Many people think of Care.com only as the go-to website for finding a babysitter or nanny, but it actually offers directories for all kinds of caregiving specialists, including those who provide in-home senior care assistance. That’s great news for those with older loved ones who can no longer care for themselves. It’s tough to know when it’s time to put a loved one in a retirement home, and agreeing on how to choose the right retirement home is a source of conflict for many families. What’s more, the cost of a senior home has been on the rise over the last several years, and many people don’t have insurance plans that cover the cost of a retirement home or assisted living.
Care.com’s elder caregiving services are an invaluable source of support in both serious scenarios where a loved one’s wellness is at risk and in situations where a senior citizen only needs occasional help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Whether you’re looking for work or hope to find an experienced and reliable professional to support a beloved senior, here is what you need to know about Care.com.
Is Care.com free to use?
Care.com offers a free membership tier for both job seekers and families in search of care. However, users are only able to access certain features with an unpaid subscription, so for the best experience, it’s recommended that those looking for work or in-home senior care sign up for a premium membership.
How much does Care.com cost?
Premium memberships for in-home senior assistants and families looking for support are a great option for making the most of Care.com’s services. Not only do they allow users access to more of the site’s features, they’re affordable:
- A 1-year membership costs $13 per month
- A 3-month membership costs $26 per month
- A 1-month membership costs $39
Those looking for a senior caregiver and who sign up for a premium membership get access to more information about the candidates they’re interested in, such as their in-depth background check, full resume (including references), and detailed user reviews. They also have the option of requesting a complete background check from potential employees, which costs an additional fee but will cover more information than Care.com’s standard screening. The upgraded membership also makes communication on the site simpler, because care seekers will be able to see full messages from individuals they’re corresponding with rather than partial ones.
In-home care assistants also receive perks with a premium subscription, including profile promotion to local care seekers and easier communication with potential clients. They’ll also have the option to buy site credits. Credits enable job seekers to be one of only five applications sent to families in search of in-home senior care assistants, which improves their odds of landing a job they’re interested in. Credits aren’t required purchases, but since some job posters request them in order to find the most highly-motivated candidates, they’re usually a worthwhile investment, especially because they’re affordable:
- 10 credits cost $9
- 25 credits cost $19
- 50 credits cost $29
Are there any hidden fees when you use Care.com?
There are no hidden fees at Care.com thanks to the site’s transparent pricing, but keep in mind that every premium membership automatically renews when it expires. This helps ensure that your profile and correspondence chains stay intact, and you won’t lose any of your information because of an unintended lapse in membership. If you want to close your account, you’ll need to manually cancel your subscription.
Is Care.com a safe and secure website?
Care.com has worked hard to create a safe and secure website for all of its users. Its reputation speaks for itself: it currently has over 35 million members from more than 20 countries, including most major cities in the US. The site’s success has a lot to do with the safety measures it takes to protect its care seekers and caregivers, including running basic background checks on all of its service providers and offering the option for more comprehensive background screenings. It also protects user data through secure messaging and payments, and it doesn’t share any personal information without permission.
It’s still important to put safety first when using the site, especially because it often involves working with people you’ve never met. Do your due diligence by reading all of the information available on any connections you make, don’t be afraid to request additional details, and meet in person before making any work or financial commitments.
Does Care.com do background checks?
Care.com’s most recent background check requirement subjects all of its care providers to screenings on:
- Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
- The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)
- Multi-jurisdictional, federal, and county criminal records
Because this new policy began in July 2019, some members who signed up prior to that date may not yet have all of this information available. If you come across a profile that interests you but doesn’t include a background check, reach out to the individual to see if they’re willing to contact Care.com about expediting their background check or if they’ll consider obtaining one on their own.
In-home senior care assistants can also go a step further by utilizing one of Care.com’s advanced background check options, which include:
- A motor vehicle records check; according to the site, the information included is usually the “status of the operator’s driving privileges, restrictions, expiration date, license type and class, endorsements, suspensions, revocations, violations, accidents, and DUIs.”
- Comprehensive criminal checks that offer information about arrest warrants, bankruptcies, aliases, and civil complaints, such as restraining orders.
Performing a comprehensive background screening can help set a caregiver’s profile apart from others. Most families want as much information as possible about the person who provides care for their senior loved one, and making your personal history as accessible as your professional past shows that you’re serious about your role as an in-home senior care assistant.
How do I find work as an in-home senior caregiver on Care.com?
To find a job online as an in-home senior care assistant, the first to-do item most site users suggest is signing up for a premium membership, because doing so increases your visibility to and ease of communication with clients. Once your account is set up, there are additional steps you can take to find work:
- Make sure your profile is always up to date, and include a photo. Keeping your current experience level, availability, and salary requirements updated helps ensure your ideal client base will be able to find you. Plus, having a photo will not only help your profile stand out, it will help make you more memorable to care seekers.
- Get a detailed background check. Because senior citizens are a vulnerable population, knowing that there are no red flags in your history will help families feel confident in hiring you as a caregiver.
- Open up your availability. Even if you only plan on using Care.com to find part-time or occasional work, being flexible on what hours you’re able to work will help you earn business and reviews that will boost your profile in the site’s search results.
- Remember that you’re a business. Even the most well-known companies advertise. Be sure to build your book of business by promoting your Care.com profile on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, on community websites like Nextdoor, and through email to family and friends. In addition, ask your clients to leave reviews about the great experience they’ve had with you.
How do I find in-home senior assistance on Care.com?
The process for finding an in-home senior caregiver on Care.com is simple:
- Visit Care.com, and select the homescreen option that says you’re looking for care.
- You’ll be taken to a page that says, “What type of care do you need?” Here, select “senior care.”
- On the next page, you’ll be able to give more information about where you live, when you need a caregiver, the type of specialist you’re looking for, and the rate you’re willing to pay.
- Create an account by providing your name, phone number, email address, and any other personal details you’d like to add that will help you find a good match for an in-home senior assistant.
- Once you enter your information, the site will show you the profiles of local in-home senior care assistants who match the criteria you entered. Select the profiles of anyone who seems like a good fit. It’s a good idea to choose a few so you have options in case one candidate doesn’t work out.
- Look closely at the profiles you selected, paying attention to each assistant’s experience (ideally, their resume will be listed), background check, and availability.
- Schedule interviews with your top candidates, and be sure to include time for meeting your senior loved one. How the two interact can be a very telling sign about the quality of care you can expect.
Does Care.com have an app?
Care.com has an app for Apple and Android devices, and it’s free to download. It can be used in the same ways the website can, including to access and update your account, book work (whether you’re a job searcher or caregiver), and pay for services.
Should I work for Care.com?
Care.com is a great way for in-home senior care assistants to find part-time and full-time work, and these specialists have given the site great reviews. Even though you should vet all of your potential clients, it’s also regarded as a company that takes safety seriously for everyone who uses it. However, your experience with the site will be what you make it, so be sure to update your profile regularly, follow up with interested leads, and ask for reviews of your outstanding service so you’ll be able to build and maintain a steady client base!
Should I sign up for Care.com?
Signing up with Care.com is a great way to earn work as an in-home senior assistant or find the support you need for a senior loved one. Be sure to put safety first, and always be honest about what you’re looking for from the people you connect with on the site.