Senior care is getting modernized with the help of the tech elite for new company Honor

The number of seniors is increasing rapidly as the baby boomer generation ages. Many would like to have more options for in-home care for their loved ones, as opposed to costly and less comfortable alternatives. By taking a marketplace model and applying it to matching up in-home healthcare providers with seniors via an online platform […]

The number of seniors is increasing rapidly as the baby boomer generation ages. Many would like to have more options for in-home care for their loved ones, as opposed to costly and less comfortable alternatives.

By taking a marketplace model and applying it to matching up in-home healthcare providers with seniors via an online platform and custom touchscreen devices, San Francisco-based startup Honor is aiming to make this process not only easier but more effective. Forbes outlined the company’s concept:

Caregivers will be able to list their qualifications, skills, hours they’re able to work and distances they’re willing travel. Seniors will specify the type of help they need, the hours they want and important personal details — that they only speak Mandarin, or that they have cats, or that they live in a multi-story unit. Honor will match caregivers and seniors accordingly, with final approval of the match in the hands of the seniors and their families.

The company has some very notable investors.

Marc Andreessen has thrown in $15 million. Apple stores creator Ron Johnson, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and a long list of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors have collectively put in another $5 million. Celebrities like Jessica Alba and Cash Warren are in on the plan as well.

“We are working to completely modernize in-home care for seniors,” Seth Sternberg, the co-founder and CEO of Honor, told Forbes. He sold his last company, Meebo, to Google. “Our goal is to keep our parents in their homes for as long as we possibly can.”

Because employees of the home care industry have a tough job at hand and only make $9.50 an hour on average, as Forbes reported, turnover rates are high. This is and will continue to be a major problem and source of stress for families in the future as the population of Americans over 65 is expected to nearly double to 84 million between now and 2050.

“It is a really big problem on both sides,” Andreessen, who is joining the Honor’s board of directors, told Forbes.  “There is a fundamental challenge of how do we care for a much larger percentage of older people in a way that is as respectful and humane and positive as possible. The other side is the workers. Today, this is not a job where they feel respected, where there is reward for out-performance. This is a hard job. There is an opportunity to have it become a more professional job, and a better paying job, a job where people have a lot more respect.”

The company will provide a higher pay rate than average, $15 an hour (or 50 percent more than minimum wage in the given city), and seniors will pay $30 an hour. The difference will go to Honor. The company is launching this month in Contra Costa County, California. The mission is to really respect and value those who need care, but just as much the ones who are willing to provide care.

“We do not honor care professionals in today’s world,” said Sternberg. “We should. And we should honor our parents.”