Are you a professional caregiver who’s ready to work independently, but don’t know how to get started? Many of us baby boomer generation nurses are looking for a way to supplement our incomes as we prepare to retire from the rigors of full time nursing, while nursing students and home health aides can gain valuable experience and income working part time while in school. Depending on word of mouth to advertise your skills in the community can be iffy at best, while negotiating rates through local mom and pop agencies can be frustrating. Or perhaps you’ve been on the other side, unable to find reliable help when trying to care for an aging relative or chronically ill family member.
Having a sister with MS (multiple sclerosis) and an uncle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease, Sherwin Sheik, president and CEO of CareLinx Inc, has firsthand knowledge of the difficulties of finding competent and reliable caregivers to provide hands on care for his family. At one point his sister was quadriplegic and blind, and his uncle requires total care 24 hours day, 7 days a week. “It became very difficult and expensive”, says Sheik. “The homecare industry is very fragmented, with mom and pop agencies popping up all over the place, and homecare agencies marking up costs by 40-50%.” At one point his family turned to Craigslist to find caregivers. “It was a disaster; we couldn’t hold anyone accountable when they didn’t show up at all for work or even stole from us,” he says.
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