Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

The Definitive Guide to Papa Elder Care

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

It can be tough to find a job that is fulfilling and pays a decent wage, right?

Good news: If you live in Florida and you’re interested in senior services and care, you might have just found your lucky break.

There’s a new gig startup that is shaking things up in The Sunshine State, and it’s rewarding for both students and seniors.

Are you ready to learn how you can be a part of making life easier and more fun for senior citizens?
Meet Papa Elder Care.

We’re going to start with Papa Elder Care basics, and then we’ll dive into how gig-economy workers can capitalize on this generous opportunity to help the elderly in their communities.

Let’s get started. 

What is Papa?

Papa Elder Care is a gig app expanding out of Miami, offering “grandkids on-demand” for senior citizens in need of assistance or companionship.

Founder Andrew Parker said in an interview with the Washington Post:

“We are specifically a service that links two generations,” Parker said.

“Our emphasis is this is a really fun day for a senior.”

Papa Pals (the “grandkids”) fulfill services for the elderly through an on-demand app or by clicking “Call Us” on the request page of Papa’s website.

Picture this:

Papa Pals help out with chores, play board games, and drive their senior pals to appointments and stores.

This is especially beneficial for “elder orphans” who don’t have a family to help them out.

So, Papa Pals essentially get paid to spend quality time with the elderly – almost just like they would with their real-life grandparents.

And it’s more than just doing a job, so you get paid.

It’s that fulfilling job you’ve been looking for, the one that bridges the gap between school and rewarding career in the care industry

How Does Papa Elder Care Work?

Most gig-economy jobs seem to cater to a younger, more tech-savvy audience.

But according to the U.S. Census, senior citizens are the fastest growing age demographic, so it makes sense for the gig-economy to introduce services to aid them.

Papa has stepped in to fill that space by providing a connection between young workers and older people in need.

It’s simple: Papa connects seniors with college-age students, who are also independent contractors, to provide basic companionship services. 

How Does it Work for Papa Pals?

You set your schedule and work when you want.

But it’s better than just any part-time job.

You’re making a difference.

And some days, making a difference might just be watching a movie together or taking a walk in the park.

We’ll get into the full details here in a bit.

But, right now you’re probably wondering how much this is going to cost. 

How Much Does Papa Cost?

There are two levels: Basic and Premium. 

With a free basic membership, seniors pay $20 for the first hour of a Papa Pal visit. That includes 10 miles of transportation. Each additional mile costs 25 cents.

 After the first hour of Pal service, the rate is calculated at 50 cents a minute.

That works out to $30 an hour.

The hourly rate for Papa Premium is the same – $20.

But, for a $30 a month Premium membership, seniors have the added advantages of:

  • Interviewing Papa Pals
  • Creating a Papa Pal team
  • Same day service appointments

Are you wondering how all seniors can afford the service?

Don’t worry:

Fast Company reports that:

“Medicare and Medicaid will begin covering this type of service in 2019, so recipients may be able to use it without cost.”

On top of that, they recently partnered with healthcare giant Humana to provide services for Humana Medicare Advantage members in Florida.

What does that mean for you?

It means you could get in on the ground floor of what could potentially become a huge industry.

To learn more about what services come with both basic and premium Papa Elder Care options, see pricing options here. 

Where is Papa Elder Care available?

Right now, they’re still mostly in Florida.

But, according to TechCrunch, “Papa has plans to expand into at least five states next year.”

A Florida news agency is claiming the number of states is eight.

Whatever the number, the company is growing at warp speed.

They’ve already jumped the map to Pittsburgh, PA.

Papa’s website is currently listing these available cities:

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Naples, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Palm Beach, FL
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Sarasota, FL
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Vero Beach, FL

If there’s not a Papa near you, there will be at some point.

Check the bottom banner on Papa’s website often for an updated list

How Do I Become a Papa Pal?

It’s a little tougher than breaking into most gig-economy jobs but stay with us.

Being a Papa Pal is worth looking into and certainly worth doing.

Papa Elder Care is understandably very selective about who they hire.

They have to be.

We’re talking about ensuring the safety of seniors and making sure they get the best service.

They deserve it.

A lot of gig-economy jobs are really easy to get into, but easy isn’t always rewarding or career-building.

Papa Elder Care might be more stringent, but it will also look great on your resume – especially if you’re going into a care related field.

And, that’s who Papa is looking for: College students majoring in health-related fields like nursing, medicine, psychology, and social work.

They screen students to find those who are particularly:

  • Empathetic
  • Patient
  • Skilled conversationalists

So why does Papa prefer college students?

Papa wants to help students improve their resumes, and students have schedules that work perfectly for a part-time job, it’s a great fit.

They’re not just looking for any college students either.

One ad posted by Papa for Pals in South Florida lists a 3.0 GPA or higher and a clean background as requirements.

Papa wants to ensure safety and peace of mind for its senior clients.

That’s why candidates have to go through such stringent background checks:

“We will search more than 550 million criminal records from counties, departments of Corrections (DOC), Administrative Office of Courts (AOC) and offender registries from all 50 states, plus Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico. We will verify criminal matches directly at the source before reporting them, updating the record to match currently available public records, completing incomplete records, and allowing reporting of records that become legally reportable based only on the updated and complete record.”

Getting through the hiring process isn’t easy.

“Only 4% of applicants make into Papa Pals.

There are currently 500 Pals according to Fast Company.

If you meet the above requirements, you can submit an application on this page

Papa Pals Sign Up Process

If you think you can meet Papa’s rigorous sign-up requirements, you can start the process by heading to this page and hitting “Apply Now.”

