Using Technology To Tackle The Growing Social Care Crisis

By Pete Dowds, Founder & CEO of Elder

With care homes facing waning demand, and nearly a quarter (25%) of those who receive care doing so at home already, or planning to do so over the next year, demand for live-in care is set to be almost double that of demand for care home placements.

As a result, the majority of full-time and part time carers are pipped to stop working in traditional care home settings over the next three years, with over a third (36%) hoping to go self-employed or work directly for a private client.

What’s more, come 2043 the number of people over 85 is set to nearly double, reaching circa. three million. As it stands, we simply do not have the capacity to provide the needed and deserved care to that amount of people, and this problem is becoming continually starker as the cracks continue to show in the residential care sector.

It was when I watched my mum and auntie struggle to find the right care for my grandma that I realised there was a desperate need for an alternative solution. This first hand experience inspired me to take on the problem and find a way to solve it; today the Elder platform is proving to be the first genuine solution to this growing social care crisis.

Using tech to solve societal issues

Elder defines itself as a technology-enabled care company, and while tech is in our DNA, people are the heart of it. We benefit from the expertise of a brilliant team of developers and product managers who are tasked with creating digital solutions that make complicated, stressful tasks feel simple.

As a pioneering “care-tech” platform, Elder acts as an introductory agency between self-employed carers and families, enabling users to dictate their own hours and secure the jobs they want to take on, making live-in care more accessible in the UK.

We have developed a number of different platforms that streamline and demystify the caregiving process for all involved parties.

These include:

  •  ElderMatch processes complex data to create the perfect pairing between our care professionals and care receivers.

  • The Elder Hub is an app that enables carers to apply for placements, get support, and earn exclusive carer rewards with Elder.

  • My Elder allows carers and customers to manage everything with ease, and serves as one of the key touchpoints with users as they progress through the onboarding funnel and into carer selection. Every element of the experience is led by the information a carer or customer has submitted through My Elder.

  • CareOS communicates everything about a customer and their needs to the care professional and is essentially the integrated platform that links My Elder and Elder Hub together –  it enables internal teams to clinically validate and assess the care required, and streamline interactions between families and carers.


The Elder way

Our model allows customers to receive a personalised care match, which means clients can specify their requirements and be matched with a carer that has all the relevant experience and skills. Further to whether they will make a quality carer, we also match people based on their personality and preferences.

Our end goal is always that both parties feel comfortable and happy knowing that they’re receiving and giving the best care possible. Our hope is that relationships transcend that of a client/carer and cross into friendship. Anyone who has seen an elderly relative receive care will know that it is this bond that promotes health, happiness and longevity in the patient.

 It’s here that our proprietary technology sets us apart, by delivering an end-to-end experience for the customer and a scalable operational model for the business.

The matching process

All potential carers go through several stages of application to ensure they are suitable for the job in hand. Process elements include an exam, an interview and background checks to ensure they are capable and to give families and their relatives the peace of mind they need.

Our process is rigorous to the extent that only 7% of applicants are successful. By only working with the industry’s best, we can deploy carers quickly and effectively.

I’ve always been a champion of technology being used to solve societal issues and I’m proud that today Elder is one of the UK’s fastest-growing startups and has delivered more than 7 million hours of care in more than 500 towns and cities across the UK.

The truth is, many families still feel like traditional care homes are the only option available to them, but that’s no longer the case. I founded Elder to offer a much needed alternative; no one should feel forced to settle for second or even third best.

And crucially, there is no need for people to move out of their home, where they feel the most safe and confident, to receive quality care at any time of the day or night.