This was a project created by Julia Pavone, Lauren Meoli, Klare Frank, and Jian Li Zheng surrounding research and assessing the market for a new human-centered venture for the graduate-level class HCDE 538: Designing a Human Centered Venture. Several of my classmates ended up entering this idea into the Dempsey Startup Competition where it advanced into the investment round.
We are an aging country. In 10 years, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 years or older. As the US population grows older, more elderly people will require services to help them stay independent and healthy. Increasingly, more Americans prefer to age at home and not immediately have to rely on retirement communities. This is where home caregivers come in.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for personal home care aides will be at a 36% growth care, which is much faster than the average of 7% for all occupations. Home caregivers will be needed to help the elderly with common non-health tasks such as getting groceries, light cleaning, and errands.
How individual home caregivers are left behind
Non-health homecare services is a fragmented industry where there are few major companies that dominate the market share. Instead, there are sometimes larger local franchises that operate in specific regions, or mom and pop single homecare agencies. As demand for care goes up, it’s agencies and not individual caregivers who reap the benefits. Caregivers are often employed at agencies, who charge on average $21 but caregivers are only paid $11 hourly.
This is an important problem worth solving. The demographics of home caregivers suggest that they may be a more economically vulnerable population. 87% of caregivers are women, 62% are people of color, and 31% are immigrants.
The gig worker model is broken
There are now companies offering gig workers for all services, from cleaning to rides and even dog walking (Uber, handy, instacart, and Rover). However, Uber and similar companies have been criticized and increasingly in the spotlight for taking advantage of this type of arrangement to not offer benefits and keeping workers in a perilous financial situation and dependent on these companies.
At Wisdom Care, we are doing things differently. We believe in changing the system from hiring more gig workers, to instead building more business owners. A human-centered venture aims to put more power and agency into individuals.
Our proposal is an online platform that focuses on helping caregivers start and maintain a professional homecare agency. The company would provide “bolt-on” operations and other business services for the home care agency. We imagine this to not only be a “software as a service” or SAAS product, but rather as a “business as a service” product. To make the business model work, Wisdom Care would work on a revenue sharing model with the business. This ensures that incentives are aligned with the owner’s success.
There are three key ways that we’ll be different from competition: offering a business bootcamp, an all-in-one software solution, and a network of mentors.
Vision of Impact
As many homecare workers are disproportionately women, and people of color, the social impact hypothesis is that we can enable more people to become owners of their own small business. Rather than the Uber/Lyft model of turning drivers into powerless contractors, this model aims to return the profit and build capital for the caregivers.
As more caregivers become business owners, they start to accumulate more power and voice to speak on behalf of the senior care industry. Currently as individuals it’s more difficult to collectively advocate for better standards and wages. As owners, they can be the ones setting the prices for their services, and change the societal perception of the value of senior care. Our model also aims to be inclusive, and a network of mentors ensure that barriers for entry remain low and new entrants can gain more skill quickly even without much business background.
Wisdom Care forgoes the typical home care agency model to increase caregiver self-efficacy by providing an online platform to support starting and managing a non-health home care business. The platform will consist of three main parts:
Providing a business management platform for workers to help home health workers out with general business needs such as generating invoices, regulatory compliance information, and patient tracking to log patient history, visit history, and worker notes. While Wisdom Care will not control payments, the company will take a 7.5% revenue share from profits of business owners for two years.
Providing access to partnership training programs to increase customer experience. By encouraging participation in programs, Wisdom Care certifies workers will meet an expected standard of care while protecting its trustworthy brand image. Workers could also list current certifications and recommendations on their profiles to increase their capable appearance to patients and their families.
Support for caregivers to build their care-receiving customer base. This would include partnerships with hospitals/physicians, retirement homes, community centers, nonprofits, and other social work organizations.
A typical journey for a caregiver interested in starting their own home care business:
Product Specifications Table
In the home health care industry, there are very few major industry players as most businesses are small, fragmented operations and sole proprietorships. The largest competitors are Honor Care Network, Care.com, Family Directed, and other large hospital networks or home health agencies that acquire small industry players. Honor Care Network is similar in that it provides caregivers with clients to provide care for. However, Honor’s revenue sharing practices and operations have attracted scrutiny and criticism, providing an opportunity for a reinvented non-health care provider business model (Holly, 2018).
