As far as first impressions go, one would immediately sense the ‘motherly’ vibes exuding from Anushia Subramaniam.
A single mother, aged 57, with two adult sons – the eldest with a degree in psychology and pursuing a Masters in Counseling and the youngest specialising in medical imaging – she is rather the ‘unsung hero’ in an industry which is often overlooked and undervalued – the aged care industry focusing on consultation and advisory services for senior care homes.
The wealth of knowledge and extensive experience under her belt in various industries is nothing short of impressive. Surprisingly, she started off in finance and human resources until she realised her ‘true calling’ when managing a private nursing home.
“I remember the time, I insisted on following the nurses during their visits to patients’ home for nursing procedures, just to gain experience and knowledge; but it was during this period, I felt very compassionate towards the elderly and had the urge to continue my services in the healthcare industry,”she recalls.
Diving into a new industry and work environment, Anushia – or Anush for short – has faced many challenges throughout her journey in the aged care industry. The highlight of her career was in 2009 when she approached a friend with the idea of forming a company to run a private nursing centre.
In no time, the centre grew from a nursing home to an elderly mental health care home.
“I bravely took up the challenge that was thrown at me as there were many inpatient residents, both young and old.”
In a way, caring for the elderly became an outlet for her to share her expertise in management skills in a fun way – “this is where I imparted my 35 years of expertise in management skills and not forgetting, cooking skills to cook for the residents.”
She even went to great lengths to ‘impart’ her dancing prowess and held a karaoke competition at the home!
“It was not a bed full of roses, though”, she claims. There were many residents with mild or moderate mental conditions and some with ‘disruptive behaviour’ with special care needs. Nevertheless, with the great help of her business partner, the care home they managed was soon touted as one of the best geriatric care homes around as the home was always ‘full house’.
She explains further, “during this period I also helped in setting up the administrative, operations and business centre of the Psychiatry and Psychology Specialist Medical Centre in Mont Kiara, and the challenge here was travelling from the geriatric care home in PJ to Mont Kiara on a daily basis.”
“More importantly, I had to ensure that both these places were managed well with daily operations running smoothly without major disruptions.”
When asked about any particular incidents that she may have encountered in her years of working with the elderly and infirm, she says, “I have experienced instances when some of my walk-in clients, in desperate need of a suitable home for their loved ones, felt disappointed when there was no availability in the home which I operated – imagine having to be put on a ‘waiting-list’!”
It is the lack of suitable dementia care homes for the elderly or even affordable ones for the elderly in the middle income bracket which motivates her to keep up the good fight of knocking on doors of individuals and organisations to collaborate with her on improving and striving for better aged care services in Malaysia.
Asked why, she says with a smile, “everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, kindness, and compassion.” She is a firm believer that an act of kindness is a form of moral elevation.
These days, Anushia is actively involved in providing consultation and advisory services for senior care homes and placement services for the elderly and infirm under her social enterprise, Anush Quality Services.
She lives by these words of wisdom – “Never give up. Hard work, loads of patience, perseverance and determination will lead you on the road to success!”.
For more details on the range of services offered by Anush Quality Services, email firstname.lastname@example.org.