Esha Oberoi, the founder of Afea Care Services, shares the ways by which we can ensure over-70s are well taken care of during lockdown.
Esha offers invaluable information about home care services available to you or those you love, as well as how you can support vulnerable people in your community.
[00:09:59] John Deeks: [00:09:59] And welcome back. We have Esha Oberoi on the line, and she's an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Afea Care Services and Esha Oberoi launched the aged and disability care service at just 24 years old with a passion for social change. You are sensational Esha. Why did you choose to do that?
[00:11:05] Esha Oberoi: [00:11:05] Oh, well, this has been interesting at 24, John, I can't say that I had just wisdom thrown at me. I was actually suffering from mental health myself and I couldn't find a job for a long time. And I settled into the care industry and it was probably the best thing that happened to me. So while I was overcoming my own mental health challenges.
[00:11:29] John Deeks: [00:11:29] Yeah.
[00:11:29] Esha Oberoi: [00:11:29] I was, I guess almost blessed to have the opportunity to work in a nursing home, and it exposed me to the opportunity to be selfless and care for others. And so at 24, I started this service which is a home care service. We right now have 550 carers that now do exactly what I did around 12 years ago and go out and support our community.
[00:11:55] John Deeks: [00:11:55] How did you get to have 550 carers?
[00:11:58] Esha Oberoi: [00:11:58] Um, John, the work that we do grew organically and our assistance and our services that we provide very much over the last 12 years have grown through word of mouth. So in the first year, it was me as a carer and I started to, as I said because I was a carer myself, I started to provide these services. And I as found myself busier and busier my father and my mentor at that time helped me to, I guess, engage in the service where we could have more carers. We had 10 carers by the end of the first 12 months and then our work force really just grew from there.
[00:12:38] John Deeks: [00:12:38] What do they do when they go out there? What are the kinds of things that are services that you would provide?
[00:12:44] Esha Oberoi: [00:12:44] Our carers do anything from helping people in the community with day to day things. Like getting groceries, helping them with meal preparation, just very simplistic things that might be challenging to someone that is aging alone at home, or a person with a disability that's living alone and might be vulnerable. And then they help with very complicated things as well. So like wound management or catheter care, bowel care. So it's kind of, it's a very diverse range of services that we offer and we offer that as an alternative to a person having to go into a nursing home or a group home.
[00:13:22] John Deeks: [00:13:22] There's a lot of push now for folks to stay at home to take a lot of pressure off of those centers as well. Isn't there?
[00:13:31] Esha Oberoi: [00:13:31] Yes, of course. And at home care at the moment there is an option to get services and care at home. It's the best time to do it because we know that with the virus, like in an airplane or, like the Ruby princess - being in a confined space is not great. And a space where you don't have a lot of control, like a nursing home. If you have the option to have home care services this is a great time to exercise that option.
[00:13:56] John Deeks: [00:13:56] Esha, is this a New South Wales only service that you provide or is it nationwide?
[00:14:01] Esha Oberoi: [00:14:01] It is new South Wales concentrated that's right. We are in Sydney metropolitan area and this is exactly where we service.
[00:14:07] John Deeks: [00:14:07] Do you plan to expand?
[00:14:09] Esha Oberoi: [00:14:09] Yes, we do. In fact, we've got a very loyal team member of ours that's relocating to Melbourne as we speak, so we are definitely looking at expanding to Victoria as our second state to offer our beautiful services.
[00:14:24] John Deeks: [00:14:24] Now you can access a lot of home care at this time, but particularly with AFEA, afea.com.au by the way, is the place to go to - aged care services. What kind of contracts do your members engage in? Or is it just on a needs basis?
[00:14:44] Esha Oberoi: [00:14:44] Yeah. Without getting into too much of the technical aspects of this, the engagement is super flexible, so the care that we offer is really individualized and it depends on the kind of care that our clients want. It can be short term or it can be ongoing, and it can also just be ad hoc. Probably the most important thing is there's two real options here. One is a subsidized pay and support that we get from the government, the government offers lots of home care packages and we deliver those packages. Or there's the private option where you able to just fund it yourself. But the contracts are really flexible so you can turn them on and off as and when you need care, which is the great thing about home care you're not locked in to care if you no longer need it.
[00:15:32] John Deeks: [00:15:32] In these days of staying at home and having to be careful about our health. What are some of the ways we can support the elderly in our community and disabled who are nearby?
[00:15:44] Esha Oberoi: [00:15:44] I think it's a really great time for us to think about you know, now that we’re confined to our neighborhood, it's a great time to start really thinking about, okay, who's living, you know, five homes left of me? Five homes right of me? Who are my neighbors in my street? And if you do know that there are people that are elderly and there are people that have a disability, or you know that they are vulnerable. It's a great time, without being intrusive, to start building a relationship and build a rapport. Really understanding, once you've built that relationship, understanding what their current care routine is. So, they may already have informal or formal support. Right? And so if you know that in this time of pandemic, and we don't know how long this is going to last, there may be gaps in the care that they are receiving and where can you offer that help and support?
[00:16:37] John Deeks: [00:16:37] Back in the day, everybody knew everybody in the street and probably the next street as well. It was much more community based and everybody looked after everyone else's kids and all the rest of it. Times have changed, but this is a time where I have noticed as I go out for my daily walk. People are saying, hello, they're acknowledging one another. They're taking care of one another in a way that we haven't seen for a long, long time. So may it continue after this terrible pandemic passes us as well. Esha, your dad will be very proud of you.
[00:17:10] Esha Oberoi: [00:17:10] Yes, he is, in fact.
[00:17:13] John Deeks: [00:17:13] All right. That's fantastic. Esha Oberoi. Thank you so much. Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of AFEA Care Services. And if you'd like to know more, go to afea.com.au. At this time - New South Wales wide or Sydney wide. But soon we hope to expand into other areas as well. Or you can go to the YourLifeChoices website. You'll see the link there and you can find out more about them. Esha thank you so much. Stay well, stay healthy and more power to you.
[00:17:45] Esha Oberoi: [00:17:45] Thank you. Thanks for having me John. Take care.
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