CareYaya seeks to offer convenient, affordable home care services in Cape Fear area

CareYaya has made it’s way to the Cape Fear area to provide convenient and affordable caregiving services.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:14 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Having an in-home caregiver just got a little easier, now that a new company has made it’s way to the Cape Fear area to provide convenient and affordable caregiving services.

CareYaya, which launched in Chapel Hill a year and a half ago, recently expanded to southeastern N.C.

How does it work? Think Uber, but for caregivers.

“The idea was, ‘how can we develop a better solution for caregiving?’ The concept is creating an Uber for caregiving, it’s convenient to book online and takes less than two minutes. The rates being very affordable because everything is happening through care matching technology,” said Neal Shah, CareYaya CEO and co-founder.

Shah was in his mid-30s when his wife became severely ill with cancer. Over several years, they went through treatments, failed therapies, surgeries, hospitalizations and almost death multiple times. While he was caring for her, he was maintaining a full-time job, a feat that quickly became impossible to juggle.

Shah had to quit his job to care for his wife full-time. Anyone who has been a caregiver for a loved one will tell you it’s a difficult and demanding job.

“I basically became obsessed with the caregiving needs that 53 million Americans are facing, you know, one in six people in the country are caregivers for a spouse with serious illness or an aging parent with illness or disability. And they’re struggling to find help. So that’s how I decided to start CareYaya,” said Shah.

Now, there’s a way you can find help in minutes at the tips of your fingers. It’s as simple as requesting a caregiver online and receiving confirmation within a day or two.

Many of the caregivers are college students who have been properly vetted and trained. It not only serves as a well-paying job, but offers real-world experience and gives them the flexibility to work when they want. The hours worked also goes towards hours needed to apply for graduate school.

“I can fit it into my schedule as well as a student who’s trying to balance trying to think about future grad school with PA school and trying to do coursework as well,” said Lillian Hewitt, a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill.

The program is fully funded by hospital systems and is offered at rates that can be half that of typical home care services. It’s an affordable option for the more than 50 million people estimated to be providing informal and unpaid care to family.

“Before doing this, I didn’t realize like how bad the eldercare crisis was here in North Carolina. And so it’s been really great to see like how much of an impact it’s had on the people,” said Sophie Kosterman, a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill.

The shared stories make all of the work worth it.

“We had a family that called our office, and they really wanted to go to their son’s graduation. And they were taking care of their dad, who was living with dementia. And so we were able to partner with CareYaya to find a caregiver so that they could attend their son’s graduation,” said Heather Hooper, the executive director of Dementia Alliance of NC.

To find out more on the program, how to request a caregiver and how to apply as a caregiver, visit the CareYaya website.