Finding the Perfect Match - A Modern Caregiver’s Guide to In-Home Care by Sherri Snelling, CEO Caregiving Club
When it comes to love in these days of reality TV (think The Bachelor/Bachelorette airing for 20 seasons) or online dating (Match.com or eHarmony around for more than 16 years), the rules of the game have changed. Now there are more choices giving you more control, more information available to empower you in making a decision and hopefully you find love for a lifetime. Why shouldn’t caregiving be the same? Caring for a family member – whether it’s an aging parent, an ill spouse, a chronically ill sibling, an adult child with special needs or other loved one with a disability – is another kind of love yet it is just as important to get it right. When I think of the 65 million Americans struggling to meet the challenges of caregiving, finding ways to make informed, empowered decisions becomes imperative. I started writing about caregiving mostly to help caregivers find great resources and services that would help them balance caring for themselves while caring for a loved one. The “Caregiving Juggling Act” I talk about is how to not drop the ball that says “Me” even though all your attention, time and money is spent caring for others. As a former director for caregiving services and partnerships at UnitedHealthcare and a former chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving, I was in a unique position to understand and learn about the programs and services that were being developed to help our nation’s caregivers. And, I became a hands-on caregiver myself, first caring for my father with prostate cancer and then caring for a stepfather with leukemia. I not only understood the struggles from a professional level but I lived the struggles that every caregiver encounters. Along this journey I have been asked by numerous companies, many which are start-ups with a technology solution, to provide consultation on how to reach and understand the caregiving populace. There are only a few companies where I have accepted a role on their advisory board and one of those is CareLinx. Before I advise other caregivers on a service or link my name to a company, I like to do a deep dive into the company’s motivation along with their plans to maintain a sustainable service or product. I have watched many start-ups come and go and I think it is a disservice to advise caregivers to adopt something that may not be around tomorrow. I also feel the company has to have a deep understanding of caregivers and not just an ability to develop a cool app or gadget. CareLinx, the nation’s largest and only true online caregiver marketplace that matches family caregivers and their loved ones with a professional caregiver for in-home personal care, is at the top of my list when it comes to all the criteria I have established to recommend it to other caregivers:
- It helps family caregivers balance self-care while caregiving giving you confidence in in-home care so you can get a break to find your “Me Time.”
- It saves families money (between 30-50 percent) without sacrificing quality service.
- Founded in 2010, CareLinx has grown from a regional service to now being a national provider in the top 50 metros. Both its ability to sustain its service past the start-up stage and scale across America in just five years is impressive.
- It was founded based on using the latest technology but at its core it is about providing the best care to help a loved one stay at home as long as possible. This comes from the CEO Sherwin Sheik’s personal experience helping to care for a sister with multiple sclerosis and an uncle with ALS.
Continued: Part 2 - eHarmony of CaregivingAbout Sherri Snelling Sherri Snelling is CEO of Caregiving Club, a consulting service and digital content company helping caregivers balance self-care while caregiving. She is the author of A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care and is a contributing caregiving columnist for PBS Next Avenue, Forbes.com, Huffington Post and USA Today. She produces the Me Time Monday© videos for the non-profit education campaign, Caregiver Monday, and frequently interviews celebrities at red carpet events about their caregiving experiences. Sherri was also the chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving and served on the family caregiving advisory group for the White House Middle Class Task Force and for CMS. She currently is on the advisory board for CareLinx, the nation’s largest online caregiver marketplace.