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Monday, December 11th
Although you may think specifically of childcare when you hear the name "Great Au Pair" , this service has been connecting families with caregivers of many kinds since 2001. Over a million families have found their senior care provider, tutor, pet sitter, or nanny using this platform.
Website is easy and intuitive to use
Compared with some catch-all caregiver websites, Great Au Pair is really straightforward from the start. You can see how many people have chosen to offer their services on the platform (over 85,000 at the time of this evaluation, just for senior care), and you can use all of the filters on the left side of the page to refine the results. That can include entering your zip code and a search radius, availability, age range of the caregiver, desired certifications, and many others. That's a great way to get right to the candidates who are most likely to be a good fit.
Subscription required for most features
However, if you want to connect with people offering senior care on Great Au Pair, you'll have to pay for a subscription. It's true that the site offers a free account, but it limits you to replying to "paid members" (caregivers who have paid to have their profiles listed), sending and replying to favorites, and receiving FastMatch emails. In order to message candidates directly, access in-depth interviews and watch candidate videos, view their photo galleries, and access interview questionnaires and sample contracts, a subscription is required. You can opt to pay $45 per month, $99 for three months, or $162 for six months; all plans will auto-renew until you cancel.
You'll pay for background checks
Beyond that, you'll also have to pay for any reports you'd like on your chosen senior care candidates - and those can add up. A US Federal Criminal Records Search costs $25, a state criminal records check costs $40, and so on.
Good feedback from caregivers and clients
Is it worth it to pay to use Great Au Pair for senior care? Maybe. There are a lot of positives here: not only does the company have an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, but there were also plenty of recent client and caregiver testimonials on the site itself. And, although the information in those testimonials is limited, there are quite a few from those who used this platform for services outside of childcare and were happy with it.
You might not find any active caregivers near you
On the other hand, you may not find any caregivers in your area (but at least you'll know that before you sign up). For example, when we looked at a mid-sized metro area on the East Coast, there were 12 within a 30-mile radius of the zip code. But, when we searched for a zip code in a more rural area in the Midwest (though still within a 1-hour drive of a larger city), we got no senior care matches. And, even in our list of 12 candidates from the first search, only two had been active on the Great Au Pair platform within the last few days; the rest hadn't logged in for weeks (or for more than six months).
Too limited to be more than average
We've had to keep Great Au Pair as a "just average" option on our list of senior care services. Though we appreciate being able to see well beforehand if there are any caregivers in a particular area and to get a generous preview of their profiles, the hit-or-miss availability will leave a lot of clients without any options near them. Keep Great Au Pair in mind as a backup choice, but definitely look at our higher-ranked senior care services first.
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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