[Coughlin, J. (2010) Estimating the Impact of Caregiving and Employment on Well-Being: Outcomes & Insights in Health Management. c/o Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-statistics-demographics]
When founders Anthony Passeri and Kim Chernecky started BeginCare.com, their mission was clear; to connect caregivers and patients across the country with the services they need when they need them. But they didn’t want to be just another website. They had a much larger vision; to serve people desperately in need of information that could help them on their journey as caregivers, patients, or the families that love them. And for some, that information could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Passeri and Chernecky met by chance, while working together on a consulting project. At the time Chernecky was the Founder and Director of a non-profit serving the Elderly, Sick, Homeless, & Needy and worked as a Case Manager for a national EAP program researching and referring services for families facing serious health crises across the country. She specialized in critical care cases and was known for finding the best resources for her grateful clients.
If Chernecky brought the content and resources to the table, Passeri was the technical wiz, with extensive experience in IT in the banking and healthcare industries. With several businesses under his belt, including a very successful business Producing Virtual Tours for Large Healthcare facilities around the country, his expertise was invaluable in creating the user-friendly platform that BeginCare uses today.
Passeri and his then-partner in another company had created the basic platform as a tool. Their intention was focused solely on the healthcare industry, not patients or their families, but Chernecky saw it as a solution to the many problems patients and families were facing, and BeginCare was born. Over time, the search platform has evolved to make it more user-friendly and comprehensive, but it was initially born out of a desire to help others.
While there are several well-known referral sites that advertise their “free services” to help families find assisted living or skilled nursing facilities for their loved ones, what they fail to mention is the fact that the providers referred pay a large fee for that referral. What this means to the family is the referrals are far from objective and not necessarily the best fit for the patient.
In fact, there could be a dozen more suitable, more affordable providers in their area that they weren’t even told about. Smaller providers without huge marketing budgets are at a huge disadvantage and families might never even be made aware they exist if they simply trust these websites to refer them.
By only referring the big providers with the big marketing budgets, chances are they also come at a premium price for families. Smaller family group homes or Residential Assisted Living Homes could very well provide more personalized care, but at a much lower cost to families and patients. Unfortunately for those providers and the families seeking care, many referral services aren’t interested in referring the best fit, rather the best paying providers. “We think that’s wrong”, says Chernecky.
In addition, most, if not all of these sites require site visitors to submit their contact information before they can access any information at all, making many people uncomfortable from the very beginning. They are then contacted by an agent who gathers the patient information and begins a search from the limited (paid) selection in their database.
While these types of websites definitely have their place, many people in search of services will choose to struggle without the care their loved one needs rather than trust a stranger with their private information. Knowing that there are thousands of helpful resources out there to help families in their time of need if only people knew where to look, Passeri and Chernecky were determined to make sure every family has access to the resources they need when they need them.
They knew that for many families caring for an elderly, sick, or disabled loved one, finding home healthcare providers, companions and homemakers, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and other services was a challenge if you didn’t know where to look. Not only did most families have no idea where to search, they had no idea what they were even searching for.
But Chernecky did. Having worked in the healthcare and non-profit industries for many years helping thousands of clients nationwide, she had amassed a wealth of information and thousands of helpful resources to help patients not only find the care they needed, but organizations and programs that offer a wide variety of services like:
- Co-pay and prescription assistance
- Clinical trial information
- Home-delivered meals
- Hospice and Palliative Care Providers
- In-home safety assessments for the elderly
- Home repairs for the elderly or those in need
- Utility assistance programs
- Volunteer services that help cancer patients with
- Non-profits that provide free medical equipment
- Patient advocates that can help with insurance claims
- Free fitness programs for seniors
- Rides to cancer treatments
- Where to find wigs for those undergoing chemo
- Veterans services such as where to apply for in-home care
- Volunteer organizations that specifically serve veterans
- How to get free burials for veterans, their spouses, or dependents
- Disease-specific resources like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Stroke, ALS, Diabetes, Brain tumors+
- Caregiver support services and organizations
- Finding a service animal
- Medical transport
- Free Medical flights
- Adaptive equipment
- Services that help those with hearing or vision loss
- And so much more
Using a social service model, www.BeginCare.com is 100% free to search and completely confidential for caregivers and patients. They continue to add resources from across the country to help families in their time of need. They are continuously adding helpful content, tips, downloadable checklists, and more that site visitors can use to overcome many of the challenges they may be facing on their journey.But BeginCare doesn’t stop there. Not only does BeginCare provide all of this information free to site visitors, there are NO listing or referral fees for the providers, unlike the other websites that offer “free searches”. The BeginCare mission is to help families find the care providers they need, no matter how small that provider’s marketing budget may be. If they provide the care the patient needs, BeginCare wants that family to find them “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
The BeginCare Mission:
At BeginCare we’re dedicated to connecting caregivers and patients with the services they need when they need them.
And we do it all for free.
No fees, no gatekeeping, no questions.
Just great resources, nationwide.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
In a world where many businesses have lost sight of Service First and are instead focused only on the bottom line, BeginCare has taken the approach to “first do good. The rest will follow.” Visit www.BeginCare.com to find resources and services in your area.
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