When I became a Family Caregiver, one of the first things I noticed about caregiving was that many sacrifices are made in order to provide effective and compassionate care to our loved ones. I also noticed that many Family Caregivers were providing this care alone, thereby compromising their own wellness. In time, the “cost” of caregiving solo is evident physically as well as emotionally & socially. Some ways to prevent this downslide is to reach out for help, to put to good use the resources that exist, and to assert our need to take care of ourselves.
To this end, Sherri Snelling, renowned caregiving expert, author, advisor & voice for Family Caregivers, writes about an affordable, practical way to bring Peace-of-Mind to a caregiver’s world.
To help Family Caregivers take a break – and to set them on their way to wellness – CareLinx is offering 4 hours of FREE IN-HOME CARE! [Scroll to the end for details!] Thank you, CareLinx!
Make today the first day of a better caregiving tomorrow!
Thank you, Sherri, for your insights and support of Family Caregivers!
Are You Thriving or Just Surviving As a Caregiver? The Peace-of-Mind CareLinx Offers Makes In-Home Care the Answer
by Sherri Snelling (see short bio below)
In the U.S. today, more than 65 million are playing the role of family caregiver. But as many caregivers know, this role is a marathon not a sprint, and survival – or, better yet, thriving as a caregiver – means finding the best help at the best price.
While AARP reported that 89 percent of Americans over age 65 want to remain at home as long as possible, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found 7.6 million Americans who have a chronic illness or have been discharged from a hospital after an acute illness are being cared for at home by a family member. Often, caregivers suffer from burn-out trying to juggle all the responsibilities of family, career and caregiving without getting a break for self-care.
The solution is to seek help but there are two hurdles for most caregivers: 1) The options for in-home care are numerous so it’s time-consuming and difficult to know where to find a trusted service; 2) Often caregivers find their parent is unhappy with the professionals being sent from an agency and so an endless parade of in-home caretakers becomes another challenge to caregiver peace of mind. Finding that perfect match that offers quality in-home care at an affordable price is a challenge, but it can be done.
One company has the answer. CareLinx emerged about five years ago and has become the nation’s largest online caregiver marketplace. Building a professional caregiver network of 150,000 serving 1,500 families a month in the top 50 metros across the U.S., CareLinx offers family caregivers three key things when it comes to in-home care: Confidence in trusted quality care, cost savings and most importantly choice.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the CareLinx service is that both the families and the care professionals get to choose each other. This partnership begins online at the CareLinx site. If a family caregiver goes through a traditional in-home care agency, the family can provide criteria but typically the agency will send the care professional that is available, not necessarily the best match. At CareLinx, the choice is yours – for the family caregiver, the care recipient and the professional caregiver.
CareLinx acts like eHarmony to find the perfect professional caregiver match for in-home care whether it’s meal preparation, light housekeeping, bathing and dressing, help with mobility or medications and companion care. If your mom only speaks Spanish, likes Mexican-style cooking and needs help bathing which needs to be a female caregiver, CareLinx offers families the choices in the area to fulfill those specific needs.
The family can review the backgrounds of each professional, check their hourly rates, coordinate a telephonic or videochat interview and decide which professional caregiver is the best fit. And, as opposed to traditional agencies who typically require a 3-hour minimum for the care service, you can have a CareLinx professional come for just an hour if needed. CareLinx also offers a Care Advisor via a toll-free number. Family caregivers who have questions or need guidance can get this extra help.
At the same time, the care professionals have a choice as well. CareLinx becomes the professional caregiver-equivalent of LinkedIn with a platform to connect with clients easily. CareLinx also handles all the time-consuming paperwork – including invoicing, payments, handling taxes – and provides the care professional with liability insurance.
In the end, families and the care professionals come together through mutual agreement and CareLinx reports this results in lower turn-over rates and higher satisfaction for both families and the professional caregivers.
For many family caregivers, one of the drawbacks to bringing personal care help into the home is the issue of safety and security. The horrific headlines in the news about elder abuse, identity theft and other “care scares” is enough to make some family caregivers take on the extra 20+ hours a week and perform the care needs themselves. This can lead to stress and burn-out for the family member.
CareLinx sets itself apart by giving families the peace of mind they need. CareLinx care professionals are backed by liability insurance from Lloyds of London – what CareLinx calls its $4 million SafeGuard Policy. In addition, CareLinx has done most of the legwork for caregivers – performing exhaustive background checks, ensuring professional credentials for care workers and requiring ongoing quality reports from its clients.
In addition, CareLinx professionals check in with the family members daily to let them know important activities of their care service. The CareLinx professionals send photos and other data via smartphone communication with clients. It’s peace of mind to know dad ate his lunch with no complaints or mom was able to get out and walk a bit with help. The family member gets real-time updates right on their phone.
Most importantly, CareLinx saves families money while paying professional caregivers a higher wage. Traditional bricks and mortar in-home care agencies have retail stores with overhead costs and tend to charge 50-150 percent to cover these costs while keeping professional hourly rates low.
With CareLinx, families save 30-50 percent because CareLinx is an online platform to find your care professional. No stores. No large marketing budgets. In addition, CareLinx provides rates next to each professional listing showing the professional’s credentials to justify the rate and typical rates for that service in the local area. Armed with that information, families and care professionals negotiate the rates between themselves – CareLinx does not get involved.
On average families across the nation can spend on average $45,760 per year for in-home non-medical care according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey. Saving on these costs helps families who often struggle to pay for personal care services not covered by Medicare (Medicaid may cover some services but it varies state to state).
CareLinx only adds a flat 15 percent fee allowing it to save families overall costs and letting professionals negotiate the wage they feel is fair.
We’re entering a new era of caregiving support and services. CareLinx is one of the leaders that provide on-demand, safe, affordable in-home care choices – the new way for family caregivers to ride the silver tsunami of having older parents at home who need our care.
Special offer for Caregiving Cafe Readers:
Click on this link by July 31, 2016: CareLinx and receive 4 cost-free complimentary hours of in-home care from CareLinx.
About Sherri Snelling
Sherri Snelling is CEO of Caregiving Club and author of A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care and she writes on caregiving for PBS Next Avenue, Forbes.com, USA Today and Huffington Post. She was the chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving and has served on advisory groups for the White House Middle Class Task Force on Caregiving, CMS, AARP as well as for companies such as CareLinx.
Disclaimer: Sherri Snelling is a paid advisory board member of CareLinx. While her strategic counsel, spokesperson and other duties are paid by CareLinx, Sherri Snelling is not paid for clicks or links such as an affiliated marketing arrangement. While Sherri Snelling provides her opinion of CareLinx, she does not guarantee the quality and satisfaction of the CareLinx services experienced by individual CareLinx client and thus, disclaims any liability that may result from your involvement with CareLinx.