Tom Ahlin said co-founding Oakville-based iCare Home Health Services just 18 months ago was life changing.
The home healthcare company provides companionship, handyman, nursing and personal support services as well as packages for hospital discharges, respite care and live-in care.
A privately held business, company vice-president Ahlin said iCare is centred in Oakville, near the homes of the founders, to make a local impact.
The company also has a partnership with the Oakville Hospital Foundation and works closely with Sheridan College.
The health care field appealed to the businessman who said the market is guaranteed and will continue to grow.
“The customer base is only going to get bigger,” Ahlin said. “All of a sudden you have business, lifestyle and a growing market. Who could ask for anything better?”
The iCare founders had their doubts about the industry during the initial research process. “It’s a lot of work, with potentially depressing situations,” Ahlin said. “Why do people want to do it?”
The vice-president said that it is the desire to make a difference that drives people to get involved.
Ahlin’s own involvement with iCare was a big change career wise. His previous work experience was in the fields of IT, technology and telecommunications, at companies like Telus Mobility and AT&T Canada.
But Ahlin’s skills in customer service and business development were still incredibly useful to his new career position. “If you’re getting a person from iCare Home Health, that person should delight, help, support, with respect,” Ahlin said. “That’s still customer service.”
For Ahlin, the business is personal, having seen his own late father go through a negative experience transferring to a long-term care facility.
“He hated it,” he said simply. “Had I known now I could have had an iCare type of home care help, I could have kept him in the home, where he wanted to stay and I would have delayed that transition into that seniors home.”