Ivan Oosthuizen, the CEO of Livewell Villages, has just joined our SACF Board of Directors. Welcome, Ivan! We look forward to your input and contribution. Ivan accepted the invite to join the board in order to give something back to the care industry. He appreciates likes the sense of community through the SACF, and that we never journey alone in the care industry, further to this it poses an opportunity to help improve care in the country. The conversation hubs and creates a safe space to interact with other care role-players, to share similar challenges and to explore solutions to controversial issues without being judged.
Livewell is a reasonably young company. Ivan joined 3 years ago and he attributes Livewell’s success to the compassion of the people in it; the senior management team, all the staff and the Board. The sense of a shared value system and the knowledge that each one has a well-defined role to play all contribute towards making Livewell a very special place. Livewell’s strengths, Ivan believes, is their natural curiosity about the nature of what they do. Working in the field of Dementia, it is unlike any other. There is a unified goal of wanting to know more, understand the illness better and to improve best practices. This curiosity is woven into the fibre of their business; it cannot be fabricated. Understanding our resident’s behaviour is key in the growing field of dementia care.
Prior to taking over the leadership at Livewell, Ivan was active in a number of senior living roles, positions and general consulting to other professionals in the industry. He spent 7 years at CPOA as a senior management portfolio team and was Evergreen’s first Estate Manager in Muizenberg, to name but a few. He has a solid background in education, training and development; he has designed textbooks and courses in previous roles. He completed a counselling psychology degree with Unisa and wants to become one of the key thought leaders in the senior living industry during the next 5 to 10 years. He believes there is a lot that needs to be done to educate and give guidance to developers, architects, families, and seniors by sharing information and through constructive conversations. The SACF’s community of members clearly offers that conversational space. Ivan wants to contribute to these conversations and hopefully publish a good book or two in this regard. Working in elder care we are privy to such wisdom; amazing people, spectacular stories and lives lived with vigour. Ivan’s long-term dream is to one day become a full-time writer.
Ivan is currently focussed on developing leadership within the group and improving on quality standards. A solid contingency approach has ensured that there is always management continuity. Next year will likely see the launch of a leadership development programme for the group. In terms of his own leadership, Ivan sees his role to create a strong vision for the group that is concise and clear and something we can all aspire to. Aligning the group with people who share the same values remains a key priority. As a leader, he aims to aid in creating clear thinking approaches and to provide strong guidance as Livewell also participates in a changing world. Reflecting on the care sector, and the new conversations that we should be having, Ivan highlights conversations around affordability. Ageing in place is becoming a more prominent senior living option, and this requires a strong community based thinking. Another key conversation is around mental health in our society; the conversation needs to be widened and deepened as it is slowly finding its way into the senior living space.
In all industries we find positive and negative aspects; Ivan sees the great number of retirement options and choice in terms of quality to be one of the great spoils at present. A negative is the fact that the care sector is somewhat disjointed. We need to work closely with each other and improve collaborations across sectors to improve overall cooperation. Another negative aspect is the lack of support services and funding in that regard to seniors; this includes support through medical aids, government support, state-funded retirement and mental health facilities. There are very little benefits to seniors. More conversation must be held for example with insurance companies. More partnerships must be developed for the greater good of our seniors.
Ivan finds immense inspiration in the notion that we are able to influence and change the world we live in. Everyone needs to be excited about what they do and actively participate in creating that change every day.
Ivan finds great inspiration from his role at Livewell – he is also excited about joining the SACF Board of Directors and stimulating some new conversations.
We are excited to have you on board Ivan!