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Monday, December 11th
Care is probably one of the most well-known websites for finding help, from housekeeping and pet care to tutoring and, yes, senior care as well. Available in 17 countries and counting, Care is working to connect over 4 million clients with the help they need.
Create an account to view senior caregivers
The easiest way to get started with Care is by entering the zip code for the senior's residence, right on the main page of the site. You'll then be asked what kind of care you need (senior, housekeeping, pets), whether you're looking for in-home help or a senior living community, what kinds of help you have in mind (transportation, companionship, and so forth). You'll then be prompted to create a free account on Care: you can't preview any caregivers without taking that step.
After your account has been created, you'll answer even more questions about the senior care you need: which days of the week, what time of day, the range of hourly rates you prefer, and then a description of what you're looking for. We felt a little rushed into making a job posting, but when we tried to skip that stage (as Care offered that option), we were taken to an error page that said "closed account" . What? It wouldn't let us log in using the account info we had just provided, either. That's a huge hassle.
Spendy to subscribe
It also meant that we had to look to other resources just to find out what Care charges for memberships. Obviously there's a free account option that lets clients post a job, see caregiver profiles, and so on - if you can actually access it - but a premium membership is necessary to message caregivers and set up the senior care you need. Our research indicates that you should expect to pay $38.99 for a month-to-month plan, $78 for three months, or $156 for a full year of access.
Background checks... kind of
How about background checks? Care requires all caregivers to undergo a basic CareCheck as part of their own screening process, but those results aren't shared with clients. If you'd like a more extensive background check (and to be able to view the results), you can purchase those separately on any caregiver you're interested in hiring. Care doesn't disclose upfront what those will cost, only saying that you can upgrade your membership to include unlimited background checks "at a discounted cost" if you wish.
Reputation has tanked
Care's reputation has dropped quite a bit since the last time we evaluated the platform with respect to senior care, going from a flawless "A+" to a not-as-impressive "B" from the Better Business Bureau. Why the change? According to the BBB, there have been nearly 900 complaints filed against Care over the last three years, with nearly 300 of them in the most recent 12-month period. Time and again, it's almost always the same issue: "I canceled my account and have the proof, but Care has continued to charge me. I can't reach anyone to take care of this." Others had problems with the availability of the caregivers listed on the site: clients would reach out to schedule a time, and would get no response, find out that the person didn't have availability, or have some other issue. Many clients felt misled by the number of carers listed in their area compared with how many actually wound up being available for hire.
Customer service is awful
Jump over to Trustpilot and the story gets even worse: across nearly 3000 reviews, 80% give this service the lowest possible rating, and only 12% who rated it with a 4- or 5-star score. In fact, going through just the first ten reviews there (all left within a few days of our evaluation), the word that came up almost every single time was "scam" , both from clients as well as caregivers. The website glitches when people are signing up, help is only made available to paid members (and even then, it's hard to reach anyone at Care when Help Center emails get returned because their inbox is full), charges are made even after accounts are canceled... you get the idea.
Not worth using to find senior care
Care is a huge disappointment. Not only can prospective clients not browse caregiver profiles without creating an account, the site is so glitchy that some people (like us) never even get to that point. And, we're definitely not the only ones with that issue, given how many complaints have been filed against Care with the BBB and on other review sites. Sometimes having a big name in an industry isn't indicative of success - at least, not anymore. Care's first-to-almost-worst drop in our rankings should come as no surprise. Save yourself the grief and try one of the higher-rated senior care options in our evaluation instead.
Let's face it: as our loved ones get older (or as we do!), it can be hard finding the right resources for care. Most people resist the idea of going to an independent or assisted living facility, preferring instead to "age in place" . In fact, that's what two-thirds of Americans surveyed have said they plan to do, year after year.
There can be some challenges to making that happen. We all know that as we age, physical decline is to be expected: our balance falters, our memory gets a little fuzzy, and we may need to use the bathroom more often. Also, older people often struggle with daily tasks, like cooking and doing laundry, and they need someone to lend a hand from time to time.
Plus, when friends and family aren't available, it can make it harder for everyone to feel comfortable with an at-home arrangement. Fortunately, senior care services can fill that gap, for everything from simple companionship a few times a week to more in-depth services like bathing and transferring from bed to chair and back again.
Having a care provider you can rely on is invaluable, whether you're the one receiving the help or the one getting the updates that yes, your beloved family member really is doing fine from day to day. But, we're all too familiar with some of the horror stories in the news - about senior citizens being taken advantage of (or worse) by those who were supposed to be there to help. It can make choosing a senior care service pretty nerve-wracking.
However, there are some amazing services out there with fantastic reputations. How do you sort out the good ones from the bad? Here are some criteria that can guide your decision-making:
While it can feel a little sad or scary to look for senior care, it's well worth the time to get the help that allows you or your loved one to keep living life to the fullest. The experts at here at Top Consumer Reviews have done a deep dive into some of today's most popular services, so that you can connect with a reliable service and compassionate caregivers as soon as possible.
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