Nurse starts business to care for the elderly
Months after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at the University of Technology (UTech), 30-year-old Kaysha Foote-McKenzie decided to open her own geriatric company called KAM Geriatric's Service.
Despite being employed to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, in July she decided to make the bold decision to start the business in the Corporate Area, providing care for the elderly in their homes.
"Persons are getting older. Even the other day we had the oldest person in the world living in Jamaica, so I wanted to give individuals an option to be cared for within their homes," she told THE STAR.
Foote-McKenzie, who was already a registered midwife before she started attending UTech in 2012, said she got the vision to open her business while doing a gerontology course.
"When I did gerontology, that was when it opened my eyes to the elderly population, and I thought about how can I make a difference in their lives," she explained.
"As a nurse also, I wanted to try something new such as becoming an entrepreneur because to become an entrepreneur is not necessarily the route that most nursing persons would take," she continued.
Instead of families sending their elderly relatives who are in need of care to a home or be faced with the added responsibility of tending to them, Foote-McKenzie said she employs trained professionals who she would send to the residences of her clients.
"A lot of the elderly persons are being abused. They aren't cared for properly. Sometimes their own family members will get frustrated in caring for them. It can be very stressful to be caring for the elderly as an individual who doesn't have any training, as well as for others who have to work. So I wanted to give those persons the opportunity to be able to go to work, to be able to go about their everyday life, while we care for their loved ones in the comfort of their homes," she explained.
THE RIGHT STAFF
Currently, she employs 10 persons and intends to hire more persons as the demand for her services increases.
"I have caregivers that I send out. Right now, we do interviews intermittently depending on the demand. I do the necessary checks because I don't want to send any and anyone out there," she said.
So far, Foote-McKenzie said that the main challenges that she has faced are getting money to start the business and finding the right staff.
"I know that I am making a difference in the lives of families and feel as though I am contributing positively, not only to these families, but also to the nursing profession as well, representing nursing in the best way that I can," she said.