Through the Norwegian Smart Care Cluster and the accelerator program EIRA, two companies realized that their concepts were meant to be together.
It’s been eight years since Lone Koldby became an entrepreneur. The idea was great, and was named “Aktivitetsdosetten” in Norwegian, meaning something like “the activity dosage”. She had 15 years of experience as an educated physiotherapist and activity manager at a nursing home. Here she saw a need to give increased joy of life and well-being to residents at nursing homes. How? By providing personalized activities as “medicine” at fixed times and days.
This idea was so good that both the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Stavanger Municipality supported the development of the solution. Several municipalities use the method today. The positive feedback clearly shows how activity as a medicine provides a better quality of life for users, so that people don’t become “just a diagnoses” but individuals who live every day, not just survive.
An example of experience with the concept:
“Before, we did not take time with the residents or think that activity was important. Now everyone is involved. There is a very big difference. I think everyone is involved because it is very fun for both employees and residents.”(Activity doctor at a network meeting in Tønsberg, Træleborg nursing home)
Scaling and development
I have worked alone with the concept for 8 years. I have controlled all the different aspects that follow when you start a company, making me the engine and at the same time the plug in the system. Now, I have come to the conclusion that building companies and growing them is not my key strength,says Koldby.
The entrepreneurial journey has been exciting, educational, inspiring, tiring and lonely. She thinks back on everything she has learned. It was time to create growth, and therefore she joined the growth program EIRA. She has been looking for the right partner for a long time, without success. It was through the Norwegian Smart Care Cluster and EIRA that she finally found the right partner.
In the growth program, we mapped out what needs and plans Lone had for her company. From there it did not take long before I connected her with the company VilMer,says Therese Oppegaard, project manager for EIRA.
And it was a match made to be. VilMer offers several targeted solutions to increase activity and strengthen the community in the care service. By facilitating several good moments they create value not only for the elderly, but for everyone in the municipality. Lone and her concept with “activity as medicine” will now also be part of VilMer.
I know that this will create great value for us at VilMer. It is fantastic to have Lone with her experience and knowledge in our team,says Marthe Dyrud, Sales Manager in VilMer.
Not all old people love accordion
Not everyone wants to be “force-fed” with waffles while listening to accordion music. Some people would rather listen to hard rock. We are all different, and it is not the case that accordion, old cheese, waffles and bingo are fun just because you are old,says Dyrud.
She puts her message a little on edge. In the story of “Aktivitetsdosetten” (the activity dose), there are countless descriptions of people who have found both joy in life and peace. They have achieved this with the help of the methods on which the concept is based. It is about seeing each individual person, and mapping out what matters.
We must include an example here: “Older women have become happier and no longer talk about changing nursing home. During the survey, it was revealed that she likes make-up and has been shopping and will have a regular wellness day. Very positive with individual attention. ” (Skudenes bu og Behandlingsheim, 2015)
For Koldby, administration and sales has not been her favourite tasks. It has always been working with the methodology and the content of the concept that gives her energy.
It is important to me that what I have built up can grow and live on. It’s not so important to me that I have control of all the levers. To grow, you must dare to let go,says the entrepreneur.
Now she is looking forward to being employed by VilMer, and not least to have colleagues to share everyday work with.
Text: Jofrid Åsland, Communications Manager Norwegian Smart Care Cluster
Photo: Lone Koldby and Anne Lise Norheim