As Founder/CEO of Senior Care Connect, Kristal is a registered Social Worker (RSW) who holds both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Social Work (BSW, MSW), with over 13 years of experience in the field.
Her experience includes: health care system navigation, senior care planning, hospital discharge planning, cancer care, palliative care, community crisis intervention, community outreach and education, amongst other areas. With an expertise in working with seniors and health care, Kristal is well aware of the numerous issues impacting this population and holds a wealth of knowledge regarding our health care system and senior care planning. Kristal is passionate about educating the community and acting as a support to help seniors/families get the care they need, in order to ensure they maintain the highest quality of life as they age.
Senior Care Connect provides a web platform that easily connects those seeking a caregiver, with caregivers offering their services for hire. We give families peace of mind, as all caregivers listed on our platform are pre-screened for documents such as police checks, caregiver credentials, CPR and/or other relevant training. In addition, we also help families save on the cost of care by allowing you to connect directly to individual caregivers via our platform (thus eliminating the large hourly mark-up costs affiliated with traditional home care agencies).
We give you easy access to pre-screened caregivers at the best possible rate.
Deep dive into your tech trend and the future of your industry
Current/Future of Industry
COVID-19 has rocked the world and almost every industry and business in it. As can be expected, one of the biggest industries impacted by COVID-19 is health care. Within health care, and even more specifically the senior/elder care industry, companies have had to shift to deal with challenges presented by COVID-19. As an example, some of the challenges COVID-19 presented to us at Senior Care Connect included:
• Families and their aging loved ones expressing concern about having caregivers coming into the home;
• Professional caregivers themselves also worrying about possibly putting their own families at risk when they return home after work
• Professional caregivers being informed by government officials that they can only work in one setting(i.e one long-term care home) when it is common practice( due to limited shifts/hours and lower pay) for such caregivers to work in multiple settings/care homes in order to make enough income to cover their living expenses.
Despite these very valid concerns, as we moved through the pandemic of COVID-19 the reality became quite clear: people who need care, need care. They needed care before the pandemic, they need care during the pandemic, and they will need care after the pandemic. Our job in the health/senior care sector is to continue to find means to allow for access to such care, because the need for care will never change (regardless of any current state of affairs.)
Often the primary care providers for our aging populations are their own family members, mainly their adult children. And yes, during this pandemic many families are at home, thus one would believe that many of our seniors who are in need of care would have more access to support from their loved ones. This is not entirely true however. To begin, given the inherent risks related to the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations, many families are not visiting their aging loved ones. Furthermore, although these family members are now working from home, they are still working. Not only are they working, they are also now having to deal with being home with their children and often having to either share computer access, or having to spend time with younger children to assist them in their virtual learning from home. For some families, they are still as busy (if not busier) than they normally would be, hence limiting their ability to engage in the care of their aging loved one(s). The result is that we still have many seniors in need of care in home, and many of their primary supports(family) still lack the capacity to provide the care needed (whether due to limited time or lack of skill set needed to provide the care).
Tech and Senior Care:
As with most industries, technology has a large influence on the future delivery of goods/services, and the senior care industry is no different. Time and time again I would encounter families who are in need of care for aging loved ones, but just didn’t know where to go, where to start looking and often had limited time to find out. After encountering hundreds of distraught families just wanting to get the best care for their loved one, I wanted to find a way to give them easier access to find the information they needed, educate themselves on the options and then be able to select the best option. Having worked in the senior care industry for over a decade, I am well aware of how complex this matter and the health care industry is, and by no means realistically expect to be able to address every problem which exists within it (at least not all at once.)
As a starting point, Senior Care Connect is looking to leverage technology to allow families to search and access pre-screened caregivers for their aging loved one (see www.SeniorCareConnect.ca ). While doing this, we also see the need to provide better opportunities for those that are caring for our loved ones– the professional caregivers, in particular personal support workers (PSWs). We want to create an opportunity which can allow these caregivers to have choice in where they work, who they work with, when they work and even how much they get paid. Allowing caregivers more flexibility in their employment life will create greater retention in the caregiver (PSW) industry, which is greatly needed given our aging population. Furthermore, such flexibility will also create a more satisfied workforce, with a better work-life balance, which equips these caregivers to best provide the amazing care they have a passion to provide.
Our initial offering is only the beginning for what we have envisioned for Senior Care Connect. We want to create an easy method to not only find the care you need, but to educate you on the various options for senior care as you or your loved one grow older and care needs change. Our start-up has a bigger vision that has a grander goal outside of only profitability. As we look to grow this business we want to help as many people as possible be able to have the best quality of life as they age, and to really be able to enjoy their golden years.
So do stay tuned to see what we have in store for the future!