One of the hottest topics in home care today is the issue of “consumer directed care.” This is a process whereby home care consumers hire and pay their own caregivers. There is a large and growing workforce of independent caregivers who market their own service to clients.
Now, there’s a create new approach for independent caregivers. A group of caregivers in Appleton, Wisconsin, have banded together and formed their own cooperative. A cooperative is a legal entity whereby the members are also the owners. This business model is widely used among farmers who bring together the fruits of their labors and market them cooperatively.
Well, these creative caregivers in Wisconsin have formed Circle of Care Cooperative. According to Cheryl Detrick, Executive Director, the turnover of caregivers at Circle of Care is only 2% per year as compared to 60% for some home care companies. The President of the five member board of directors is Jean Stark, a CNA.
Circle of Care Cooperative was formed in 2004 with a grant from The U.S. Department Agriculture. Detrick said 41 independent caregivers out of a possible 220 working in Outagamie County have already joined the co-op, where wages are typically $2 to $3 more an hour and benefits including health insurance, vacation, holiday and sick pay are ultimately possible.
“Nearly 40 percent of home care givers do not have health insurance,” Detrick said.
“Members pay a one-time fee to join that can be spread over two years at $12/month, and they also get business profits,” she said.
For more information, visit their web site: