I recently read that a Los Angeles-based domestic staffing service, aptly called Rent-A-Grandma, is making plans to expand to my home state of Texas. After seeing what he saw as a need for competent domestic help, the company owner decided to launch a national franchise program. According to the company website, the service provides the opportunity for carefully screened women, ages 50 and over, to provide childcare, eldercare, housekeeping, pet sitting and a variety of other domestic-type care to clients. The advantage being, in the company’s opinion, women over 50 have a great deal of life experience to share with families. Parents are assured that when they leave their children in the care of a Grandma she won’t spend her time on the family computer or texting on her cell phone.
Double Dipping Grandma
Now here’s where I have a problem with this type of agency. As in the case of Rent-A-Grandma, rental Grandmas pay the company an employment fee and/or a percentage of their hourly pay. The company also charges the family a fee as well, essentially double dipping. In my opinion, it’s unfair to place a caregiver with a family while charging both parties. Currently, Rent-A-Grandma employs between 45 and 50 Grandmas with salary ranges between $16 and $23 per hour. This hourly wage, at first glance, may seem attractive to someone wishing to work as a caregiver, but when you factor in the prospect of having a percentage taken out of your salary for the duration of an assignment is it really worth it? I feel the answer is no, not when many free services are available online.
Many Caregiver Sites Don't Charge
There are many reputable online caregiver sites that do not charge any type of fee for either families or caregivers to list profiles, Care.com being an excellent one. The concept of hiring a Grandmother for your family is a good one. Many empty nesters have a great deal of experience and love to share with a family and this provides an income-earning outlet. While some women are rejecting the name “Grandma” others continue to embrace it. I would encourage older women not to overlook an opportunity to nurture and care for families in need of some Grandma love while earning an income for herself.
Become a Caregiver
Signing up online with a caregiver service is easy. Applicants should be sure to make the most of the profile page and include a current picture. Some services have an option of a free account or a paid account. Honestly, I’ve had great success with a free account and don’t feel paying to have your profile included is necessary. Craigslist is an option, but proceeding with caution is a must. While Rent-A-Grandma is a great idea on the surface, unless they change their fee system I think Grandma can market herself effectively without having to pay someone else to do it.
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