Caregiving is Changing
And its future has never looked brighter!
The traditional model is fast becoming obsolete… and it’s a good thing!
The current “traditional” model of hired in-home care, be it through the public sector or through private agencies, has all but proven that it simply isn’t sustainable. Given the accelerated aging of the population, the need for in-home caregiving is only growing and unfortunately for those of us needing or serving, it’s clear that the way those services are currently organized and delivered is already past its “best before” date. There are two main reasons for this: Poor working conditions and a win-lose financial formula which is to the detriment of caregivers and care seekers alike.
Hold-on, the public sector and private agencies are there, aren't they ?
In many Canadian provinces, the public sector has made efforts to provide a certain level of in-home services. However, the organization of this care is weak. Conditions are ever changing, and the sector provides very little in the way of making sure caregivers have a valid working environment and offers no real way for those serving in it to build a clientele over time. You might be able to get hours but having the right schedule and location is a constant challenge and choosing the type of patient you want to care for is almost impossible.
In the case of traditional private agencies, quality care is almost never the key focus. Changing personnel, hours and locations that are unmanageable for workers, low pay (including often unfulfilled promises by agencies), make the experience disappointing and a low quality environment for the caregiver, for the patient and for his/her family. Add to this the shortage of qualified workers across all of North America and you have a recipe for many years of difficult conditions and low-quality service to the patient. Bottom line, the service has become a “put-a-body-in-a-home” at the highest possible margin (for the agency) approach instead of a win-win for patients and caregivers with better working conditions.
Key to this is the fact that agencies are expensive to run. They need to rent or purchase a space for their office as well as back-office staff to manage scheduling, payroll, clients, marketing and sales, accounting, etc. This quickly becomes expensive, especially in larger metropolitan areas.
Care professionals of all types, be they personal support workers, LPN, PAB, or any other category of home support workers enter the field with the legitimate intent of providing good care, making a difference and with a desire to constantly improve their knowledge and skills but end up being disillusioned.
“… Care professionals enter the field intent on providing good care … but end up being disillusioned”
There is a solution!
Becoming an independent care professional with Care4giver constitutes a brand new and fantastic way of leveraging your experience and skills. Given how important a step forward it is, it’s accurate to call it caregiving 2.0. It provides caregivers with clients for their services, the opportunity to set their own hours, the ability to build their own name (your name can now become a sought after brand), to choose the clients they want to work with and set their hourly rate. This also allows for a more personal and high-quality experience for patients and caregivers. And it’s simple!
Care4giver’s sophisticated yet easy-to-use platform provides caregivers with a true alternative. Clients can find them and the management processes and tasks that are required to run a business without stress are all taken care of at no cost to them.
Managing their schedule (full-time or part-time), the areas where they are willing to go work, their rate, accepting or not requests for service, checking-in and out of clients (proof the service was done) and making sure they get paid are all covered without needing to spend on such services. Caregivers only need to list the services they wish to offer, showcase their experience and share their certifications.
They can always accept or not the service requests they receive. They are never stuck working for a client with whom they’re not comfortable. Choosing who you serve best is key to having a satisfying professional life as is where you go serve them. This in-turn leads to happy clients, good relationships and the caregiver’s name becoming a wanted brand (more on this below).
Note: On average, caregivers earn around 30% more on Care4giver than with private agencies while clients, on average, pay a 30% lower rate. It’s not magic. We use technology to reduce the burden of operations and costs and we pass the savings along to caregivers and clients. It’s real progress that makes for good business for the right reasons.
As eye-opening and liberating as all this control is, there are a few things you must be aware of when operating as an independent caregiver.
Getting paid after you’ve done work shouldn’t be a stress. Payment is assured on the C4G platform. You are paid weekly for all the shifts you’ve worked during the week that were booked through our platform: Safe and fair for both parties. Those who feel working under the table is a better option, are not considering the legal implications.
If a client decides not to pay you for the work you have done, you have no legal recourse, in fact, any legal recourse could lead to you getting personally audited. If your client decides to hold or reduce the payment you are owed, you have nowhere to turn.
Liability insurance is something you don’t pay attention to… until you have no choice. And when you do not have any, things that were never a problem before can turn around and quickly become a nightmare. Bookings made on the Care4giver platform are automatically covered by a liability insurance. A key protection for caregivers… here again at no cost.
Your name is your brand!
Your good work should build your name. The more time you invest in providing good care, the more your reputation will grow and the more you will be in demand. When you work for an agency, it’s not your name that gets the benefit, it’s the agency. Your good work helps that agency grow. It’s time to change that.
How to become a self-employed caregiver
Surprisingly, this is not a difficult step. First, you need to register on Care4giver.com. Make sure to fill-out all sections as best you can and upload any certification and background checks you may have. Second, if you don’t already have one, you will get access to the services of partner accountants at a highly discounted rate. This is completely up to you. Sounds overwhelming? It’s really not. You don’t have to be the expert here. The accountants are there for that. They guide you and file your income tax for you.
In-home care has a bright future. Make it yours.
The need for in-home care is growing and will keep increasing at a rate that has never been seen before in recorded history. The aging population is, of course, the key driver of this. Plus, statistics overwhelmingly show that the elderly don’t want to move to care facilities and residences but truly wish to keep living in their own homes as long as they can.
Caregivers must get their fair share of this trend. If you chose this profession, we feel you owe it to yourself to start to build your name and clientele as early as you can. Care4giver was designed with that in mind. Controlling your life allows you to keep going in this wonderful and booming field while being able to have the personal life you wish to have. If you don’t control it, meaning if you decide to put all of your focus working for an agency (public or private), not only do you stand to miss out on the greatest benefits of a growing industry, you are also at risk of ultimately leaving this wonderful profession or worse, burn out trying to make it work.
If you’re not sure this approach is for you, you might just want to test it out for a few hours to get a feel for why we say it’s a real win-win. If you already feel the Eureka, create your professional listing here to start showcasing yourself and your services, then reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help you with best practices and tips on how to build your own brand of caregiving services and it will give us the chance to know you and refer you when we provide clients with our Concierge matchmaking services. You will soon be able to decide if this is a great side-gig or your way to leverage your skills to a fulfilling life of control. Everyone has his/her own desires and reality. Care4giver is there to fit as much or little as you want.
Your professional journey is important. Care4giver is there to support you.
Eric Brassard, co-founder of Care4giver and more importantly husband to a natural caregiver to parents with dementia for over 10 years.