When Miss Gillian Tee returned to Singapore after 10 years in the US, she was worried as she often felt ill-equipped to care for her mother, who is in her 70s.

After hearing tales of how difficult it is to find a quality caregiver for seniors from others, Miss Tee decided to take action. Last year, she co-founded Homage – an eldercare social enterprise tech start-up.

Said Miss Tee, 35: “I thought, ‘Why can’t we create a platform where we gather a pool of quality healthcare professionals and those in need can find help easily?'”

Homage won the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year award last Tuesday at the Istana.

Miss Tee said: “We feel privileged to receive this award.”

Homage, which has apps for Android and Apple, matches those in need of caregiving with trained healthcare professionals. Vulnerable women such as single mothers or relevant professionals who are not working full-time can also find employment with Homage.

Miss Tee said: “Many of them don’t feel confident working again but we provide training and opportunities to help them know they are still capable.”

Homage also partners voluntary welfare organisations to provide low-income families with caregiving services.

Some 400 care professionals work part-time for Homage. Those who were not certified had to receive training and certification before they were deployed on any cases.

Miss Tee said: “My biggest challenge was creating a service I would trust the care of my mother with.

“So we need to balance quality with the tech. Without quality healthcare, the tech is nothing.” – JAN LEE

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