Affordability is the name of the game for eCaregivers, a home care tech startup touting caregiver rates approximately 50% below the national median hourly rate. It’s one of the latest entrants in an increasingly crowded field of startups leveraging technology to match clients and caregivers.
Launched in May, eCaregivers provides a centralized platform through which customers can connect with local, background-checked caregivers independent of a formal home care agency. The website currently serves seniors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, allowing them to either browse the website individually to find a caregiver or fill out a brief survey to receive matches.
“We give families a virtual meeting place to connect and match with local caregivers,” eCaregivers co-founder Rachel Kenselaar tells Home Health Care News. “The families are empowered to find caregivers whose services, skills and rates fit their needs.”
eCaregiver’s biggest differentiator, she says, is its ability to set seniors up with more affordable long-term care. After working for a home health agency for five years and overseeing more than 700,000 hours of senior care services, Kenselaar noted that families would sacrifice the level of care administered to their loved ones to offset costs and decided to create a portal where they could pay caregivers directly to cut out administrative overhead.
For a senior who requires 40 hours per week of care, paying $10 per hour as compared to the $20 per hour national median would mean a savings of $20,000 each year, Kenselaar says. Live-in caregiver rates start at $110 per day through the site, as opposed to typical agency rates of $210 per day, saving seniors about $36,500 per year.
Another startup in the home care game, Honor, has said that its hourly rates are closer to the $25 range—significantly higher than eCaregivers. But Honor caregivers also receive at least $15 an hour, above industry norms.
When it comes to caregiver pay, Kenselaar emphasizes that they establish their own price points.
“The great thing about eCaregivers is that caregivers set their own rates,” Kenselaar says. “Most caregivers put a range for their services, which vary based on each client’s needs.”
To date, eCaregivers has been a “completely bootstrapped” effort, Kenselaar says, though fundraising is something she’ll pursue down the line as eCaregivers looks to expand. For now, she says she has tentative plans to grow eCaregivers along the East Coast, and that she is analyzing different markets to determine the best avenue for launching elsewhere.
And unlike other startups in the industry like Honor and HomeHero—the brainchildren of techies—eCaregivers has Kenselaar’s home care background on its side in navigating the world of home care tech.
“We’re at this precipice where we have a tsunami of seniors without the infrastructure to handle that,” she says. “Technology is going to solve that problem.”
Written by Kourtney Liepelt
Editors note: a previous version of this article said that Honor’s rate was $30, it has been corrected.