It’s not always easy to understand what the average person thinks about specific topics, especially when there aren’t a wide range of research studies supporting opinions. When it comes to the home care industry, even though it’s clear that more people would prefer to be at home if they needed extra care, they may not have the right perceptions about the industry as a whole.
One example comes from an article published by Forbes Magazine. As noted in the Forbes blog, How Entrepreneur Ron Gold Intends To Cure America’s Home Healthcare, written by David K. Williams:
“The accident, however, was only the first step in an even bigger tragedy. Like hundreds of thousands of injured and elderly Americans who require home care, [Ron Gold] he soon made a set of terrible discoveries about the existing system: 1) For the most part, home care is not covered by insurance (his own situation allowed for a paltry eight weeks), and 2) Most people will do most anything to avoid home care agencies, which are beset by high cost ($25 per hour is typical), little choice of providers, poor control and, in many cases, poor care (in no small part because providers are not interested in a program that pays them only $9-10 per hour of the sum).”
Mr. Gold’s perspective may not be atypical for those looking into home care options, but it leaves out some glaring issues, including the fact that many of the home care providers working in this industry do it because they know its importance and have a true passion for helping others.
Mr. Gold’s perspective isn’t unique and it provides a difficult challenge for agencies and the owners and managers who operate them. In order to change perceptions, they may need to provide better information to those family members and other advocates who look into these services.
If the comments provided in this article are true and there is a large gap between what clients pay and what caregivers receive, then that doesn’t explain the average profit margins for most of these agencies that reside somewhere in the single digits. Ron Gold founded LeanOnWe, a company that matches caregivers with those who need assistance. He calls it the eHarmony for caregivers, but it’s not unique. There are other companies providing these services.
It’s unclear how this organization would improve care, safety, or support; it only focuses on helping caregivers boost wages, but also limits access for those who may be dependent on Medicaid to help pay for it.
What this topic highlights, though, is the importance of sharing information about these services, what benefits a person receives through it, and that bridging the gap between perception and reality still needs some work.