Chances are good that you have known an older adult who needed a little extra help at home. Perhaps it was a grandparent, parent, or spouse. It might even be you! If you have ever tried to hire help for yourself or your loved one, you know that it can be extremely stressful and costly. Currently, most in-home care agencies charge anywhere from $24 – $45 per hour (based on level of care), have minimum hourly requirements and long-term contracts. This is because the cost of providing licensed caregivers who are background checked, trained and insured with worker’s compensation is expensive. Most people cannot afford to pay for such care.
I saw this problem time and time again while I was doing my BSW internship at the Huntington Beach Senior Center. In order to qualify for in-home care from the county, older adults must be on both Medicare and Medi-cal (what we call Medi-Medi). However, most were in a category that nearly all of us fall into – too “rich” to qualify for any benefits, but too “broke” to pay for services out of pocket. I knew there had to be a better way.
In 2016, I founded the nonprofit Elder Love USA – a senior in-home caregiving agency offering the same services as all the others except we do not have high hourly rates based on level of care, minimum hourly requirements, or long term contracts. We are able to provide the same care by charging a low hourly rate to the client and then supplementing the cost through grants, donations and sales at our thrift stores (both in Palm Desert).
It is my goal to get our hourly rate down to just $15 per hour. We want to revolutionize the home care industry and we need your help to do it! You can help by donating items to our thrift store (we will pick up fast), shopping in our stores, volunteering, or making a low monthly donation. Call 888-336-8322 or visit www.ElderLoveUSA.org for more information.
Shannon Shea is the founding executive director of Elder Love USA, Inc. She has her Master’s degree in gerontological social work and is pursuing her PhD in Gerontology (class of 2022). She can be reached at Shannon@elderloveusa.org