NOURISHING QUALITY LIVES AND ENSURING THE BEST CARE FOR THE ELDERLIES REMAIN THE MAIN OBJECTIVE FOR ZARA AISYAH CARE CENTRE OR ZACC. THE FOUNDER, WAN SALBIAH MIOR YAHYA IS TRYING TO DEBUNK THE OLD-FASHIONED OPINIONS SURROUNDING THE IDEA OF SENDING OVER OLD PARENTS TO CARE CENTRES. EVEN THOUGH THE STIGMA IS STILL RELATIVELY COMMON, MUCH-NEEDED AWARENESS RAISED HAS SLOWLY IMPROVED THE SOCIETY’S UNDERSTANDING REGARDING THE ISSUE. IN THE CURRENT WORLD WHERE MOST CHILDREN ARE OUT WORKING, LEAVING THEIR OWN CHILDREN AT HOME BEING LOOKED AFTER BY MAIDS OR SIMPLY BEING SENT TO NURSERIES; SAME GOES TO OLD PARENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WHERE THERE ARE CONCERNS WITH FINDING THE RIGHT CARER. THE DEMAND IS HIGH AND THIS IS WHERE ZACC FILLS UP THE VOID
Throughout the years, Wan Salbiah has received positive comments and feedback from the family of patients that came to ZACC that this nursing home has completely changed their perspectives and personal opinion on the stigma. “What they think now is that when we send our elderlies to ZACC, that actually means that we care and love them because we do not want to leave our parents unattended at home and let them be lonely. ZACC is a one-stop centre for elderly to get everything they need either medical or nonmedical care to reach rehabilitation.”
According to Wan Salbiah, a personal experience had led her conscience to start an elderly care specialist centre. “Back in 2015, I realised most healthcare institutions in Malaysia offer a very low quality of care to our ill parents. My mother was diagnosed with heart disease and depression after my father passed away, and with me being away from her, it was a tough time for our family in ensuring that she gets the proper care she needs. Based on my own observation and my experience working in a healthcare institution, I can say that seven years ago, most facilities were operating in a low-quality standard which means I had a lot of doubts in sending my own mother to get treatment there. So, instead of making a fuss, I decided to pull the trigger and opened up my own elderly healthcare centre,” says Salbiah who also aims to change the general perception about nursing homes in Malaysia.
The ZACC founder has travelled the world throughout her life, witnessing how foreign countries developed their state-of-the-art care facilities for the senior citizens. “Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I chose to start my own. What I aimed for was to take home all the knowledge that I gained from my visits and implement it in the care elderly care facilities. People deserve to stay in comfortable homes especially when they get older and receive the best treatment to help them cope with ageing. “From the way I see it, venturing into this sector does not only benefit the people around you but also it is one of the greatest deeds that anyone could do to make themselves happy in life. I hope when I’m at the later stage in life, I will be able to enjoy my golden years at a beautiful place like the one I started where everything is provided with complete assistance of medical care. With that, I believe that as of today, I am not only providing the best care possible to my mother but also to other old folks in Malaysia who deserve to be taken care of with full of love and dedication.” Zara Aisyah Care Centre started with two employees caring for two patients and seven years on, the elderly care centre is now serving more than 500 patients with more than 300 qualified employees.
ZACC is guided by the Shariah principles which means the centre do not only focus on medical care but also on the religious commitments such as daily prayers, daily Quran recitations as well as weekly religious activity is led by an Ustaz. Inhouse physiotherapists will conduct fun and beneficial activities to ensure our residents get the exercise they need while safety is always a top priority where CCTV surveillance is set up to ensure security. The residents get to enjoy special healthy meals prepared by professional cooks and laundry service is also provided.
“As the CEO and strategist at ZACC, I plan business strategies and ensure the developments align with the current market and customer demands. I do run a lot of researches on what to improve in terms of service and quality of our homes, in guaranteeing that ZACC provides the best service possible.” Salbiah is also very hands on in making sure every care centre is all in order. “When clients send in their parents to be taken care of, putting the welfare of their loved ones in the hands of strangers, automatically you shoulder a huge responsibility. We always find new ways in making the elderly feels as comfortable as possible. Safety as one of our top priorities, we make sure all of our equipment as well as medications are in the best condition. Not just that, I myself will do regular monitoring of the homes to ensure everything runs smoothly.”
From time to time, Salbiah plays the role of a motivator to her team, creating initiatives such as annual appreciation day as a reward for their hard work. “Caring for elderlies has its fair share of challenges and constant motivation is important. In the presence of human interaction, our employees must always be in the right state of mind while caring and handling aging clients who might some already be deteriorating in health.” Wan Salbiah adds, it gives her great joy to watch family gatherings of children visiting their parents at the centre, spending quality time together eating and laughing. “That definitely sparks joy in my heart, every single time.