Pairing a family focus with innovative technology to create a transparent approach to care, Calgary-based home care service Vytality at Home aims to create exceptional experiences and an enhanced quality of life for all its stakeholders.
As co-Presidents and co-Directors of Vytality at Home, Brad Lohman and Nicole Dyer’s passion for seniors allows them to lead their growing team in creating exceptional experiences for their clients, families, and partners. Mr Lohman is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse and holds a Masters of Nursing in Health Administration. His passion for assisting seniors and their families has shaped his 30 year nursing career and led him to complete well over 10,000 geriatric assessments. Mrs Dyer is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and holds an Associate Trainer certification from the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. She has worked with seniors and within senior living since 2003, and was named as one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2020. We spoke with the co-Presidents recently about the innovative products that help Vytality provide care, expansion plans for the future, and the overall goal for creating exceptional experiences to help senior clients age at home.
Creating exceptional experiences
“Vytality at Home was founded in 2018 by both Brad and I,” Mrs Dyer explains. “We both have a strong background in seniors and senior housing. What we really started to see was that seniors were lacking choice in the homecare sector, and we really wanted to create something that was innovative and gave seniors and their families choice and transparency.”
When the company was created, the decision was made to make it a fully private company, which allows Vytality to remain flexible in its service offerings, without the need for government funding.
“What we do offer is the ability for our clients to age in place successfully, wherever they live,” Mr Lohman adds. “Whether it’s their home or in long-term care. We do this by offering a wide-range of services and support which can include homemaking, meal preparation, laundry, cognitive activities, personal care – whatever the client requires.”
Since the company began in 2018, it has been growing continuously, and now employs just over 100 staff who help to service around 70-80 senior clients in the goal of ageing in place and leading a happy and healthy lifestyle.
The company has a number of key differences that distinguish it from competitors in the space, not least the diversity of background and expertise of the co-Presidents in senior care, as well as the fact that the team is employed rather than contracted.
“We’ve also designed and developed this very innovative mobile app,” Mr Lohman says, “that our clients and families really love, because it gives them peace of mind and transparency, and communication with our team, which is not done in the industry.”
In addition, a number of key partnerships allow Vytality at Home to create a circle of care around its clients, providing a variety of needs designed to keep them safe and happy as they remain in their homes.
“We’re both really excited about expansion plans,” Mrs Dyer adds. “We’ve dipped our toe in the water out in Vernon, British Columbia, and started a satellite location out there. We’re currently looking at options of expansion in other Alberta cities, both Lethbridge as well as Edmonton, and look forward to looking at the Prairie Provinces in late 2022/early 2023.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined an interesting light on the homecare industry, with Mrs Dyer and Mr Lohman understanding well before the start that individuals who are ageing want the option to be able to age in place, with one study saying that 83% of seniors would do whatever it takes to live out their golden years at home.
“I think the media has really showcased a lot of the challenges for seniors during covid, as far as forced isolation requirements in long-term care and supportive living. These challenges have created a chance for families to discuss the importance of looking at options to allow their loved ones to stay at home as they age.”
Added to this, seniors are becoming far more vocal about their needs and expectations as they age. Where in the past, many would have been complacent about the kinds of services that are available to them, most now want to ensure they have a choice.
“Current seniors, and future seniors, are now saying not only do I want to choose who’s coming to the door, but I want to choose when they are coming and I want to outline exactly what they’re going to do for me while they’re there. These are all elements that we’ve really built into the foundation of Vytality at Home.”
The core value of the company is to stay true to its purpose of creating exceptional experiences for its clients, and it recognizes that there is no ‘one size fits all’ offering for in home care services.
“We really customize our services to each and every client that we support,” Mr Lohman says. “Some clients want basic housekeeping, and some clients want us to be there 24 hours a day to help them through their palliative care experience. We recognize that by focusing on the customer experience and staying true to our purpose we remain able to assist in a wide range of services and supports, and allow that individual to age successfully in their home.”
With a foundation of creating exceptional experiences, Vytality has been able to grow significantly, and looks forward to continuing to grow and provide services to even more Canadians over the coming years. Find out more about Vytality at Home by visiting www.vytality.ca.