For this venture, we would not require caregiver businesses to enter into a 50-50 revenue sharing agreement, which “traps” caregivers in the network. The other frequent criticism from home health care providers is the lack of support from colleagues for consultations or assistance. To combat this isolation, this venture will attempt to establish a community of non-health caregivers in order to provide a support network and collaborative environment. Additionally, our venture would seek to provide benefits for caregivers, including insurance, sick time, paid leave, and safety features to protect caregivers while working with clients. For a more detailed look into our venture’s competitors, please view our Competitive Analysis Table below:
Market Opportunity Research
Home Health Industry Trends
Since 1986, the median age in the United States has increased from 30 years to approximately 38 years and is expected to continue to climb as more baby boomers retire and enter the Medicare health system. The industry demand for home health care is expected to dramatically increase, 5.7%, in order to meet the needs of elderly and families who are unable to provide frequent care to their loved ones. According to IBISWorld, the home health industry is expected to grow due to the following drivers: the aging population and cost-effectiveness of home healthcare; and new technologies which create the possibility for more procedures and services to be performed at home. IBISWorld also reports a shifting trend for patients to demand less nursing facility and hospital care and more home health services.
Wisdom Care would focus on providing non-health care related services to customers, which includes homemaking services. This market segment represents approximately 6.4% of the home health industry and generates roughly $6 billion in revenue on an annual basis (IBISWorld). While this home care aid services is much smaller compared to traditional home health care and nursing home services and home hospice (57.9% and 22.1% market segmentation, respectively), this market segment is expected to remain stable over the next five years. Home health care businesses that are currently in operation are concentrated in the southern United States, specifically Texas (12.9% of establishments), California (10.5% of establishment), and Florida (8.3% of establishments), following the national distribution of the elderly population. According to US Census data, Florida, Texas, and California alone account for nearly 25% of the country’s elderly population.
SWOT Analysis for Home Health Care Industry
|- Steady industry growth predicted. Industry is in “growth” stage of industry life cycle||- Low barriers to enter the home health service industry|
|- Minimal capital expenditures and upfront investment||- Generally low profit margins|
|- Limited or no competition from imports due to the service-based nature of the industry||- Homemaker and home aids represent a much smaller, yet stable (perhaps stagnant) portion of the home health care market|
|- Highly competitive market with many sole proprietorships and a few large market competitors|
|- Aging population in United States and markets abroad (China, Japan)||- Uncertainty of healthcare regulatory environment and cuts to Medicare spending|
|- Baby boomer population has more disposable income per capita compared to other cohort||- Despite increased level of disposable income, boomers also carry more short-term and long-term debt (mortgages and other loans)|
|- In the West (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Alaska), the concentration of industry establishments is less than the concentration of elderly population (indicating market need).||- Increasing healthcare costs across the board in the United States|
Analysis of Primary Stakeholder – Caregivers
On the other side of home health care, home care aids and caregivers support the growing industry and the elderly population. A home health aide for a 77-year-old man serves as social worker, diaper changer, dietitian, day planner, warden and more — all at dismal wages. Her name is Marjorie. She cares for Bob Dettmer's 24/7 dementia care for $160/day plus room and board. Depending on her work hours during the day, this pay may only translate to $10 dollars/hour. Marjorie emigrated from Jamaica during the 1990s and currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has been an aide for more than 20 years and is a freelancer partnering with home health agencies. Due to her long hours and extremely limited time off, she's rarely able to go home to her apartment in Brooklyn or spend time with her 2 year-old grandson.
