One of the newest and biggest buzzwords in our economy is "uberization." Uberization is a business model, named after the ride-sharing app Uber, which can change traditional jobs into specific tasks that can be assigned to people as needed with wages set by supply and demand. Just like automation, "uberization" is a threat to many industries, but is it a threat to senior home care?
Uberization in Home Care
At its inception, HomeHero was hailed as the Uber of senior home care. HomeHero, a well-funded startup that used a smartphone-based app to provide, in their words, "the fastest, most affordable way to find in-home care for seniors" by using an Uber-like model to connect home care workers directly to families who need them. HomeHero's rise and eventual demise shows senior home care has a certain level of immunity to these forces, but why?
While companies like HomeHero offer an efficient way to connect clients and caregivers, caring for seniors is an entirely different proposition than being "Ubered" home from the bar. Families want their elderly relatives to be protected and cared for, not surprised with rotating caregivers and inconsistent pricing. HomeHero failed not because of lack of funding, but because they did not understand the home care industry.
The home care industry thrives on personal relationships not big business. The local senior care franchise owner will go out to meet with families and introduce a caregiver that has been selected specifically for them, versus emailing an online recorded video. Also, senior care franchise owners know the value in building relationships within the senior care community. HomeHero merely connected a senior to a caregiver, and in our industry, this is simply not enough to provide the best care for our elderly.
Both home health care and non-medical in-home care can make vast differences in patient outcomes. However, Medicare and most insurance companies do not pay for in-home non-medical care. Since these are out-of-pocket expenses, families have higher expectations of the caregivers and the company providing the home care service. Companies like HomeHero just don't understand the high-touch nature of the senior care industry, and people aren't willing to pay out of pocket for Uber-type care.
Even with today's enormous advances in technology, you can't take out the human component of senior care, and our caregivers are not Uber drivers. There is plenty of room for technology in senior care, and we utilize it through our proprietary software and the use of tablets in the homes of our clients. We also use an extensive process called GreatCare to discover the unique needs of our seniors, giving their families the trust and peace of mind they deserve. No computer can do what we do.
Call us today to find out more about how our business model has succeeded in so many communities and continues to provide exceptional care to our seniors.