Jamie Cole FRSA invites you to join him in making a difference to meet the needs of the ageing population. Founder of an online comparison tool and free support service for care, Jamie has been putting his passion into the social care industry for over 7 years.
I started Care Selector for personal reasons. Over a period of three years, my Gran went from being an independent lady to requiring full time care. Experiencing first hand helped me understand the pain, stress and vulnerability that the whole family feels in such situations and I soon realised it wasn’t just my family going through this.
This was where my journey began, initially spending my time learning more about social care and identifying gaps in the market. Twelve months on I now run a company called Care Selector, an online comparison tool that allows people to find the right care for themselves or their loved ones.
There are four main discoveries that led me to start this business. By sharing them, I hope to inspire others to innovate, join in and help make social care a better place for everyone.
1. Social care will personally affect a lot of people.
Personal experience must be one of the main reasons why anyone starts a business, and for me it was very real. However, beyond my experience there are 2.2 million elderly people who will have to find and pay for care at some point in their lives.
With this in mind, I have made it my mission to help one million elderly people over the next five years. I want to make a big social impact and there is no better market than social care to do just that.
2. The care market is under pressure
Analysts have stressed that more care homes are needed in order to meet the rising demand, especially with the number of 65-84 year olds expected to increase by 39% by 2032 and 106% for 85 and older.
This means there will be MILLIONS more elderly people who will be seeking care.
There are other pressures too. The Government has continued to cut budgets. As a result, care providers are being paid less to deliver care to local authority clients. This has an adverse effect on the care providers; to survive they must reduce their staff costs and training budgets.
If you combine the cuts on Government spending with the increasing scrutiny on care quality, it has resulted in care providers being placed under increasing pressures. Especially with the number of publicised panorama documentaries and ‘scandals' in healthcare. Care providers are being watched more now than ever.
But how do you create a quality care service if your revenue has been reduced and you’re required to make cuts on spending yourself?
3. The Government are making changes
The Government are reacting to the ageing population by making large changes to the system. They have implemented the Care Act which should make it a fairer system. Above all else, it means that there is movement within the public services. This tends to make it easier to gather support from Government leaders. Care Selector in particular helps councils to meet some of these new laws.
But they are still under pressure to make cuts, so anything that can save money also gets a look in.
And finally, some social care and NHS budgets are being combined. This results in fewer arguments about who pays for what and encourages team collaboration – making it easier to engage with them, especially when you can be the answer to their problems.
4. Investors’ interest in healthcare and disruptive tech is high
Healthcare is a hot market for investors right now. With the social care market being in the position it’s in, it’s ready for some innovative, disruptive tech. Google Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of Google, has recently invested approximately 30% of the fund into health startups.
Investors are watching this area very closely, so once you begin to build traction, expect a number of them to come knocking.
There are also some fantastic business accelerators out there, perfectly suited for innovation in this area. I was recently part of Dotforge Impact accelerator: they focused specifically on tech startups that had a big social impact. Check out f6s.com to find others.
If you’re looking to make a difference in social care to meet the needs of the ageing population, reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!