Across the country in Albuquerque, New Mexico, another home care aide, Angelica, toils through the daily struggles of home health care. Originally from Philadelphia, Angelica had a rough upbringing and became a primary caregiver for her sibling at an early age. At 25 years old, she is a single mother to her four year-old son and works seven days a week. She currently makes $12.50 per hour, which is not enough to support rent ($680/month) and other bills, “I really need to get a second job... It’s a struggle. But when is it not? Life’s always a struggle if you’re a single mom.” Similar to Marjorie, Angelica is also a self-starter. She's part of the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition, which allows Angelica to own her own home care business rather than working with a home health agency, who would take a significant portion of her pay (Campbell, 2019). According to IBISWorld, 9 out of 10 home health care establishments or businesses have no payroll, indicating that a majority of establishments operate as sole proprietorships. The elevated number of sole proprietorships can be explained by the industry’s low barriers to entry and minimal capital expenditure and investment required to start a home health care business (in some cases). Despite the predominance of sole proprietorships in the industry, these businesses only account for 10% of total annual industry revenue. Operating as a sole proprietorship provides caregivers and home care aids with work flexibility and independence yet comes with some drawbacks.
Both Angelica and Marjorie report to enjoy their jobs and accept their situation and pay in order to care for their patients and their families: “If I take a client and I have the respect,” Marjorie said, “I will stay through to the end.” According to a New York Times article, home health care "is one of the most emotionally and personally demanding, and one of the worst paid." As indicated by much of our market research, home health care is one of the fastest growing industries, yet is struggling to keep pace with the number of ailing or retiring "elder-boomers." Vox reports, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the projected percent change in home health care employment from 2016-2026 is 47%. For personal care aids, the percent change is slightly smaller, yet still exponential, at 39%. The New York Times reports that as the elderly live longer and value "aging in place" the number of home care workers and professions have increased by 150%, or 2.3 million. Even still with this explosive job market growth, the demand for home health care exceeds the supply of home care workers, causing elderly patients to pile up on waiting lists up to 30 months long for services (KFF: Musumeci, 2019).
So who makes up America's home care workers? The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports that 90% of home care aides are women, with 56% being women of color. 36% of workers have and care for dependent children, and 28% are immigrants. When it comes to worker education, about 52% of home health aides earned a high school diploma or less (Campbell, 2019). Generally, home health workers are typically underpaid, not well respected, and undervalued. Of individuals in the United States who live below the poverty line, personal care aides and home health aides make up the largest proportion at ~20% and ~12% respectively. Furthermore, a little over 50% of personal care aids live at or below 200% of the poverty line (Sternberg, 2020). The average wage for home care aides and personal care aides is about $11.52 per hour, which, in many cities, is not enough to support basic necessities (Newman, 2019). Given these wages, it's no surprise that many workers require additional public assistance: Vox reports that nearly 51% receive some form of public assistance such as food stamps. In New York specifically, wages for aides declined between 2007-2017 once adjusted for inflation. In 2017, the annual salary for home care aides working full time was $27,000 (Newman, 2019, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection). Because home health work is typically a low-wage job, people view the work as "low-skill." However, not everyone views the industry this way. Robyn Stone, a senior vice president for research a LeadingAge, wants to rebrand home health work:
"Rather than calling them low-wage workers, I would call these workers professionals who are paid low wages. They are taking care of people with very complex needs, people who have multiple chronic conditions, who may have all kinds of varied living environments. A lot of the families are really dysfunctional and the aides have to deal with that, too. And they’re getting paid chump change, and it’s a travesty.”
With poor pay comes many other organizational and social problems. In the home health industry, turnover rates of workers are extremely high, causing a disruption and discontinuity of care services for elderly patients. According to the New York Times and PHI, two thirds of home care workers leave their positions, the industry, or the workforce entirely each year. In a 2012 longitudinal study of 261 home care aides, researchers sought to study the rewards and challenges of home health care and found that the job is "rewarding yet problematic." Study participants cited poor compensation, inconsistent hours, emotional stress, physical stress, lack of positive feedback from employing agencies or companies, and lack of benefits as the top reasons for job termination (Butler, 2012). To substantiate this research, Vox reported that nearly “88% of domestic workers don’t get paid time off, sick time, employer-sponsored health insurance, or any other benefits.” This sentiment is supported by other websites, which provide business plan and startup information for individuals interested in starting their own home health business. Care aides may face additional drawbacks associated with working in or starting a home health care business, such as working in isolation, long distance travel, and technological upkeep and maintenance (Sekulich, 2016).
