New Kare App Aims to Ease Senior Care Staffing Crisis

A newly launched app is gearing up to tackle one of senior living’s biggest woes.

The app, Kare, is meant to make a dent in the ongoing staffing crisis in senior living and long-term care by pairing caregivers, medication aides and nurses with assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities and other settings where older adults receive care, according to the startup’s website.

“Kare is the first labor marketplace dedicated solely to the senior housing and post acute industry,” the website states.

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The staffing crisis is among the industry’s biggest worries, with hiring difficulties and rising wages vexing many senior living operators across the U.S. The senior living industry employed about 892,000 people in 2016, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics often touted by trade association Argentum. But the sector will have to recruit and retain about 300,000 more employees by 2026.

Using Kare, senior living communities can advertise temporary openings in their workforce. Then, caregivers — or “heroes,” as they’re referred to in the app — can search for open shifts that fit into their schedules. All of the caregivers are screened in an application process that includes an interview, credential check, background check and drug test, according to the website.

Though it may serve some of the same functions, Kare is described as distinct from a staffing agency. Instead, the app is simply meant to match communities with workers, who are classified as independent contractors.

Kare lists several potential benefits for communities which use the app, such as reducing hiring times, eliminating the use of costly staffing agencies and saving money on overtime. For caregivers, the app is billed as a way to help them earn extra money and exercise more control over their schedules.

In October, Kare announced its launch month via social media. Over six weeks, Kare has posted 1,000 shifts, the company wrote on its LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Behind Kare is a team that includes CEO Charles Turner, a former president with PinPoint Senior Living. Turner is no stranger to online staffing apps, either. He was previously involved with NurseDash, an app designed to help health and senior care providers find clinicians like med techs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

Kare’s partners include Turner’s Invidia for Seniors investment platform, Daybach Investments, Golden Section Technology and Bridge Investment Group, according to its website.

Turner declined to elaborate more when reached by Senior Housing News Thursday.

Though Kare is the first app solely dedicated for the senior care industry, there are other organizations making plays to harness technology to pair workers with employers. For instance, transportation tech giant Uber (NYSE: UBER) launched a new shift-finding service in Chicago this year called Uber Works. The app is meant to help a wide variety workers pick up extra shifts by connecting them with businesses in need of help.

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