May 10, 2022 | By Jason Randall
One of the most stressful situations people face is caring for a loved one with a complex, chronic, or ongoing medical condition. The situation was rampant even before the pandemic. Access to the necessary care and support was expensive and challenging, and it hasn't changed much today.
The good news is that Wellthy, a caregiving support service for families with complex healthcare needs, is tackling the situation head-on. The company has its headquarters in New York and provides support to over 66 million Americans who are caregivers to chronically ill, aging, and disabled loved ones.
Jason from Questco reached out to Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, the Co-founder and CEO of the company, to gain more insights about Wellthy's mission.
When Lindsay was nine years old, her mum was diagnosed with multiple progressive sclerosis. Lindsay was involved in the caregiving role from an early age, which she handled for 28 years. Her enormously expensive, lonely, and stressful experience full of sacrifices inspired her to meet more families like hers. She realized that many people in caregiving roles were suffering in silence.
She set on a journey to provide better support for caregivers, given that there's a massive need for assistance. The average length of unpaid caregiving is about five years for most households, while for some people, the situation lasts for decades. The consequences are profound, and caregivers need support, which isn't readily available in the healthcare system.
Managing the medical aspect of chronic illnesses is the easy part. Taking a loved one for their appointments once or twice a year and ensuring they take their medication on time doesn't require much.
The day-to-day stuff of taking care of a loved one is the draining part. The things they have to do out of the healthcare setting are draining, yet no one provides the support needed. The challenges include uninsured medical bills, finding new specialists as new issues arise, medical supplies and equipment, and finding appropriate in-home care.
Wellthy started interacting with social workers, who are like the gem in the healthcare system, yet underutilized. They're the right partner to act as the project manager for families in healthcare. Working with a dedicated social worker is like working with a financial planner, a factor crucial for success. Social workers have the skills and deep expertise to find the right solutions, ask the right questions, and take the emotional labor off families already overwhelmed with their loved one's care and wellbeing.
Wellthy creates a skilled platform for delivering specialized social work services for families dealing with complex care. Sadly, most families handle these challenges alone, trying to lean on medical professionals for help, but this is barely enough.
Many caregivers realize that they're not alone and are happy to have someone to walk with them through the platform. The companionship and partnership they get from the service are unmatched and valuable. Wellthy has an unwavering purpose and commitment to social entrepreneurship.
While Wellthy's mission and commitment to social good are tangible and vital in fulfilling a societal need, how does the company attract a compelling financial return?
Lindsay explains that the service is still on a journey to figure out how to be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. The focus is on delivering a life-changing experience for a social profit model instead of a no-profit model. Eventually, the company will have to work with payers, although it is yet to determine the type of payers.
Care isn't a personal private issue but something that impacts employers significantly, for example, the impact of childcare on the workplace. Caregiving affects shift workers, especially women. Statistics show that 3 million women stepped out of the workforce due to caregiving-related issues during the pandemic.
If employers are to retain high-value caregiving employees, they must help them solve their challenges for better business sense. Wellthy's model solves employers' retention and leave-of-absence issues with their caregiving employees. This is a business-critical issue for many organizations.
Wellthy is building a category in addition to a business. In the early days of selling to employers, the sales representatives explain the problem and Wellthy's unique approach to solving the problem. It's a labor-intensive process that entails a complex bargain. The company continues to build technologies and capabilities to respond to the market effectively.
Lindsay has learned the value of patience in running a business. She has also taught herself to see the good in everyone and always look for improvement areas. The team she works with is impressive. It's easy for them to find the right talent and people with the drive and commitment to a better healthcare experience for families dealing with complex care. That's most of the team members have a background in caregiving.
The majority of the employees work remotely across the US. The company strives to maintain a common culture by taking care of the employees despite their remote location. Modern technology like Slack allows for virtual activities that bring the team members together where everyone feels connected to the business mission. The founder and co-founders don't have to wear many hats simultaneously as the team grows.
Another critical aspect of growing the business is reaching out to academic experts for intellectual and academic interaction and specific advice on how to run the business.
Running the business has seen Lindsay's inspirations evolve. As time goes by, she realizes how much work the company has to do, and she's excited to see how it'll all develop in ten years. She hopes to get into politics in the future, where she'll have a bigger platform to address the glaring challenges the business currently addresses in healthcare.
Wellthy aims to help as many families as it can. It also hopes to see caregiving receive less stigmatization, as has been the case with mental health. It would be a joy to see the caregiving crisis receive the attention and awareness it deserves. Lindsay invites you to learn more about Wellthy or sign up for support to help you tackle the administrative and logistical tasks of caregiving.