If you’ve visited a senior care community recently, you may have found yourself thinking…They want me to pay $4,000+ per month for this? As an executive in the senior housing industry for the better part of a decade, let me assure you…
YOU’RE NOT CRAZY, THE SYSTEM IS.
Typically used to describe assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and continuing-care retirement communities, senior housing is like any other real estate business in so much that most of the money is made by the developers who build the communities and by the investors who own the real estate.
Like other types of commercial real estate, in senior housing occupancy is everything. If you can’t keep your building greater than 90% full, you can’t pay the rent and provide necessary services. That’s tough to do in an industry where the cost of the product is already out-of-reach for the average consumer and where 90% of your target market expresses a desire to age in their own home instead of in your community.
To further complicate the issue, investor returns are predicated on a business model that typically pays caregivers less than $11.00/hour. Operators are stuck between a rock and a hard place. How can they improve their services when caregivers make more delivering pizza than they do working at a retirement community?
It was clear to me that we needed a better way forward, so I set about creating one. Founded in Winston-Salem, CarePods is the first care management program of its kind that provides older adults and their families with the support they need at a realistic price point so they can age independently and sustainably at home.
A CarePod is a group of 25 older adults from the same local community who each wish to reside in their own homes as they age while receiving affordable, non-intrusive care and other life-enhancing services to help them age well and live fully. It’s a revolutionary community care concept that helps to reduce overall care costs.
For a flat monthly fee of $1,595, PodMembers receive periodic in-home visits and consultations from professionals such as a pharmacist, a personal trainer, and a registered nurse to help them manage their health needs. In addition, a local chef personally prepares a selection of daily meals which are delivered to our clients’ homes twice per week. Last but not least, a dedicated personal assistant, called a PodKeeper, coordinates transportation requests, assists with online shopping, provides helpful reminders and creates a weekly agenda to ensure no important appointments or events are missed.
Should one’s needs change, the CarePods Team will recommend and oversee other services or help a member transition to another provider as appropriate.
As a small, local start-up in Charlotte, NC with big dreams of expanding nationally in the coming years, I hope you’ll join us in our endeavors to transform the aging-at-home experience for older adults everywhere.