Sittercity, a Chicago-based company that matches families with caregivers, has expanded into a new demographic: senior care.
The subsidiary, called Years Ahead, launched in the second quarter, reports the Chicago Tribune, but is currently making a bigger marketing push in advance of the holidays, as it tends to be the busiest time of year for people seeking senior care.
SitterCity’s biggest platform is its child care finding services, including babysitting and nannying, along with matching families with tutors and housekeepers. After looking at demographic trends, the company identified senior care as a “significant business opportunity,” says the article.
What often happens, Years Ahead’s general manager Melissa Marchwick told the Tribune, is that adult children paying holiday visits to their parents may notice increased signs of aging.
Almost half of adult children (46%) who are helping their parents find caregivers have already seen signs their parents need help,and 63% of those have seen their parents exhibit forgetfulness or memory loss, according to a recent survey by Years Ahead.
However, similar to findings by A Place for Mom and Northwestern Mutual, many consumers lack knowledge about different senior care options.
With that in mind, SitterCity’s senior care site, which is different from the company’s child care platform, helps people get educated about their care needs.
Years Ahead worked with the University of South Florida’s School of Aging Studies to develop an online needs assessment for users to complete, reports the Tribune, with questions about the senior’s cognitive functioning and medical conditions. The assessment generators an independence rating for seniors ranging between one and five, which can then be matched with a care provider.
Caregivers pay to belong to Years Ahead’s network, which encompasses more than 34,000 in-home and senior living community-based care providers, allowing users to search the network for free.
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The Years Ahead team currently consists of about 10 members, according to the Chicago Tribune, and its website allows users to connect with certified care advisors to discuss options—similar to Care.com, another service that matches families with caregivers.
“When it comes to senior care specifically, most families need assistance and guidance in navigating the complex range of options available to them as their loved ones age,” Jody Gastfriend, vice president of senior care services at Care.com., told SHN after calling her company a one-stop shop. “Whether it’s locating someone to provide in-home care, finding additional services that enable their loved one to age in place, or identifying the best residential care options, our licensed social workers and experienced senior care counselors help families find the right solutions. We’ve found that this approach not only resonates strongly with families, but also with employers who are increasingly trying to help their employees address the challenge of caring for aging parents.”
Read the full Chicago Tribune piece.
Written by Alyssa Gerace