Alongside the lack of financial safety for home health workers, physical safety is a major concern for workers as well as clients. Another home health worker, told Vox, “...Our work isn’t valued and we’re treated as inferiors... Not to mention what a hard job this is — transferring immobile, heavy [clients] all around the house.” She never received any training for how to handle safely moving immobile clients until she joined her home health co-op, New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition. The article also reported that many “home care agencies offer little to no training on how to deal with difficult situations.” Fortunately, she is able to receive some basic labor protections, as New Mexico is one of nine states who passed legislation to protect home health workers. According to Angelica's Vox interview, she had to quit her last client because he "masturbated in front of her." Our first home health worker, Marjorie, sometimes faces physical aggression and verbal abuse from her client, who suffers from severe dementia. According to the same Vox article, home care workers are, unfortunately and unforgivably, an easily exploitable workforce. Many home health workers have been excluded from US labor laws and are not entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, and other benefits under federal law. Without federal labor protections, caregivers are also not protected from sexual harassment, protected class discrimination, workplace safety, or, in some cases, collective bargaining rights.
Even for aides who are affiliated or work for an agency, most home health agencies take advantage of their caregivers and bind them to only working for them, without opportunities to grow and expand their clientele. A few organizations operating in the home health care space are working to combat this issue, as indicated by Honor CEO Seth Sternberg's press release on the company website. According to the website, Honor is working to ensure that their workers have the necessary financial and benefits support, including worker compensation, paid sick leave, increased job training, and career advancement opportunities. Compared to other home health organizations, Honor seems to be making the most substantial changes to their benefits structure.
Despite the long hours, grueling mental and physical stress, and poor pay, many home health aides continue to provide care out of compassion and feelings of deep, human connection: “This job, it is total, it is total demand,” Marjorie said. “Sometimes they don’t pay you what they should, but you know what, I don’t know what the end of my time is going to be like. I believe that what goes around comes around, and I believe in distributing love equally and fairly" (Newman, 2019). Researchers also sought to understand what aspects of home health care work brought aides the most satisfaction. Study participants reported that "they felt the job was rewarding" because of "the appreciation felt from clients, the personal satisfaction from helping clients remain in their homes, the autonomy in their work, flexibility of hours, and the relief of loneliness" (Butler, 2012). According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, there are a few recommendations to improve the state of home health care, including improving access to education and training, increasing safety from harassment for care workers, and exploring how technology can help organizing care workers. These recommendations serve as an opportunity for a human-centered venture to disrupt the home health care marketplace, especially for personal care aides.
Analysis of Secondary Stakeholders – Care Receivers
The primary consumers, or future consumers, of home health services include the aging baby boomer cohort and their family members. A Mintel report explains this trend as “aging in place” as more and more baby boomers want to remain in their family homes, which they’ve inhabited for decades (Mintel: Gilbert, 2016). Though many baby boomers have retired from the workforce, this cohort enjoys more disposable income compared to millennials and Generation Z. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows baby boomer yearly household income above the average for total households ($80,086 vs. $78,635) and above the household income for millennials ($67,076) (eMarketer: Doliver, 2019). With this disposable income, boomers are better positioned to spend more money on healthcare and home health services. In the US in 2013 alone, 5 million received home health care services with 83% of patients being over age 65 (Lines, 2018).
However, not all consumers of home health services are able to afford quality care due to the rising costs of healthcare across the country. The president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Jennifer VanderVeen believes this situation has become a crisis as “getting reliable home health care is not as available and affordable as it should be.” The national average bill for a home health aid is $4,385 per month, which is still much less compared to the cost of nursing home facilities (AARP: Mercer, 2019). As for family members, this population may suffer more economic costs beyond the price of home health care, including negative impacts to employment hours, wage growth, and retirement savings while caring for aging loved ones.
