Caring for our nation’s elderly is often a thankless job that rarely sees the kind of attention that it deserves. Many times it isn’t until one of us is personally responsible for the care of an aging loved one that the issue is given much thought. But as the eldest baby boomers start to transition into their twilight years, this issue is about ready to explode into the lives of nearly every american. Which is why those that are already focused on giving the highest level of care to aging parents and grandparents, are the ones that are most poised to innovate.
One company that is already creating a name for themselves in this space is ComForcare out of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Their emphasis on the transition period between when a loved one needs additional support and when they need full-time care has led to huge market expansion as a franchising opportunity. Their 24-hour availability and well-articulated companionship role has made the prospect of caring for a loved one much less daunting to those who feel the urgent and pressing need.
The level of satisfaction that the franchisees, employees, and clients feel is palpable in each of the testimonials about ComForcare’s role in making the lives of their clients better. It is hard to imagine that the company requires much more than word of mouth as their lead generation marketing strategy.
As convenience and level of care are so valuable, it makes sense that those two aspects would make up a large part of the innovation that ComForcare relies on for their growth. But as many more companies start to look at this market segment, the opportunity for further differentiation in the experience will be key. We would love to see them continue their market expansion with a little inspiration from a mobile app. Karoo has just launched for iOS as a way for caregivers to tell the daily chronicle of the children in their care. At any given time, the parents who may be off at work or on a trip can check in on the app to see pictures and status updates of their little one. It has already helped many parents to feel better about whom they are leaving their children with.
While the Greatest Generation and the eldest Baby Boomers may not be up on the latest smartphone technology, their caregivers from ComForcare and, likely, the children and grandchildren are. With this thought in mind, it would be easy for ComForcare to leverage an app like Karoo that would allow caregivers to tell the story of their work and share it with privacy and respect. Not only would it help the children of aging parents to feel more connected, but it would also facilitate later discussions about ongoing activities and provide progress measures for memory recall and other key milestones of aging.
Regardless of ComForcare’s interest in this specific innovation, there is no doubt that they are providing one of the most valuable resources to a largely unvoiced need. They are providing hope and support for an ongoing population boom in elderly care.