How Circle of Care Delivers Compassionate Support to Seniors Around the Clock With AnswerPlus

It’s through organizations like Circle of Care that aging Canadians are able to remain safely in their homes. Circle of Care is a not-for-profit home and community care provider serving over 10,000 clients and their families in the GTA.

Circle of Care not only provides in-home support, but also offers a wide range of community services that include transportation to medical and social appointments, Adult Day Program, counselling, social programs, exercise, and hospice and bereavement services.

As the Interim Director of Operations, Aleksandra Janik oversees the entire Operations Team. Composed of 50+ team members, Circle of Care’s Operations is broken down into four teams, one of which is the in-house call center.

“We’re a very heavy call center – we receive thousands and thousands of calls a week.” explained Aleks, “Our operations are 24/7, so clients do receive services around the clock – which means we must have staff available, whether internal, external, or a combination of both.”

The Challenge: Supporting Clients and Their Families Around The Clock

“We provide services to a lot of vulnerable individuals in the community, who have a range of concerns, medical diagnoses and needs. Some of our clients are very isolated, others are newcomers to the country with little social support, and some may even have food security issues or be palliative,” explained Aleks. “Faced with challenges, what these folks really want is to speak to someone directly, on the phone – that’s what’s important to them.”

Circle of Care also serves a client-base with very time-sensitive needs – so when calls don’t get answered or returned it can cause stress, frustration, and anxiety. And clients will pick up the phone for a lot of different reasons – it could be very basic, like a schedule change, or it could be someone who is in a major crisis situation (e.g. having suicidal thoughts).

“Navigating the healthcare world can be very complex even for someone that’s familiar with how to do it,” said Aleks, “But then imagine having to navigate healthcare with language barriers or a diagnosis that makes it difficult to comprehend certain things – it can be an overwhelming process and we want to do whatever we can to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with that.”

Our Solution: Strengthening The Circle of Care With An Extra Layer of Support

Circle of Care’s number one goal is to provide timely access to care and care providers, which means that their clients and staff need to be able to get live support, whether it’s day or night. Typically, when Aleks’s call center team is done for the day, the AnswerPlus team steps in and takes over to triage calls after-hours.

“I think one of the biggest things our team values is how the calls are handled by AnswerPlus,” said Aleks. “Having that extra layer of support has been helpful for us because it does impact how quickly we can respond.” In addition to after hours support, the Circle of Care team knows that if they need to call in back-up, AnswerPlus has them covered. Whether it’s a team meeting, social event, unexpected spike in calls, or a system outage, Circle of Care isn’t letting any calls slip through the cracks with AnswerPlus’ overflow support.

“For me it’s knowing that we can rely on AnswerPlus even if it’s in a matter of minutes,” Aleks said, “to ensure our call times are not being impacted, and as a result our clients and staff are not being impacted.” She added, “All I have to do is reach out to my account manager Cathy and it’s always been a ‘Yes, no problem.’”