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Hireup Website Allows People With Disabilities to Choose Their Own Caregivers

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Imagine if finding a caregiver you clicked with was as easy as creating a profile on a website, similar to a dating site, and then matching with qualified caregivers in your area. Now it can be, thanks to Hireup, a start-up company in Australia that helps people with disabilities find qualified caregivers based on location, common interests and credentials.

Started by siblings Jordan and Laura O’Reilly, Hireup is a website which allows people with disabilities the ability to create a profile and view caregivers in their area, privately message qualified candidates and book and pay for services.

“When they sign up, we ask people who they are, not just what they need and then use that information to help them find workers with similar interests,” Jordan O’Reilly told The Mighty. “This is a really key point for us, it’s crucial to the kind of support we want to provide. We strongly believe that good support is not just about credentials, it’s important to find someone you connect with. Someone who can share in your goals and work with you to achieve them.”

Watching their younger brother go through a revolving door of caregivers, Jordan and Laura O’Reilly set out to make the industry better for people with disabilities and caretakers. “As a family we had to rely on an agency to schedule and send support workers to our home. We had little control over who they would be and, if we liked working with someone, there was no way to guarantee they could return,” O’Reilly said. “We had a lot of new faces through our home. Most mornings we wouldn’t even know who was going to turn up at the door.”

Not only does Hireup allow people with disabilities to have a say in who their caretaker is, the platform also cuts costs for users. Hireup comes in $6 to $8 AUD under Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) hourly rate for one-on-one support, saving people between $5 and $25 per hour of support. “In July alone, for example, we collectively saved our users over $60,000 by comparison to the NDIS’ hourly rate, which could afford them over 1,700 extra hours of support,” O’Reilly said. “We’re also incredibly proud of the fact that while the per hour rate is low for people seeking support, we aren’t forced to compromise on wages for workers.”

Hireup is only available in Australia, although O’Reilly hasn’t ruled out expanding the company to other countries. So far 4,500 people have signed up, and in a survey of registered users, 90 percent said Hireup has allowed them more autonomy and control over their care. 

Originally published: September 13, 2016
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