Never before in human history have there been so many older people. The aging population is exploding, and many of these seniors require care.
HomeHero launched its site today, which connects seniors with caregivers.
“At this point the senior care market is not heavily impacted by technology and is a growing financial and emotional burden for millions of Americans,” cofounder and CEO Kyle Hill told VentureBeat. “By 2030 the 80+ population will increase by a whopping 79% thanks to the baby boomers, and the number of seniors in this country will double. This means that the number of people seeking caregivers is going to continue to increase dramatically.”
HomeHero released two products today.
HomeHero Marketplace is a place to search for and hire a caregiver. All the caregivers listed on the site are pre-screened and subject to a “rigorous” certification process, including an in-person interview, entrance exam, and background check. Profiles include videos, social references, and reviews, and people can filter the caregivers by gender, years of experience, language, and number of reviews.
The services offered are non-medical, but cover a wide range of tasks such as shopping, meal preparation, exercise, light housekeeping, companionship, and personal care. HomeHero provides a $1 million insurance policy to cover bodily injury and property damage, and rates vary between $15 and $20 an hour.
HomeHero Connect gives families a system to communicate with the caregiver and manage their work through timesheet tracking, daily activity summaries, emergency phone alerts, and automated payments.
According to a study by Home Care Pulse, the average age of an elderly person leaving their home went from 74 to 90 over the last 30 years, and the average distance between elderly and closest adult child increased from 32 miles to 56 miles.
More than 40 million people over the age of 65 live alone in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, and a 2011 study conducted by the AARP found that 90 percent of respondents want to stay in their homes indefinitely while they age.
This desire for independence can pose a challenge to family members and loved ones who worry about their welfare.
These demographic trends, coupled with the booming interest in health tech, has inspired a crop of startups. The GENerator is an accelerator program dedicated to startups working to enhance the lives of older adults and improve long-term care. It has 11 startups in its initial cohort.
Hill said he was inspired to start HomeHero after his grandfather passed away and he saw his grandmother’s health deteriorate.
“Finding vetted and experienced caregivers was difficult,” Hill said. “Once we found one we liked, we learned that managing them from far away was even harder. We wanted to consolidate a suite of in-home care services into a simple and affordable offering that families could use right away.”
HomeHero emerged out of Science, a Santa Monica-based “startup studio” for companies “solving the everyday problems of modern living.”