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Monday, December 11th
Sittercity is based in the US and works to connect families with caregivers, primarily focusing on childcare. It was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Thiers, who wanted to create a reliable and accessible way for parents to find trustworthy childcare providers. However, senior care is one of the services also available through this platform (in theory anyway, but more on that later).
Not the most user-friendly experience
Getting started with Sittercity can be a little cumbersome if you don't live in one of the major metro areas featured on the main page (Atlanta, Chicago, NYC, and so on). More than likely, you'll need to click on "View All Cities" and then pick the one closest to you - and you'll still get results from outside of your area. In that results list, it's easy to get a quick idea of how far they are from you, how much experience they have, what they look like if they've included a photo, and any certifications they've self-reported.
Caregiver info is all self-reported
When you click on an individual profile, you can see anything that the caregiver has shared about him/herself. Most people tell you about their experience and background in senior care, their hourly rates, and what kinds of services they feel comfortable providing. Sittercity also lets people self-report if they're certified in first aid or CPR but doesn't verify those credentials. Background checks and motor vehicle records are also an option, but because caregivers have to pay to have them run, it's not often that you'll find that here.
You'll pay a lot to use this service
You can also post an ad describing the kind of care you need and then wait for senior caregivers to reach out. Whether you do that or you want to reach out to a caregiver in your area, you're going to need to create a Sittercity account - and it's going to cost you. You'll pay $37 if you go month-to-month, $25/month if you pay quarterly ($75 total), or $13/month if you pay annually. That's a huge drawback compared with most rival senior care services we evaluated - especially since the subscriptions are non-refundable.
Caregivers aren't sticking with Sittercity
It's an even bigger downside when you look at the caregiver profiles: at the time of this review, we didn't spot a single one who had logged in within the last six months. Most profiles showed an "availability valid through" date that was about a year old. From the looks of it, this senior care service isn't very well-liked by caregivers - not enough to get people to stay on it, anyway.
Often referred to as a scam service
And, despite having an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, Sittercity gets terrible feedback from caregivers and care-seekers alike. Granted, pretty much all of the comments are regarding childcare and not senior care, but that makes little difference: both carers and those needing help use the word "scam" too often for our comfort when describing their experience here. That refers to both the people posting jobs, the people answering them, and even the way they were billed by Sittercity (often without their knowledge for months or even years after creating an account).
Avoid using Sittercity for senior care
We have a hard time coming up with any reason why you'd want to spend even a minute of your time on Sittercity when looking for senior care. In all likelihood, there won't be any recent caregiver profiles in your area anyway, and the negative comments from carers and clients alike make this platform a "no thank you" in our book. Use any of the higher-rated senior care options in our evaluation and just skip Sittercity.
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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