Being a caregiver is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Whether you are a professional or you are looking after someone in your own family, the work, while emotionally fulfilling, is also exhausting and stressful. Sometimes you just need a break!
Over the last few years, I’ve asked many women in the Sixty and Me community about their own experiences as caregivers. They have offered plenty of practical advice, but, one of the most common recommendations is to remember to take care of yourself.
As one of our community members, Roxanne, said, “My husband died suddenly at the age of 60. Since we lived with my mother, it was assumed that I would take over as her caregiver… I can’t stress enough how important it is to look after yourself. Get the rest that your body requires. It’s difficult to rejuvenate if you let yourself get so exhausted that you have to spend a week in bed. Have someone other than a family member to confide in. You deserve it!”
Unfortunately, women of all ages have a tendency to try to “power through” tough times. We often feel like we need to “do it all” and end up making ourselves stressed or even sick.
At some point, most of us realize that we really do need a little help. But, this raises an interesting question – if you know that you need a little extra help with your caregiving tasks, who can you turn to? How can you find someone who is qualified to handle the daily tasks that need to get done? What if your loved one needs someone who understands their medical condition? Most importantly, where can you find home care for older adults that gives you the peace of mind that your loved one will be kept safe and happy?
In the past, caregivers who wanted to find someone to look after their loved one for a few hours faced a difficult choice. You could either hire someone through an expensive agency. Or, you could rely on friends and family to help. The former was often too expensive to be practical. The later didn’t always give you the peace of mind that you needed.
Well, today, I want to tell you about a new service, called Honor, which aims to make the process of finding home care for older adults much easier.
Honor is an online service that connects caregivers, seniors and their families. The company was founded by Seth Sternberg, an ex-Google employee, in 2014 and has already received $62-million in funding.
Why were so many powerful investors willing to put their money into Honor? Quite simply, the company has the potential to ride a demographic tsunami. Every day, more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 60. Many of us have parents who are already at the age that they need caregiving. And, whether we like to admit it or not, in the next couple of decades, our kids may need help supporting us too.
It’s not just demographics that work in Honor’s favor. The company is using technology to solve a decade’s old problem – connecting caregivers and seniors.
Here’s how Honor works. First, they screen potential caregivers to make sure that they have the experience, skills and temperament to be successful. Next, they make it easy for families to find caregivers in their area, using their app or over the phone. Finally, they eliminate the need for long-term contracts. This means that you can find someone to help out for just a few hours, if this is what you need.
To be clear, I haven’t used their service myself. So, I can’t vouch for the quality of their caregivers directly. That said, the great majority of the reviews that I have read, including these ones on Yelp, have been positive. If you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles or Dallas, the three cities that they are currently serving, I highly encourage you to check them out.
More importantly, if you do decide to look into Honor, please come back here and let us know what you think. Far too often, technology companies ignore the needs of older adults. It’s refreshing to see a company like Honor taking a new approach to an old problem and I wish them all the best.
Are you a caregiver for a loved one? Do you sometimes struggle to find someone to look after your parents, sibling or friend during the day? What do you think about Honor? Please join the conversation.