With the elderly care sector becoming increasingly competitive and risking being turned solely into a money-making venture, CareMalta is focused on strengthening its social approach and continue providing a unique service to the community. “We’ve always said CareMalta is the Group’s social conscience and we plan on keeping it that way,” James Sciriha says.

One way of doing this is by introducing the services of a social worker at homes for the elderly. The company will also continue harping on the importance of active ageing that involves the participation of bedridden residents. Among others, this is facilitated through the introduction of bedside activities that include the participation of children and animals.

And with the help of HILA, which provides specialised care in the disability and mental well-being sectors, CareMalta will continue to diversify its services, with future plans covering alternative care settings for children and end-of-life care. James even hopes CareMalta will eventually branch out and provide its services abroad. James took over at the helm in February, following a worldwide pandemic that left the care sector’s employees, residents and their relatives reeling with emotional and psychological repercussions.

Despite this, the care sector grew at a rapid rate over the past couple of years, with several companies opening new homes for the elderly across the island. While competition is healthy, James fears the increase in residential homes could transform a sector that until recently prioritised the care of the elderly into one that
is merely a business venture. “For Vassallo Group, the care sector has always had minimal profit margins, and CareMalta managed to remain strong as it operates a good number of homes. I believe that focusing on strengthening the well-being of our residents, rather than being carried by the money-making currents, will help us retain our ‘competitive’ edge.”

Where does he see the sector develop in the next five years? “The dynamics of the care sector will continue changing over the next five years and more private businesses will probably open more care homes over the next five years,” James notes. “However, despite the increase in the number of homes by the private sector, it looks like people are becoming less willing to be admitted into private residential homes, and would rather stay in homes run by a private-public partnership.”