Putting heart into healthcare

As she prepares to take on the role of director of AX Care, CLAIRE ZAMMIT XUEREB explains why community is essential to quality healthcare and her vision for the business going forward.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned growing up in the Xuereb family business is that we have a duty to make a positive impact on the communities we serve. These values of family and service were instilled in me and my siblings from a young age by our parents, Angelo and Josephine Xuereb, who have always led by example. 

Over the years, I’ve continued to be inspired by my mother who has been the driving force behind countless social initiatives on behalf of AX Group. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat with my father, discussing his ideas to develop forward-thinking projects that would act as a catalyst for change in Malta.

Claire Zammit Xuereb. PHOTO: DARREN AGIUSClaire Zammit Xuereb. PHOTO: DARREN AGIUS

This was, arguably, never better exemplified than when he launched AX Care in 2015. From the start, AX Care was envisioned to introduce a higher standard of healthcare in Malta, one that places a strong emphasis on community at the heart of the services provided to clients. Specialising in independent living and tailor-made care programmes, AX Care’s self-contained, state-of-the-art village environment at Hilltop Gardens in Naxxar was designed to empower residents to live a fulfilling and engaging retirement with like-minded people. 

With all this in mind, it fills me with a great sense of pride and responsibility to be stepping into the role of director of AX Care. I was partially involved in the business at its concept stage and over the years, I have witnessed from a distance how it has grown in reputation to become Malta’s most premium operator in retirement housing and care home facilities. 

More significantly, I have seen first-hand how management and staff have gone above and beyond to foster a welcoming, familial atmosphere among residents. At the height of the pandemic, many employees even voluntarily offered to remain in lockdown with residents to curb the spread of the virus within the premises. It’s this level of commitment and genuine care that has set AX Care apart in the local sector.

It is my ambition to inject the invaluable insight I’ve accumulated from my many years within the hospitality industry into AX Care. I am highly aware that we cannot simply apply the exact same concepts and operational structures of a hotel into our healthcare offerings. However, by adopting a flavour of the quality of hospitality we provide guests at AX Hotels, I believe we can continue to distinguish AX Care brands from the institutional atmosphere that pervades many traditional care communities. 

I strongly believe that building a truly successful senior living community is about much more than just creating beautiful building designs and appealing amenities.

 It’s about nurturing an inclusive culture that gives residents ample opportunities to tap into new experiences and connect with friends and loved ones. That’s why it’s critical we become skilled community builders. We must create environments where our clients can live with purpose and dignity, no matter the challenges they may be facing.

I am under no illusion that the road ahead is going to be easy. As with the hospitality industry, the pandemic continues to play havoc with the healthcare sector. Our top priority is to continue to keep our residents safe and healthy at all costs.

What fills me with confidence that we’ll emerge stronger is the fact that I’ll be working alongside AX Care’s highly experienced management team and staff, who have admirably proven they can weather any storm and act in the best interests of our clients. 

Together, we will strive to grow the business further and develop new client-focused solutions. Above all else, we’ll continue to provide the highest standards of care and community living for our respected residents and patients.

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