push them towards it,” Sim said. “We are big believers in a population-based health care system.”
“What we want is to augment the system so that it will exist not only for myself and my friends,” Sim said, “but also for our kids as well.”
As the number of BC seniors grows, so will the demand for private home care providers. Without regulations, seniors may not receive quality care.
Although BC’s Ministry of Health requires public Home Support workers to be certified, they are not yet willing to demand the same standards of the private sector.