Vox recently published the article Home health aides care for the elderly. Who will care for them? The article outlined how difficult it is to be a home caregiver in today’s job market. Based on what we see in the marketplace, we feel this article rings true. In many home care agencies today, caregivers bravely endure low wages from employers who mark up and suppress their pay, lack of control in the clients they see, schedule inflexibility, few on-the-job tools to help them succeed in their profession, and more. While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we did want to respond to this article and let caregivers know there is a better employment choice out there: CareLinx. We’ve built a better model of home care: one that provides home caregivers with higher pay, choice in the families they work for, schedule control, professional development opportunities, liability insurance, access to health benefits, and helpful on-the-job tools. We demonstrate our care for them via innovative solutions that improve their quality of life at home and on the job.
A Better Model of Home Care
CareLinx, a nationwide online network of over 300,000 caregivers, was founded in 2011 by Sherwin Sheik to address the problems his family endured while struggling to manage home care for his sister with multiple sclerosis and his uncle with ALS. As an online network, versus a brick-and-mortar company, we improve access to home care by lowering operating costs, improving affordability, and building an attractive business model that increases the nation’s supply of available caregivers. Our net promoter score is 10x higher than the industry average, demonstrating that our technology and business practices are working.
With CareLinx, caregivers set and advertise the hourly rates they want to be paid on CareLinx.com. Once hired, 100% of their paychecks, minus taxes, go directly to them. We don’t drive down or mark up their pay, a common industry practice. “I get paid more [with CareLinx] than I would through an agency,” said CareLinx caregiver Sabrina G. “The platform runs smoothly, the timesheet is easy to fill out, and it’s easy to contact customer support.”
Choice of employers
It’s not fun serving employers you don’t like or who don’t treat you well, which is why CareLinx caregivers get to choose the families for whom they want to work. In a direct hiring relationship, both families and caregivers understand the need to be respectful and professional to make home care arrangements work for everyone. “Through CareLinx, I get to work independently, interview with the families, and make sure I fit them as well as them fitting me,” said CareLinx caregiver Nicole Chapin. “Through an agency, you don’t get that extra care to make sure that the personalities and cultural upbringings are similar or compatible.”
CareLinx caregivers also get to set their own schedules. They advertise the hours that work for them on CareLinx.com, and when there’s a match with a family, they’re displayed in the search results for consideration. The CareLinx platform “allows me to set my own schedule, and gives me the freedom to schedule my own hours,” said CareLinx caregiver Lisa Hernandez. “It’s easy to log my hours and I can easily communicate with families.”
CareLinx acts as a central hub for caregivers, with our team providing the tools caregivers need to succeed in home care. One of these tools is CareAcademy. It provides caregivers with access to courses and certificates they want to have for their jobs. A few of our classes include Assisting with Personal Care, Elder Abuse and Neglect, and Safety Cautions for Caregivers.
Both clients and caregivers need to know they’re safe on the job, which is why caregivers go through extensive background checks and are backed by $5 million in liability insurance. “I like the security of being bonded through CareLinx,” said Hernandez.
Health and other benefits
Although we aren’t the employers of caregivers, we care about them and their families and provide them with low-cost insurance options they can purchase, including private health and dental and vision coverage through our CarePerks program. CareLinx caregivers also have access to local deals and discounts through our partnership with BenefitHub.
Marketing and leads
CareLinx caregivers don’t have to spend marketing dollars to market their services independently or secure leads or employers. We do it for them via our CareLinx.com website. We provide them with resources they can use to be successful home care entrepreneurs.
Front- and back-office tools
Beyond our website, additional tools we provide to caregivers to succeed on the job include a mobile app that includes customizable, digital care plans; GPS for clock-in/out of shifts, timesheets, direct-deposit payroll, and communication tools they can use to communicate directly with families. “I’ve been on the platform for over three years, and I like that I can submit my timesheet whenever I want,” said Chapin. “I like that flexibility.” Regarding communication tools, “with home-agencies, there is a lot of back and forth communication and the main objective gets lost,” said Hernandez. With CareLinx, “there is a lot more freedom for me to communicate with the family without having to go through a middle-person, and it enhances the level of care that I am able to provide.”
CareLinx support team
Lastly, CareLinx has a support team just for caregivers. They can contact us at any time for help and assistance with their care jobs. “Whenever I have a question about how to handle something, CareLinx staff has provided me with help” said Chapin.