How Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau’s company is transforming the way older adults are cared for
AUTHOR(S) & CREDENTIALS: Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau, CEO of Welbi, and Karolina Jalowska, Digital Media Coordinator at the APPTA hub and AGE-WELL NCE
AFFILIATED INSTITUTION(S): AGE-WELL National Innovation Hub: APPTA
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I established my first business at 17 years old and as of today, I’ve started three. My first venture was inspired by my passion for ringette. After being selected for Team Canada for the World Championship in the Czech Republic, I started Camp Pulsion, a specialized ringette goalie school. My second company, AmbiZion, was started while I was completing my BCom at the University of Ottawa. It was focused on building marketing strategies through the use of promotional products. Over the past five years, I have been working on my latest startup, Welbi. Welbi allows senior living communities to deliver personalized and unique life experiences to improve their residents’ health and wellness.
AGE-WELL was very key in helping us to not only build our platform and test it, but also start selling it through their network. AGE-WELL connected us to Revera, who chose Welbi to pilot in one of their communities. In the pilot study, Revera found that Welbi reduced time spent on administrative tasks by more than 25 hours per month per site. Less desk work means more time engaging with residents. This partnership has been integral to validating the benefits of Welbi for staff and residents and helping us grow exponentially in the past year. We are now in Revera communities all over Canada!
Why did you start Welbi?
I founded Welbi in 2016 to transform the way older adults are cared for. After the passing of my grandfather, I realized the importance of reducing social isolation in senior communities. I was inspired to create a solution that would give resident experience teams the tools needed to engage their residents to the fullest. Recreation teams in senior living communities are often undervalued, overworked and they do not have the right tools to help them improve their processes. That is where Welbi comes in. The platform saves hundreds of administrative hours while increasing the accuracy of the data used to support improved quality of life for residents. Welbi’s unique assessment tools and real-time analytics help recreation teams identify trends and gaps, allowing them to develop and evaluate programming to engage residents in social activities.
AGE-WELL has been critical in helping us understand the challenges in providing high-quality and personalized wellness programs. Their research is an integral part of our methodology and continues to help us improve our platform. I have greatly benefited from the guidance of AGE-WELL researcher and University of Ottawa health sciences professor Dr. Jeffrey Jutai. He has really opened my mind to the possibilities of Welbi and how we can be an innovator in the industry.
More on the Welbi story here.
How can Welbi help support older adults?
Welbi helps older adult communities build excellent programs that enrich the lives of their residents. Using valuable data collected through resident assessments and questionnaires, Welbi identifies needs within the community to ensure that programming reflects these needs. By supporting staff, residents benefit from receiving excellent, personalized experiences. In addition, our lifesaving contact tracing feature has the potential to save lives within communities. It can quickly calculate how much time staff members and residents have spent with an infected person, and identify who is in most urgent need of testing and isolation.
Why are you passionate about improving the lives of older adults through technology?
Older adults have always had a special place in my heart. I have so much respect for everything they’ve done and believe they deserve to have the time of their life. Seeing the dangers of social isolation, firsthand, I knew something must be done to help these older adults become more engaged in their communities. Because of my entrepreneurial background and love for technology, it felt natural to blend these passions to create a solution to serve these valuable members of our society.