uCarenet: Marketplace Helps Families Find Trusted, Affordable Home Care

Award Date: 2016

Project Lead(s): Ronald Heslegrave, Chief of Research

Project Title: Marketplace to Access Trusted Care at Home (MATCH)

What is the issue?

Finding trustworthy and affordable care for older adults at home is challenging for many families. The uCarenet online marketplace matches families seeking care with a network of independent care providers. The aim is to help families save money by hiring care through the marketplace app instead of through a traditional agency. They can use the savings toward more hours of care for their loved ones. Care providers in the network may earn more than they do working for traditional agencies.

What did we do?

We helped uCarenet build a pool of more than 3,400 care providers in Ontario and British Columbia. The online system matched care providers’ skillsets to the needs of older adults living at home. A mobile app called CareMap provided families with real-time updates from care providers at the end of each shift in a confidential report. The report included information on daily activities completed, as well as ratings on the physical and emotional state of their family members.

What did we find?

A total of 168 families used the online marketplace, and 58 remained active over our study. Almost all of the families who continued needed care for loved ones with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Care providers needed to see job posts from families before creating their profiles. In turn, families needed to see care providers’ skillsets to create job postings.