The growth of elderly people living longer and remaining in their homes has sparked a rising need for home care.
However, when they or their families strive to navigate various websites or find information about home care options on their own, they’re often overwhelmed and at a loss for finding solutions.
That’s according to two entrepreneurs who recently formed Carenade Health, a new startup at Ben Franklin’s TechVentures in Bethlehem that developed an online tool for helping people find home health care services.
“All they see is an overload of information,” said Dr. Jordan Kapper, CEO of Carenade Health. “That’s how we started to build Carenade.”
His company lists home care agencies that offer medical care services, such as a skilled nurse administering medication or a physical therapist helping someone recover from injury. Carenade also helps people find agencies that offer non-medical care, such as helping people with day-to-day activities, such as cleaning or prepping meals, Kapper said.
The Carenade service is free for consumers who still pay the agency for the care by the hour, he added.
Consumers can also apply for federal government waivers through Carenade that could cut the cost.
“We help them get the waivers and help them to take advantage of all the free things they can get,” said Rebecca Bradford, COO for Carenade. Bradford is the former marketing director of At Home Certified Senior Healthcare and is Kapper’s wife.
Health insurance often covers the cost of agency service and Carenade earns a percentage from the agencies, Kapper said.
“We are trying to be a platform for everyone,” Bradford said. “We get a tiny commission from companies that provide the care.”
In addition, in 2019, certain Medicare Advantage plans are going to cover home care costs, she added.
“Our company helps people whether they have money, whether they don’t have money, and we are very transparent,” Bradford said.
Carenade lists the prices for its accredited home health care agencies on its website.
Kapper, an emergency room doctor who works for St. Luke’s University Health Network, said his wife helped him understand the home care services industry, a sector that’s going to grow significantly as the senior population swells.
“You start to see these effects in the ER,” Kapper said.
He sees many examples of couples in their nineties who are living at home, caring for each other, but have reached a point where one or both have health issues that require at-home assistance.
Kapper said he often talks to families who are looking for help with their aging parents but don’t know what to do.
To help them, Carenade has a small group of remote employees for customer support but does not use an outsourced call center, he added.
Ultimately, Kapper and Bradford, both of Bethlehem, have plans to grow Carenade and expand its offerings.
“We want to be the single source for finding all home care help in the U.S.,” Kapper said. “We want to be the complete home care marketplace.”