A new internet service has been introduced for people with disabilities to find a carer.
Care Pair is set up similar to how online dating works, so you can find the perfect person for the job!
It is set up as a website (CarePair.co.uk) and smart phone app, created by a man who has muscular dystrophy and employs his carers using direct payments.
With direct payments you are allocated an amount after an assessment of your needs for you to use where you need it to help you.
Russell Smith had the idea of Care Pair as he struggled to find a suitable carer to match his every day needs, which include enabling him to get on with his every day activities.
He realised that every day activities vary for everyone, and as a carer is often spending such a long amount of time helping with the service users life, that interests will often need to combine.
When you sign up to Care Pair, you are asked to choose food, music and film preferences to help you find the right person for the right situation, as it will make life a lot moer enjoyable if both parties have similar interests.
As well as questions to help you find a good personality match, the service also asks if you want your carer to have a CRB check, to drive, do manual handling and other more traditional questions, and Russell is hoping that his idea will help change the way carers are hired, and improve how carers find adabtable work.
He is also hoping it makes emergency carers more accessible, as he has had few options when regular carers have cancelled in the past:
I rang up Coventry Council’s emergency social work team and all they could do was suggest I rang up all the carer agencies in Coventry. They emailed over a list of about 50 agencies that were available.
After ringing, literally, all 50 of them, none of them had any staff available. So I asked the duty social worker what the options were, and all they could suggest was that I got admitted to hospital.
I was lucky enough that I could go back to my family, so I just stayed at my mum and dad’s for the weekend, but if I didn’t have that back-up then getting admitted into hospital was the only option.
It dawned on me that I know there are lots of disabled people in Coventry that employ their own carers, so if there was a way of harnessing and tapping into their care staff as well, then it’d be much more of a useful system for people to use.
About 90 people are currently signed up to the service. Smith makes no profit from it, but hopes advertising will fund it in future.