Caring.com eldercare site emerges

New site offers advice to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who are caring for elderly family members.

Another tool has emerged for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers faced with caring for an aging parent or grandparent.

Caring.com, which debuted Monday, offers how-to information on caring for elderly family members, whether they live in their own home, with a family member, or in a facility. The topics include providing in-person and long-distance support, financial and legal advice, and end-of-life issues.

Caring.com features a community area for people to share care-giving tips, as well as a section where questions can be posed to various experts, such as a communication supervisor with the American Medical Response ambulance company.

Tools on the site include a risk calculator to determine the chances an elderly family member will fall and tips on how to prevent falls, said Andy Cohen, co-founder and chief executive, who started the company in January.

"There are a lot of sites that address specific diseases, but no other site is as comprehensive," said Cohen, whose mother died of lung cancer last fall.

Cohen is a former Intuit executive who launched Caring.com with Steve Fram, a former BabyCenter vice president of engineering, and Jim Scott, BabyCenter's former global editor-in-chief. Both Fram, Caring.com's chief information officer, and Scott, the site's editor-in-chief, are dealing with elderly parents who are suffering from health issues.

An estimated 34 million Americans are caring for elderly parents. The National Alliance for Caregiving and the MetLife Mature Market Institute found that 15 percent of caregivers live an hour or more away from the elderly family members, making it harder to track whether they are taking their medication or to keep a watchful eye on them.

Although a number of groups and companies are betting on the future of eldercare technology, the interest of caregivers in receiving information and tips is not lost on venture capitalists.

Caring.com has raised a total of $7 million in funding from Doll Capital Management and Split Rock Partners. A large portion of the funding is earmarked for providing unique content, which is designed to serve as a barrier to entry for competitors, Cohen said.

 

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