WeVisit co-founder Tyler Brummer on making home help personal.
Working alongside Sam Johnson is WeVisit co-founder Tyler Brummer. Tyler grew up in Colorado, and has fond memories of summers spent visiting his grandparents on their wheat farm in Kansas. After studying environmental management and ecology at Montana State University, he moved to New Zealand in 2013 to complete his PhD at Lincoln University.
Tyler had volunteered on projects with a conservation slant – then in 2014, he met Sam. “Sam got me more involved in community volunteering, and the longer I worked in ecological and environmental research, the more I realised the big-picture problem wasn’t how much knowledge we had about how nature worked, but how we treated the land and interacted with our environment.” He concluded that if we changed the way we interacted with each other to be more empathetic, cooperative and community-minded, we’d also better care for the environment. This shifted his focus to changing the way we live and support those in our community.
Still close to his grandparents, Christchurch-based Tyler “wanted to feel like I could still support them, despite the fact I live far away”. In 2016, he and Sam created WeVisit as “a way for families to add to their whanau by finding trusted people to spend time with their loved ones, even when they’re not in the same location”.
Tyler sees WeVisit joining forces with Mycare as a way to increase the positive impact of both services. “Mycare has created an amazing platform on which we can offer WeVisit nationally. Our values of human-centred, relationship-based care are perfectly aligned. I see young people yearning for connection and purpose, and older people who want to be able to share their wisdom and experiences. WeVisit and Mycare relationships are mutual and allow community to blossom from a simple concept. It’s about getting to choose who comes into your life, how they support you and what you offer them. We can make home-based support about human connection, which helps everyone’s wellbeing.”
When he’s not working behind the scenes as Mycare's Chief Scientist, Tyler’s walking the talk and visiting his own clients, who include an 84-year-old widow whose family lives overseas. “I help her out with technology, get her set up on Netflix! She says it’s the best $40 she spends and I really look forward to brightening her day – and her mine.”
He says hearing other’s stories is incredibly heart-warming. “We had one guy in Christchurch who showed up to see [a client] on his bike. She mentioned she’d love to get back on her bike one day and he said, ‘Why not today?’ His enthusiasm opened her up to something she felt she’d lost.
“In Hamilton, a young visitor helped reconnect a retired GP’s stereo system. He discovered the GP loved opera but hadn’t sung in years, and the GP burst into song right then and there, just because our visitor took an interest. Stories like that are what makes this so amazing – those connections wouldn’t have been made without services like these.”
If you or a loved one would benefit from hiring an in-home carer, or you’d like to offer your time to someone in need, simply sign up here, or contact Mycare’s Customer Success Team on 0800 677 700 or [email protected] to find out more.