While demand is rising for home health care, many barriers exist for families and individuals in need for these services due to regulatory changes to Medicare and the rising costs of long-term care. The current regulatory environment, including Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare regulations and agencies, poses the most significant risk to the home health industry. Generally speaking, long-term health provided by home care aides is covered by Medicaid; however, Medicaid's reimbursement rates to home care companies are extremely poor and rarely cover basic wages for caregivers. In 2015, state governments began investing more taxpayer money towards home care services, as these services are significantly cheaper than institutional care. (Campbell, 2019).
In addition to affordability, consumers of home health care have specific expectations surrounding quality of care. A 2018 study conducted a quantitative analysis and conceptual mapping of patient experiences with home health care services, using the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) care assessment method. According to the study, “HHCAHPS is an annual survey of a population-based sample of Medicare beneficiaries who receive services from home health care agencies” in the Medicare network. There are several methods designed to monitor the quality of home health care, including, but not limited to, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home Health Quality Initiative program, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) family, HHCAHPS, and the Home Care Satisfaction Measure (HCSM). Researchers in the healthcare space created the HCSM “to provide a standardized, general scale of home care satisfaction that is brief, is easy to administer, and meets standard psychometric criteria for validity and reliability” (Miyake Geron, 2000). Based on a 2000 HCSM research study, researchers identified eight dimensions of home care satisfaction: competency, humaneness, dependability, service adequacy, continuity of care, choice, accessibility, and advocacy. This earlier study reveals similar dimensions and factors of home health services as the 2018 HHCAHPS study.
In the 2018 HHCAHPS study, participants were asked in a series of focus groups to choose which factors were most important for home health services. The study participants reported that “the most important factor when receiving home health care is having staff who are caring, supportive, patient, empathetic, respectful, and considerate” and also stressed the importance of establishing personal relationships, continuity of care, and care provider dependability (Lines, 2018). Participants reported that “the ability to develop meaningful relationships with their providers contributed to their ability to recover” (Lines, 2018). Beyond the emotional and personal aspect of home health, participants also stated that factors “relating to technical competency, availability of needed care, and amount of care/time spent” were important to them (Lines, 2018). From the scheduling perspective of home care services, study participants expected communicative staff to inform patients of upcoming appointments, to notify patients of delays, and to negotiate rescheduling of appointments. Lastly, the study found that family member involvement in the treatment plan was extremely important, especially for underprivileged patients. The development of and practice home health satisfaction measures is critically important as many elderly Americans are mistreated and abused by paid caretakers (Campbell, 2019). A quick Yelp review search of our venture’s direct competitor, Honor, reveals some of this mistreatment, including negligent care, scheduling problems, and predatory sales tactics (Yelp.com). Through our market research, we believe there is an opportunity to design a venture that will ensure quality care while improving the safety of both caregivers and consumers.
Jane is a single mom and she is trying to make ends meet by working part-time at a home care agency while also juggling a retail job. She worries about how to cover expenses for her family along with making enough time for her 4 year old son.
Like many typical caregivers, Jane is a woman (87% of caregivers) and a person of color (60%. She started working right after high school (52 percent have a high school diploma or less). After her son was born, she started getting extra help from food stamps (51 percent get some form of public assistance).
Motivations / Values
- Flexibility: needs to set her own schedule based on her son’s school and activities
- Ownership: no longer wants half of her wages going to the home care agency
- Dedication: dedicated to providing quality care for clients, whose family depends on said care
- Empowerment: wants to feel like a care professional rather than simple low-wage, female workers
- Community: desires to have an extended community of home health aide professions for support (as work can sometimes feel isolating) and for safety
Why she chose Wisdom Care
She liked working at the past home care agency, but had a lot of problems with her clients. One of them was threatening and she didn’t feel safe in their home. She was drawn to Wisdom Care as she knows all clients are vetted, and she will have an emergency support team for any scenarios when she feels unsafe.
Since her wages have stayed flat at the agency for many years at $13 an hour, she saw Wisdom Care as a way for her to start her own business and charge $25, which is what the agency is currently collecting from her clients. Even though she has no business background, Wisdom Care offered training and an entire platform that can manage accounting and finances, so that it’s easy for her to focus on caring for her clients and less on the back office work. Wisdom Care also had a network of seasoned home care business owners to help answer any questions for those starting out. When she looked at the numbers, she felt confident that she could earn more, and be able to do it flexibility on her own time.
