Hi, I’m Russ, creator of CarePair, and I wanted to introduce you personally to this new, and hopefully useful, service.
I’ve attempted to create a service that makes a real difference to people in the same position as me, people who have a disability and require care assistance so they can live independently.
I was born with Muscular Dystrophy and I have been living independently all my adult life with the support of the Direct Payments Scheme. It was Direct Payments, which plays such a major part in my life that sparked my ambition to give something back and change the way the provision is delivered, and make it easier for us users.
I developed the idea with the help of Coventry University’s Health Design & Technology Institute (HDTI), to combat some of the common issues I have encountered in planning my own care support. Currently, users requiring care assistance are assessed and given funding to employ their own carers. Even though are no restrictions, apart from legal, on who you can employ as a carer, it can be hard to find people to successfully fill the roles.
Some care users use classified adverts or job sites, but there is normally a cost involved, which is not covered by the funding schemes. Also, as carers often spend large amounts of time with their employers in recreational, family and personal situations, it can be difficult if you have no shared interests. If you have something in common it’s much easier for both of you. CarePair acts almost like a dating website, matching people according to their care requirements and also by their personal interests, aiming to make the most compatible pairings of user and carer.
The application and website is available for free across the UK and people requiring care assistance can create a profile based on the support they require, including details of typical tasks, the job hours, location and pay. They can also complete a survey on their tastes and opinions which can be rated by preference. Carers can register and do the same, stating their requirements for work and answering the skills and personality survey. CarePair then matches carers and users according to their suitability.
Another benefit of the CarePair app is that in the event of a scheduled carer having to cancel at short notice, for example due to illness, CarePair allows users to find suitable carers at short notice, avoiding the need to hire agency carers at a much greater cost than the Direct Payment budget allows for. Users can also find carers based on location, making it easier to find support when they are in a new area, for example on holiday.
Having experienced all of these issues myself, I knew how much of an impact a service like this could have, and I knew that there was nothing out there to help. I also knew that there was no better way of fixing a problem than to do it yourself!
Remember, CarePair relies on you to make it work, but with an aging population, and increasing demands for care services, CarePair will be there at the forefront of supply, putting people together.