BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (September 15, 2020)—Communication matters, especially during a pandemic. There are a lot of apps and other channels out there for communicating with groups; HomeCare spoke with Mike Eidsaune, the CEO of Carely, an app designed specifically for family caregivers and senior care organizations. Carely recently announced the purchase of the online community Caregiving.com.
HomeCare: Who is Carely’s primary user group?
Eidsaune: The primary user group is caregiving families. People who are caring for their parent, child, whatever the case is. We primarily support the consumer audience with the family app. We also have an enterprise side for the community, staff and team at skilled nursing facilities and home health and hospice providers.
HomeCare: How does better communication help seniors?
Eidsaune: I think as a recipient of care, the senior is dependent on their network and care circle to make sure they aren’t isolated and are sticking to their care plan. It’s crucial for the group to communicate so visits for Mom are spread out throughout the week. The senior is going to be the beneficiary of good communication.
HomeCare: You founded Carely in 2013 after living in a care facility for a week. What about that experience led you to create a tech company?
Eidsaune: It’s an interesting evolution. We had a sense of what we wanted to do on the consumer side already. The big lightbulb in that facility was seeing the big wall around the residents and that they couldn’t get to the outside world, so to speak. To me, we needed to do more to address residential care and the gap between seniors and their loved ones. And part of that’s due to the lack of tools and sophistication in the senior living communities. That led to the enterprise side of the app.
HomeCare: Let’s talk about the recent acquisition of Caregiving.com. Why is it important for family caregivers to have community?
Eidsaune: The thesis behind the company now is that there’s a giant gap in information for caregivers. There are two types of online communities. On the one hand, you have large organizations like AARP and the Alzheimer’s Foundation who are very focused on their niche. From a caregiving perspective, thats not a good pathway to what you need to know. On the other side there’s data aggregation, which primarily drives people to buy and is typically focused around senior living. It works for them, but the people left behind are the caregivers. So that’s our North star, to break down barriers and provide what caregivers need.
HomeCare: What do you see on the horizon for the senior care industry?
Eidsaune: I feel like the thesis changes by the day. With COVID-19 pressures and isolation and budget constrains with personal protective equipment, senior living is getting creative about care and how they deliver on the promise they made to take care of seniors. I think that promise is often overlooked when providing care. The best answer would be that I see tech becoming a bigger component of the caregiving ecosystem. I think more than that, it’s redefining expectations from the family perspective. More emphasis is going to be put on that. From my perspective as a family caregiver, the company is going to communicate what’s happening with my loved one, the risks involved in their care, and I can see my loved one thriving and making progress. I think this is vital for the industry to stay in business. It’s necessary for today’s society. Those that thrive are going to be those that form relationships and engage often. I think more families and consumers are realizing they have choice.