Learn and Launch: Life Circle Senior Services

Life Circle Senior Services provides subscription-based professional caregiving and home nursing services to chronically ill and bed-ridden seniors in India. Our team of caregivers and nurses provides hourly to daily caregiving  and nursing care (vitals, injection, dressing) depending on the seniors’ needs. Life Circle is part of CHMI’s learn and launch program, a peer learning initiative, and participated in CHMI’s second learning exchange program

Genesis of Life Circle

My name is Anant Kumar and I live in Hyderabad, while my aging parents live 1500 km away in Delhi. My father has multiple health problems like diabetes and hypertension. My mother also has similar health problems with added issues around mobility—such that she requires a care taker to help her perform her basic day-to-day activities that we all take for granted as eating, washing up etc.

Flashback to 2012 when I was working as the CEO of Life Spring, a maternity hospital chain in Hyderabad. Around that time my mother had to undergo a kneecap replacement surgery in a Delhi hospital. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful and the recovery took nearly six months, which left my mother so mentally and physically exhausted that she stopped walking altogether and became bed-ridden. At that point my family felt an urgent need to engage a caregiver to look after her. Despite the fact that I was in the healthcare industry, I was unable to find a caregiver for my mother. After talking to several people to try and get recommendations for well-trained and qualified caregivers, I realized that I wasn’t the only one in need of such services. We faced situations of wrong practices with informal providers where one of the providers we hired ran off with our money. Even when we finally were able to find someone, the person only had experience as a housekeeper, but not in caretaker services. We were left with only one solution, which was to take turns looking after my mother, which was difficult to both coordinate and execute among all my family members. For someone working in the healthcare industry, I was disappointed in how helpless I felt from being unable to identify the right person to take care of my mother. Particularly because, we are not even talking about finding someone in a small city or a village; we are talking about the capital city of India! This was the turning point which made me think about the need for professional caregiving and nursing for seniors in India.

Many families in India have a similar issue and end up taking care of the sick person in their family by themselves. India’s senior citizen population of 103 million is the second largest in the world, and is growing rapidly. Almost 36 % of urban seniors above 60 are immobile. This number rises to 60 % by the time seniors cross 70 years old. Very high rates of medical complications are seen among the bed-ridden patients. Studies have shown most bed-ridden patients suffer from urinary infections (as high as 83%), bedsores (54%) etc. In most cases, the caregiving is provided by relatives of the patients who divert their time from economically productive ventures to care for bed-ridden elders. Alternately, families engage informal service providers whose services are untrustworthy, with frequent absenteeism, untrained caregivers, or very high costs without any service guarantee.

LifeCircle Today and What We Aim to do

Since its creation in 2013, Life Circle focuses on delivering professional caregiving and nursing services to hundreds of families in Hyderabad, India. With more than 100,000 hours of professional caregiver services provided so far, we differentiate our services by providing trained and verified caregivers to seniors. We also help prepare an exhaustive Patient Care Plan to guide caregivers and family members about the level of care required, providing flexibility in caregiver services delivered (2 hours to 24 hours depending on level of care needed), which makes terms and conditions of caregiver engagement transparent. Our web & mobile platform for patients and family members enable the easy search, engagement and monitoring of caregivers.

We also partner with neighboring hospitals or primary care centers to ensure continuity of care. After leaving a hospital, the patient does not generally have any care continuity. By connecting with hospitals, the elderly are guaranteed comprehensive and coordinated care as we share patient information with the hospitals. This is a crucial aspect of our holistic approach to addressing this social issue—by connecting doctors, specialists, physicians and other allied services, we can improve quality of care delivered to everyone, especially senior citizens.