These Vancouver founders want to help your aging parents live better

Sep 25 2019, 9:08 am

Aging is a natural part of life; it’s inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier when we see those close to us start to grow older.

Regardless of your age right now, seeing your parents vulnerable is a juxtaposition that takes some getting used to. They’re the ones who’ve looked after you your whole life, and of course, you want to be there for them. However, there are times when work gets in the way and you can’t physically be there.

In times like these, all your parents want is help from someone who feels like family. Someone who can take them to medical appointments, spend time with them, help with decluttering their house, or simply take them out for a walk in the afternoon.

This is something that Alec Morgana and Penny Vlahos realized over a year ago, following a personal experience with Morgana’s grandmother. When his grandfather passed away, Morgana’s grandmother was suddenly on her own and started to need more assistance.

Along with a strong desire to make a positive impact on the aging population in Canada, this led Morgana and Vlahos to establish Call The Grandkids — a modern home help service that offers companionship and support for clients. Now, after a successful year on the North Shore, Call The Grandkids has expanded its services to Vancouver and Burnaby.

“A lot of seniors are really reluctant to bring in care when you refer to the term ‘caregiver’, whereas, we’re more like stand-in grandkids,” Morgana tells Daily Hive. The former tech entrepreneur says clients appreciate when they’re told that they can think of Grandkids as an extended part of the family, rather than caregivers.

“We want to support seniors so that they can stay independent [and] feel confident going for walks and staying in their homes,” says Vlahos. She explains that simply knowing somebody is there to support them takes a load off of seniors’ shoulders.

To ensure the best possible match for your parents, Grandkids need to meet certain criteria. Every companion working at Call The Grandkids is required to have a First Aid and CPR certification, a FoodSafe certification, a clean criminal background check and driving record check. They’re also trained, bonded, and insured.

The beauty of the service is that anyone can reach out and schedule a free consultation. Vlahos says that if seniors need assistance with downsizing, decluttering, or organizing, they’ll often call in and make the request themselves.

You and your parents (or grandparents, or elder family members) can choose from a selection of weekly plans depending on your needs and the number of visits you would like to have. Visits start at $99 and there are no contracts or long-term commitments; you can cancel at any point when you give 24 hours notice.

Since launching Call The Grandkids and making a huge transition in their careers (Morgana worked in tech and Vlahos as a dental receptionist/actress), Vlahos says they’ve been much happier. “It makes us feel like we’re changing the world in our own little way, and hopefully we can grow Call The Grandkids much bigger and touch more lives.”

Looking to the future, the co-founders believe the possibilities are endless. Ultimately, they would like to extend their services to cover the Lower Mainland, and have already had interest from people in the Interior of BC.

For more information and to arrange a free consultation, visit Call The Grandkids now.