November is National Home Care & Hospice Month, and CareAcademy honors the contributions of direct care workers (DCWs) and the value they bring to their clients and families. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our healthcare system and in homes across the nation.
At the start of January, I joined CareAcademy to kickstart the Customer Marketing function to help build enduring partnerships and lifelong advocates among our customers—home care agencies across the nation. The home care industry is filled with opportunity, traction, and caring individuals, so I can’t think of a better way to begin the new year.
My background is in customer marketing, training, and digital learning within the restaurant technology industry, so diving into an industry that’s unfamiliar to me has undoubtedly presented a learning curve. To get acquainted, I went into full “sponge-mode” and consumed as much information about the world of home care and home health as possible. I still have so much to learn, but one takeaway that stood out is how similar the home care industry is to the restaurant industry. Hear me out on this one!
People who open restaurants usually do so because they have a burning passion for food, hospitality, and sharing their gifts with the world—not because they think they’ll be wildly profitable or easy to run. On the other hand, as consumers, we enjoy going out to eat (let’s pretend for a minute that we’re pre-COVID) because food is delicious, it brings people together, and who doesn’t love a little hospitality?
From a business perspective, restaurants come in all shapes and sizes.
There are single location owner-operators who have small supporting staff. Then, there’s the mid-market type where a restaurant concept can have more than one location with staff at each. Finally, there are larger corporate entities with multiple locations, possible franchisor/franchisee relationships, and often have a team of decision-makers operating out of corporate headquarters.
Regardless of the business’s size, supporting staff members need to be trained how to do their job effectively and provide a level of service to meet the needs of the consumer (the diner) and the business (the restaurant). On the other hand, business owners have to ensure their team operates efficiently, they’re compliant with health codes, and that the diner leaves satisfied.
Home care isn’t all that different. People who stand up home care agencies often do so because they have a sentiment for helping others. It might be because they were inspired by a loved one who needed care, they once provided care to someone who needed it, or genuinely want to bring hospitality to a community in need. Like restaurant owners, it’s probably safe to assume that they aren’t in the industry purely for monetary reasons. It’s passion-driven.
Another intersection between the two industries is the way business units are segmented. The home care industry has single location, owner-operated agencies with a few caregivers to support their book of clients. There are mid-market agencies with more than one unit where caregivers work for individual locations. There are also enterprise agencies where operations are run at a corporate level. Finally, the franchisor/franchisee model is also not uncommon.
To no surprise, these agencies (the business) also need a way to train and educate their caregivers (staff), make sure they’re compliant with state-level mandates, and ensure the client’s best outcomes (consumer).
Because of these similarities, I am excited to leverage my experience partnering with restaurant owner/operators and fusing it with what I’m learning about the home care industry.
My passion has always been advocating for the customer, providing a community and safe space where they can support each other, and making sure they have the tools they need to succeed. Since starting, I’ve learned that CareAcademy already does an incredible job at this. Our home care agency partners are the heartbeat of this organization, and they are driving the driving force behind technology we’re building to educate their caregivers.
Being able to advocate for the customer under a brand whose technology is built on a framework of caring for others makes working with CareAcademy even more impactful to me. Our CEO, Helen Adeoson, said it best during our (virtual) company kick off this week: “We’re building this for people who earn their livelihood through caring.”
I’m honored to be a part of this opportunity to support them as CareAcademy continues to evolve, influence the success of the hardworking caregivers, and most importantly, the outcomes of the elderly clients that rely on their care.