Fellow Since 2003
Care with love
This profile was prepared when Magda Iskander was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Traditionally, younger members of extended families cared for the elderly, but in recent years the responsibility has shifted to inefficient, expensive private hospitals and nursing wards. Magda, a doctor, sees that important aspects of care–companionship and love–have been lost in this shift. Many older people are made to feel like a burden, their potential for contribution somehow spent. To provide high-quality care and assistance to the elderly and others who are homebound, Magda is creating a new professional niche: home healthcare. She selects smart, compassionate recruits and teaches them, motivates them, and gives them a respectable job and an important chance to contribute positively to those in their care. Her idea is clear, efficient, and appealing to everyone. It creates jobs without burdening the government, provides a desperately needed service at an affordable cost, and sets a professional and compassionate tone for caregiving. To support and spread this new profession, Magda arranges partnerships with private hospitals to offer both an institutional shelter to home healthcare providers and secure employee benefits like insurance.