Meet Eline Van Eldere: Head of Nobi in the United States

May, 17th 2022
By: Nobi
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How are you finding New York? 

I love it. I always dreamed of one day living and working in the Big Apple, so I’m beyond excited to represent Nobi here now. Out of everything New York has to offer, the one thing I love the most are the people. I can’t wait to make sure everyone knows about what our smart lamp can do. Technology meets humanity: the best of both worlds!

What’s health care like in the States? 

It’s quite different to how it’s organized in, for instance, Belgium. Social security exists, but besides that, people have their own pension plans, which is to say that they try to save as much money as they can to afford a comfortable retirement. 

So retirement can be a reflection of welfare? 

Everybody can retire; however, the desired standard of living will be different for everyone. For those fortunate enough to be sufficiently well-off, there are quite a few options. A lot of people like the idea of “joint comfort” and spend their golden years in a leisure village. There are a lot of them in the state of Florida for instance, where much of the population consists of senior citizens. They offer all sorts of luxuries: from swimming pools to aerobics lessons and golf clubs. Needless to say, this isn’t for everyone. 

Does the state provide health care facilities for the elderly? 

There are numerous federally run facilities for the millions of veterans in this country.  Among many other things, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides health care, education and family support. This is a very interesting demographic for us. We’re hopeful that in the future the residences for veterans will be equipped with Nobi. 

What sets Nobi apart from other elderly care devices? 

Aside from the fact that it offers peace-of-mind, everything is automated. You don’t have to press any buttons for it to function. Our lamp detects whatever needs to be seen, without invading on your privacy. We offer very real solutions to very real situations, making it extremely useful and accessible to average consumers. 

Accessible and affordable? 

Nobi is a really good solution for many Americans.  It offers a unique combination of features which makes it extremely convenient and an all-in-one solution. Aside from fall detection, smoke detection and an effective means of communication, our smart lamp can allow people to spend another couple of high-quality years in the comfort of their own homes or in a residential facility. 

What is your absolute priority? 

For now, my sights are set on residential living facilities: leisure villages, nursing homes, assisted living. Over time, we will broaden our scope even more, as we are looking into partnerships with rehabilitation clinics and hospice care. While the clinics are focused on improving outcomes after i.e. surgical procedures, hospices care about making people as comfortable as possible. Nobi can help with both of these things.  

Do you notice any trends with regards to what it’s like being a senior citizen in America? 

This country is increasingly becoming a melting pot of many different cultures. This is reflected in senior citizens demographics. There are several nursing homes that cater to the needs of specific walks of life and denominations. It wouldn’t surprise me to see vegan nursing homes in twenty years from now! 

How literally do senior citizens take ‘retiring’? 

When and where you retire is your own choice. I know a few people who retired at fifty, while others wait until they are in their sixties. There are obviously big differences depending on where you go and whom you talk to, but here in New York it’s not unusual to see senior citizens take on retirement jobs. I went to see a play on Broadway last week and we were welcomed by a host of about 35 elderly women in pretty uniforms and matching make-up who very cordially scanned our tickets and escorted us to our seats. One thing we as Nobi want to guarantee, is to have people retain that sense of meaningfulness and self-reliance they age. 

Can you think of an elderly person who somehow symbolizes what you aspire to, as a woman? 

Two names come to mind. The first one is the Belgian Paula Marckx who led an amazing life. Aside from being a businesswoman, a journalist and a pilot, she became a human rights activist when life called her to duty. Being a single mother, she managed to change Belgian law with regards to the rights of children born out of wedlock. She taught me to believe in your own individual strength to make a difference in the world. 

Secondly, there is Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The second woman to have been sworn into the Supreme Court and the first Jewish woman as well. Whatever you might think of the decisions she made, or might not have made, she always stuck to her guns and managed to attune her principles to the prevailing situation in a stoic and pragmatic way. In that respect I think she is the perfect example of positive leadership: a well contained ego, strong convictions, flexible mind. 

You could also say they are two female disruptionists. Is that how you see yourself with regards to Nobi?      

The irony about Nobi is that it is intrinsically disruptive by being so non-disruptive. It just hangs there, working its magic, without infringing on your privacy. That’s truly amazing. 

My role as a disruptor consists of making sure the right people know about this. Seeing it isn’t just believing it, it’s understanding the future could be radically different because of it. We could all be making different choices and living more fulfilling lives because of Nobi. How’s that for disruption? 

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