Edward is a 30 year old Caucasian man who has been working at different nursing facilities for the past five years. He’s been doing well, but sees limited career growth at the facility. He also notices that in every nursing facility, the quality of care can vary a great deal.
He has a large family who live closeby with many older relatives. He sees that most of them don’t want to go to assisted living facilities. His long-term dream is to grow into a successful regional franchise of home care agencies so that he offers more consistent quality of care to people like his family members. Edward took some business classes in school, but doesn’t know what opening a home care business entails.
Motivations / Values
- Quality of care: sees that the nursing facility doesn’t always ensure the highest quality care and wants to improve this
- Financial independence: want to work for himself rather than as an employee at a facility
- Entrepreneurship: desire to start a home care business and see if he can grow it into a regional franchise to serve the areas around his home
- Networking: wants the ability to network with other home health aide professionals in the industry and learn from their experiences
Why he chose Wisdom Care
Edward’s background and training in elder care and outgoing personality provides him many opportunities to build his clientele. He is provided resources to continually educate himself on her caregiving methods, while building a business he owns himself. He has flexibility with when he schedules clients, and can hire new caregivers under him to grow his outreach and business. He is hoping in the future to have to work less, while employing many caregivers and providing them new opportunities to grow professionally and earn a living wage.
With leaving a nursing facility, he was worried about losing a sense of community. He values the community aspect of Wisdom Care, providing him the ability to network with other caregivers. He likes that he won’t feel alone while taking on this new endeavour and has others to bounce ideas off of and grow with.
Sally is a baby boomer, who has lived in the home she owns for the past 50 years. Her husband passed away a few years ago and her grown children are spread out across the country, so are unable to help. She is set on aging in her home (like 80% of older Americans), where she’s lived for the past 20 years, rather than an assisted living facility or nursing home. She has hired some at home caregivers in the past to help with tasks around the home, companionship, and helping her on some outings, but was unsuccessful finding consistent quality care when agencies would send her random caregivers, not the same people, as many caregivers moved on to other jobs.
Motivations / Values
- Desires consistent and quality home care services
- Maintain a sense independence and ability to “age in place”
Why she chose Wisdom Care
Sally chose a Wisdom Care branded caregiver because she knew she would be able to work directly with the caregiver to build a relationship for consistent quality care. She loves the flexibility she has to be able to work directly with the caregiver and build a strong relationship with them.
Wisdom Care launches for elder care
SEATTLE — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Wisdom Care launched today, a company that provides a program that provides caregivers opportunities to build their own businesses and grow their clientele.
Previously, prior to Wisdom Care caregivers had to work for large companies, where they made little money, had no control of their clientele, or say about how they worked. They felt taken advantage of, and had no room for growth in their field. With the launch of Wisdom Care’s program, caregivers can get guidance and resources to build their own businesses. As part of a revenue share model for the first 2 years of their business operating, caregivers will be provided with resources and support to help build their business and access to a community of other caregivers to assist one another.
“For years I was bouncing between agencies, barely making minimum wage, while working two other jobs,” said Meredith Cordova, a caregiver in Seattle, WA, “Since starting my business with the help of the Wisdom Care, I have been able to start my own business, grow my clientele, and even hired by first employee last month! My bills are always getting paid on time now, and I am looking to buy my first home.”
Previously, the elderly and their families looking for in-home had to go through costly agencies where there was no consistency with caregivers, astronomical prices, and a lack of transparency. The alternative was to consider moving into an assisted living home, or having family take care of the eldery. Now, with the increase in competent caregivers operating their own businesses, the eldery and their families, can develop long-term relationships with caregivers, determine fair pricing based on mutual negotiations, and the peace of mind that they will consistently be cared for by the same people, not having last minute changes.
