Senior homecare has never been a particularly popular option for Filipinos. Most likely due to our cultural habits like utang ng loob and the importance of family, we tend to view homecare as escaping a responsibility we have towards our elders. But the painful truth is that sometimes there are others better equipped to give care to our loved ones or that there are needs we cannot attend.
There is nothing wrong with seeking the service of a nursing home for the elderly, as long as it is properly reviewed and vetted. Unfortunately, because of the obscurity and diminished use of these senior homecare facilities, there has been no real movement to improve their quality here in Manila. According to Martin Clausen, the state of home care in the Philippines cannot compare to the standard you will see in other places like Europe. This is where his vision comes in.
Martin, a Danish man, and his Filipino wife, Erika, came to the Philippines with the goal of setting up a private nursing home in order to introduce European standards and perspectives of homecare. On a previous visit to the Philippines, they were exposed to the truth of what homecare here is like. For Martin, “there [were] no words I can [use to] describe what I saw and felt that day.” They left behind their lives in Copenhagen, Denmark to hopefully change this by making the first step.
Though they realized that senior home care may not be a productive service yet here, after doing some personal research they found that tides were shifting. Martin explains: “I also found out by speaking to a lot of Filipinos that times are changing here and the Filipinos are more open than before to put their lola and lolo’s in a homecare.”
Upon returning to Denmark they packed up their lives, auctioned off a whiskey collection, and started working on their dream to “raise the bar on how homecare can be with some European standard involved.” Now, they have successfully put up Nordica Villa, a homecare residential for the elderly.
So how does Nordica Villa compare as senior home care? The very first factor is its location: Antipolo. Martin and Erika were very specific about placing their homecare somewhere that came close to what they were used to in Copenhagen. Antipolo offered them the fresh air and open nature that can only be beneficial for any person’s well-being.
The second is how they wish for any resident to feel: cared for and embraced with open arms. Nordica Villa ought to feel like an actual home with staff who genuinely care for the residents. They plan to communicate that intention by offering curated activities for residents. Martin describes:
We have a swimming pool they can use whenever they want with supervision, cinema for watching movies, grilling outside and more. The food will be fresh, and I am growing my own tomatoes, basil, garlic, and carrots myself. We will make a food menu, and the residents can choose what they want to eat the next week, so they feel they also have a say in the house. […] We want to bring this tovertafel a.k.a magic table to the Philippines, it is an interactive board game most specially designed for dementia patients. We also have different activities like crystal healing, meditation, and yoga. Elders can also book a trip if they want to see a movie, go to a restaurant. We will have monthly storytelling and we will invite different personalities and people, or a poetry reading.
We will tailor a program upon arrival to Nordica Villa. If the resident has dementia, he/she will do activities like playing board games, drawing, playing games where they have to remember things with pictures. Residents that have difficulty to walk they will be visited by physicians.
In terms of making sure the staff are genuine in their approach and feel wholly included they will be applying practices common in Denmark. These are things like daily morning meetings and periodic individual check-up’s. This in order for them to offer feedback, brainstorm, and have the opportunity for their voices to be heard. This is important to them because “the caregivers need to feel that we listen to them and they feel appreciated and feel they belong in Nordica Villa.
In all, Martin promises that “Nordica Villa is not just another homecare in the Philippines, it’s a luxurious oasis for the elderly.”
For inquiries, you may visit their Facebook page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think about this?