Once you’ve hit the button, you’ll be asked to select your market.

Currently, the only options are “Florida” and “Other Markets.”

Since Papa is only available in select Florida cities, they aren’t looking to hire Pals in other locations.

Once you select your market, you’ll be asked to fill out a much more detailed form.

In addition to basic information like your name and email address you will also be asked questions like:

  • Do you have any experience working with seniors?
  • Why do you want to work with seniors?
  • Are you currently enrolled in college, university, or technical school?

You’ll also need to provide information about your availability and the type of vehicle you drive.

Once you submit this information, you will automatically be qualified or disqualified for the next steps.
Assuming you pass, this is only the beginning of the process. From there, you will need to:

  1. Go through a 10-minute phone interview with the recruiting team
  2. Pass a background check
  3. Pass a vehicle inspection
  4. Send our recruiting team your driver’s license and proof of car insurance
  5. Complete training
  6. Receive a welcome package
  7. Download the app

What Kinds of Services do Papa Pals provide?

Actually, they provide a wide variety of services.

Some of the most common duties you might perform on a visit are: 


Elders get lonely – especially if they have no family, are widowed, or can’t get out on their own.

Loneliness is a concern among aging adults.

Many seniors love the idea of being able to schedule someone to hang out with.

This often involves playing board games, watching TV, or even going out to eat. 

Household chores

Light cleaning can be hard or even impossible for some seniors.

That’s why this is one of the most often requested Papa services.

For the amount of time scheduled, Pals might do some light cleaning like dishes, making beds, or folding laundry.

Or, they might help a senior cook a meal or organize a few boxes in the garage. 

Car rides

Transportation is a significant issue for seniors who can no longer drive.

It’s not enough to call up Lyft or Uber.

It can be unsettling for an older adult to wait for a stranger in a public space with nowhere to sit.

Seniors might also need help carrying their bags, or need someone to wait with them at the doctor’s office.

Pals step in to provide transportation with added companionship and assistance so that seniors aren’t alone when away from home. 

Grocery shopping

As we just mentioned, car rides are a big part of the job.

And one of those regular car rides is to the grocery store.

People who request Papa Pals often need help with loading their cart, getting things in and out of the car, and putting the groceries away once home. 

Technology lessons

If you are at all tech-savvy, you’ve probably had older family members ask help with their gadgets at family gatherings.

Helping Papa seniors with technology lessons is kind of like that.

You can help set up online video conferences with family members, install Netflix on a TV, or show them how to use social media or send emails. 

Pet care

A lot of seniors love their pets but have a harder time with some aspects of pet care like cleaning the litter box or bathing the dog.

Papa Pals also help out when seniors can’t be at home to play with or feed their pet. 

How Much Does Papa Pal Pay?

Reports vary regarding how much students can expect to make as a Papa Pal.

Papa Elder Care is growing rapidly, but they’re still young and in the process of refining their methods.

According to the website FAQs, Pals make $30 per visit on average with the best Pals making around $1500 a month.

According to Papa’s CEO Andrew Parker, Pals make about $20 to $30 per visit, which typically last about three hours which works out to less than $10 an hour.

This job opening looking for Pals quotes $15 an hour.

Papa says it “depends on location, length of the visit, and distance driven with the member.”

But there are bonuses and benefits:

  • The figures above are base rates.
  • Papa Pals also get bonuses for reaching certain thresholds.
  • They get money back for gas too if they drive more than 5 miles in a visit.

If you keep in mind that Papa hires college students going into related fields, you’ll understand why they aren’t paying 30 bucks an hour.

What they’re offering closely resembles that of a well-paid internship, which is another reason they hire college students.

They want to help students going into care professions build stronger resumes.

They even write letters of recommendation for Pals that complete 100 visits with seniors.

Papa Pals will stand out among other recently graduated job applicants when they are ready to start their careers.

Papa Elder Care is a fantastic opportunity for college students going into fields that support the elderly.

You can earn money while learning how to interact with seniors in need and while also experiencing and absorbing the culture of their generation.

That experience will enrich your career when you graduate.

Not only is Papa Elder Care a more fulfilling employment option for college students, it is a service that makes life better and more enjoyable for seniors.

Don’t you want to be a part of that?

Click here to join Papa.
[gw_promotion id=”1619″]

1 thought on “The Definitive Guide to Papa Elder Care”

  1. I have been a Papa Pal for about a year, when I found Papa Pal, I had been caring for my own parent for seven years and could have totally benifited from the service, so I jumped on board to help out other people in my community. Today I recieved a call from one of the pal support people asking about the visit I was to have this morning. When I contacted the client yesterday I was told that they had decided to leave town to visit a friend out of town. To reach the client I had to sign up and accept the visit which took me out of making another vist for that time slot. I notified the help line about the cancelation but no one got bact to me, and the client wasn’t ablet to reach anyone. So the support person who called this afternoon appoligised and said the support staff was undermaned and they were looking for more support people, He told me to contact Papa, I have searched the site but find now way to contact a department to apply for such a position. I am hoping this sited will reach someone.


Leave a Comment

Everything You Need to Know About House Sitters America
  • App-based-gig

Everything You Need to Know About House Sitters America

August 21, 2019
7 min read
  • App-based-gig

Everything You Need to Know About Wag: How to Hire or Work as a Dog Walker

July 1, 2019
6 min read
House sitting jobs: Woman in living room surrounded by plants
  • App-based-gig

House Sitting Jobs: Best Sites for Affordable World Travel

July 1, 2019
8 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.