“I hated living far away from my aging mother, and often considered quitting my job, uprooting my family, and moving across the country to help her,” said Emily Waters, a lawyer in Miami, FL about her mother Cynthia in Ventura, CA, “The lack of consistent quality care my mother was receiving from agencies was awful, and we never knew what was going on between last-minute cancellations, and no follow-up conversations after their visits. With Wisdom Care we are able to find fantastic, affordable, care for my mother. We have now been working with two different caregivers, Rebecca and Janet, who help with whatever chores or tasks my mother needs, and are extremely reliable. We are even saving money from what we were previously paying and they understand my mother’s situation and do an amazing job supporting her and our family.”
Caregivers can utilize Wisdom Care’s resources and support for developing their business plans and growing their own clientele. They then work directly with care receivers and their families to negotiate their terms and the contract. Wisdom Care puts the control in the hands of the people giving and receiving the care, allowing them to make decisions that are best for themselves. “We know that people are wanting to age in place, but finding high quality, consistent care is difficult,” said Wisdom Care founder Jian Zheng, “Wisdom Care puts the control in the caregivers and care receivers’ hands, making it easier than ever for care receivers to find what they want, and caregivers build a career.
How do I sign up?
Visit www.wisdomcare.com, from there you will see links to create an account and get started with talking to one of our advisors to help you get the paperwork started.
1. What are the requirements or qualifications to join?
a. No prior caregiving experience is required, but some exposure to the field is advised. You will need to clear background checks and training in order to provide care.
2. Will I receive help with contract negotiations?
a. We will provide you with resources to understand what you will want to have in your contacts, but the negotiations and contracting happen between you and your clients.
3. What types of resources do you provide?
a. Sample contracts, generating invoices, bookkeeping software, how to get insurance, time management, and operations, are a few examples of resources we provide.
4. What is the cost?
a. Wisdom Care takes 7.5% of the revenue you earn from your clients for the first two years of operation.
5. How does payment work?
a. You will utilize Wisdom Care’s payments platform, but all pricing and contracting is between you and your clients.
6. What if I already have clients?
a. You are welcome to keep whatever clients you already have so long as you do not have non-competes with other companies you work with.
7. What if I don’t have any existing clients? Will you help me find clients?
a. No clients are necessary, some of our resources we provide will help you with places to look for clients and advertise yourself
8. How is this different from agencies?
a. Our focus is on caregivers growing their businesses, not providing caregivers to care receivers. We also do not take any amount of the payment you receive from your clients.
9. How will I grow my business?
a. Utilizing our resources will help you build your clientele, expand the scope of services you provide, and potentially hire other caregivers to work for you.
10. How much flexibility will I have?
a. As much flexibility as you want. As a business owner you will have control of your own schedule and be able to determine what works for you and your clients.
11. What is the community structure like?
a. We have group meetups, forums, and chats that allow you to connect with other caregivers to provide one another support in a changing landscape.
12. How much autonomy will I have?
a. You are in control of what you want to do. We provide you resources and advice, but ultimately the decisions you make for your business and clients are yours.
13. What does professional development look like?
a. The resources we provide change as your business grows to help you continue pushing yourself and your business to expand your clientele and opportunities.
Butler, Sandra S., et al. “Older Women Caring for Older Women: The Rewards and Challenges of the Home Care Aide Job.” Journal of Women & Aging, vol. 24, no. 3, July 2012, pp. 194–215, DOIi:10.1080/08952841.2012.639667.
Campbell, A. (2019, August 21). What it’s like to do the toughest job in America. Retrieved February 3, 2020, from https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/8/21/20694768/home-health-aides-elder-care
Diment, D. (2020, February). United States Industry (NAICS) Report 62161 Home Care Providers in the US. Retrieved February 3, 2020, from https:// login.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/login?qurl=https://my.ibisworld.com%2fus%2fen%2findustry%2f62161%2fproducts-and-markets Dolliver, Mark. “EMarketer US Boomers 2019.” EMarketer, 14 Nov. 2019, https://www.emarketer .com/content/how-boomers-are-aging-in-place.
Gilbert, Marissa. Changing Face of US Healthcare - US - December 2016. Mintel, Dec. 2016, https://reports-mintel-com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/dis play/748702/#.
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