31
August
2009
|
12:32 PM
America/Los_Angeles

Interview: Caring.Com Helps Adult Children Take Care Of Their Parents

Caring.com provides an online resource for helping people take care of their aging parents and it is doing very well.

Since its launch in early 2008 it's traffic has been growing at nearly 15 per cent per month, which compounds into a great upward looking curve that is hitting that magic hockey stick shape.

And it's not surprising it is successful because Caring.com has discovered a huge gap in a very large market.

The statistics are astonishing. There are more than 48 million Americans caring for an aging parent and they will spend more than $100k in that role. This compares to about 2m new brides spending $25k and 4m new mothers spending about $35k.

I spoke with Caring.com co-founder and CEO Andy Cohen. Here are some notes from our conversation:

- I started Caring.com because I had an experience in 2006 of trying to take care of my mother who had lung cancer. I was on my own trying to figure out how to do this.

- I looked around and I could see plenty of online resources for new brides, and new mothers, but very little about how to take care of aging parents.

- This is a subject that people don't like to talk about, they don't like to tell people at work because they fear that they will be seen as not being fully engaged with their work. Yet it is something that nearly everyone will have to deal with at some point in their lives.

- We have a team of editors and freelance writers that produce original content. How best to bathe someone, how to deal with the effects of chemotherapy, etc.

- We also have a place where people can share their stories. Most people use their real names, less than 5 per cent are anonymous.

- We have 50 experts that answer specialist questions. But we don't deal with medical advice, for that we point people to other sources.

- People do contribute advice such as using jello for arthritis.

- We also have an online directory to help you find eldercare services in your zip code.

- We have a team of 15 people, everyone on the team has had to deal with this issue. Because if you've ever been touched by this, you know how much value you can bring to other people.

-We raised $6m in series A funding in early 2007. We will be raising a series B at the end of this year to finance our expansion and development of adjacent business opportunities. Our revenue comes from advertising. We expect to be profitable next year.