It’s a great partnership, the saying goes, when each person feels like the lucky one. That describes Shari and Lorinda perfectly.
It was a bit bumpy finding an in-home caregiver who would show up on time and stick around more than a few weeks. When Council on Aging (COA) launched the AddnAide app, Shari’s luck began to change.
“I couldn’t believe I could get this lucky to match with Lorinda,” said Shari, 63, who has a disability and lives on her own.
In the face of a shortage of home care workers, COA and its subsidiary home52 took an innovative approach, developing AddnAide to match older adults across Southwestern Ohio who need help with tasks such as laundry and errands with people willing to provide that care — people like Lorinda.
After leaving the corporate grind, Lorinda came to love the freedom of self-directed “gig work.” With AddnAide, she found a sense of purpose, too. “My corporate job was just feeding my wallet, but this is feeding my spirit,” Lorinda said.
Twice a week, she goes to Shari’s apartment in Franklin to provide cleaning, meal prep and companionship. Both women felt well matched on AddnAide: The duties Lorinda was interested in jibed with those important to Shari. They lived close to each other. And Lorinda was comfortable around a cat — critical for Shari and 14-year-old Vito.
“We get along so well,” Shari said. “Plus, she’s on time and cleans and meal-preps the way I like.”
Both found the AddnAide process straightforward. After creating her account, Lorinda worked with COA’s third-party financial management firm, Palco Inc., on the required background check. Once her profile became visible, older adults started reaching out.
Older adults (or designees) serve as employers for caregivers. Shari said everything has been easy to manage in the app — from scheduling appointments to approving timecards. Payroll and tax functions are built into AddnAide. “I like that nobody solicits me,” Shari said. “I only contact who I want to contact.” Caregivers can “wave” as a first outreach, but older adults send the initial message.
The pair communicated strictly within the app at first but now also text to discuss care details. Shari has no trouble using the app on her cellphone and computer. But if Lorinda works with someone who does, she helps them get comfortable with it.
Lorinda and Shari – paired for more than a year — couldn’t be happier. It helps that they’re both easygoing, Lorinda said, and prioritize communication and flexibility. For example, Lorinda is planning a trip to the Philippines, but the two worked together to make sure Shari’s needs are covered. And Lorinda will deep-clean the apartment beforehand so it’s perfect for a visit from Shari’s son.
Communication, flexibility and common goals — a lucky pairing, indeed.