If you are looking into elder care for a loved one and struggling to find someone you can trust, there are online resources to help you. Care.com is a site that specializes in helping users find someone with experience who has been vetted, is in their price range, and has the training needed to help provide the appropriate care for a family member or loved one.
The website also boasts a strong Community section, a searchable database that gathers users’ and experts’ thoughts on a variety of topics, organized by article and discussion type. They also allow you to ask questions on any topic when it comes to caregiving.
Care.com’s Online Home for Senior Care
When thinking about health care for family members, there are real stressors and questions for people to agonize over. Is in-home care best? Would an elderly family member be in a better situation in a senior-living facility? What is the best option for someone with decreased mobility? Or someone with Alzheimer‘s disease?
Care.com is a powerful resource not only in helping you find the appropriate care provider, but also in answering your numerous questions surrounding healthcare for a loved one.
When it comes to navigating the often confusing world of health care, Care.com’s Community page is a powerful tool with a host of searchable topics that experts have answered on everything from care cost to Medicare forms to the best method to schedule a caregiver at your home.
The Community page is sorted by topic, and can be filtered by articles related to children, seniors, house and home, and pets.
So whether you need help with finding the perfect option for an in-home care provider or with financial planning for caring for an elderly family member, odds are the community has more than one article on the topic, and plenty of smart answers for your questions.
If on some off-chance you can’t find the answer to your question, you can also ask the community to help you out with a specific request.
On the Care.com Community page, simply navigate to the top right and click on “Ask a Question.”
From there you can type up a question, then make sure it gets to the right community by keeping it local, sharing it with specific communities or members, selecting the appropriate topic, and making sure it is posted to the correct space in the Community ecosystem.
The “Ask a Question” feature also lets you embed photos and videos by hovering over the text field. A pop-up will come up that will allow you to embed different types of content to help you illustrate your point or clarify your question.
If you get your questions answered, and you are feeling confident that you want to hire a caregiver for an elderly member of your family, Care.com can also help you with that. They have one of the largest searchable databases of caregivers in the world.
What Can Caregivers Do for Your Family?
Caregivers for the elderly can run the gamut from those who work as full-time live-in caregivers to those who come and help out part-time when your family could use a little extra help to take care of a loved one.
Caregivers who provide in-home care can monitor medicine intake and prescriptions, provide emotional support and company, keep an eye on health signs, help seniors with limited mobility move freely around the house, accompany them on errands, and even lend a hand with the activities of daily living, including light housekeeping and meal preparation.
They also provide peace of mind for those who can’t provide their loved one with the attention and support they need.
Good caregivers are often more equipped to know what to do with pain management, mobility issues, how to make a house more livable for someone with Alzheimer’s, and when it’s appropriate to reach out for medical help.
Care.com lists caregivers in your area and makes it clear from the outset how much experience they have, what they have training in, what they will and won’t do, how often they can work, etc. All this information is in a searchable database that lets you find the best caregivers near you.
The search can be done by zip code and you can filter by distance away, provider age, gender, and provider type.
You can also enter keywords at the bottom to search by, and refine even further on a number of topics, including smoker or non-smoker, willingness to have taxes withheld, and more.
Instead of a lengthy interview process to find the right person, Care.com lets you put in your location, set what you’re looking for, and instantly start reviewing candidates.
How Does Care.com Screen Its Caregivers?
When it comes to reviewing your candidates, Care.com will help you with that as well.
Senior care jobs are sensitive positions. You may be inviting someone into your home and entrusting them with providing for a family member or someone whom you care deeply about. Care.com provides resources for clients to review caregivers and make the most informed decision about who they trust.
The first way you can get feedback about a Care.com caregiver is through their star rating on the website. Care.com asks clients to review caregivers, and will instantly sort your search results by those with the highest star rating. They also provide you with the number of reviews in parenthesis, so you can see how many people have given that caregiver a certain score.
On top of star rating, your search results will provide you with a candidate’s years of experience, availability, pay rate, and average response time. It looks like this:
If you find someone with very strong reviews but still want to know more, Care.com offers more extensive screening for candidates.
You can feel safe about making a hire by ordering from a variety of available background checks. The background checks are provided by a third-party company and can range in thoroughness from brief criminal check or driving history check to full, deep-dive background check, based on your price point and what you are looking for.
To read about Care.com’s background checks, read our article on the subject.
How to Hire Your Caregiver
There are two ways to hire someone via Care.com. The first is to post a job and let potential caregivers contact you. The other is to reach out to caregivers directly. Both ways require you to become a full Care.com member, which sadly is not free.
To post an ad for a job, follow this link and it will prompt you with a number of questions: Zip code, amount you’d like to pay, any requirements for training or certifications, and more. It’s clean and simple and looks like this:
When you want to post the job, you must become a Care.com full member. Members can sign up for one month for $39, for three months for $19 a month, or for a full year for $13 a month.
They are offering a 20 percent discount for new members right now, however, with the discount code HELLO20.
Once you’ve posted the job, it will allow potential caregivers to reach out and inquire about your services.
The other way to sign up is to reach out to caretakers directly. To do that, you would simply review the caregivers as discussed above, then contact them directly. Again, this requires a full Care.com membership.
Once you have settled on hiring someone, Care.com can be the service by which you process your payments, if your caregiver allows that option. Most caregivers and clients work out payment directly, however.
An Online Solution for Elderly Care
When evaluating nursing homes vs. and in-home health provider, it helps to have all the information available to make an informed decision. Care.com allows you to review part-time and full-time caregivers in your area who specialize in senior care. You can read bios, sort by client reviews, hourly rates, and other factors that are important to you.
When compared to word-of-mouth recommendations or a print ad, Care.com gives you more control and a wider array of information to survey so you can find someone you trust in your area.
Even if you don’t decide to hire someone using Care.com listings, the information on the site can help you make a smarter decision when it comes to elderly care.