Online caregiving marketplace Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) and Washington D.C.-based advocacy group AARP have thrown their weight behind a new initiative to meet the growing caregiver crisis.
The initiative, dubbed The Care Institute, is a not-for-profit corporation meant to provide standardized training to caregivers. To do that, the organization will team up with different organizations, experts, public figures and business executives to develop senior care workforce training programs.
The new partnership represents a meeting of two massive entities in the senior care space. Care.com, which is in part backed by Google Capital, is the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care, while AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit advocacy organization for seniors.
Though it’s still in its early stages, the initiative’s ultimate goal is to equip people with the tools and training they need to become better caregivers, according to Bob Stephen, vice president of caregiving and health programs at AARP and a board member for The Care Institute. That may include giving someone the skills to care for a member of their own family.
“This is a nonprofit that is going to provide training to low-income individuals so they can get qualified to offer a variety of care,” Stephen told Home Health Care News.
Part of the effort is also aimed at getting more people into the home-based services industry, which is facing a massive labor shortage that is driving up the cost of care and putting stress on families. More than 27 million people will require some form of paid caregiving assistance by 2050, according to data AARP and Care.com presented.
“As you look ahead to the future, the aging population is going to put even more demand on the unpaid family caregivers,” Stephen said. “And we know that having that paid workforce is going to be very important.”
To do that, The Care Institute will provide online training in four main areas: post-acute care, family care, workplace development and early child care. The group’s stakeholders, which include Boston Children’s Hospital and other health care advocates and experts, will help shape the training curriculum, including borrowing what works with other organizations, Stephen said.
Some of the training could cost money, though how much is yet to be determined, Stephen said. Depending on how overall planning and fundraising goes, the initiative could launch within months.
Written by Tim Regan