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When Alan’s wife, Toby, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s four years ago, the retired geophysicist turned to a not-for-profit in Palo Alto, California – called Avenidas Village – for guidance. Through Avenidas, Alan learned about several online platforms that connect individuals who need home care with workers who provide it.

 

Now, once a week, Alan opens his Windows PC and logs onto the website of a company called Honor, which lets him summon a “CarePro” the way you would call an Uber. These “nice young women”, usually nursing students, look after Toby while Alan goes to attend a lecture or to rehearse with one of several chamber music groups, for which he plays violin.

 

For Eleanor, in the Bronx, it was her daughter Carol who made arrangements. “I don’t like computers … I don’t do Facebook,” Eleanor told me, smiling, when I asked how she kept up with her four grandchildren. But confined to a wheelchair after a stroke, Eleanor knew that if she was going to stay in the apartment where she had lived for 51 years with her late husband, she would need constant assistance. Now, two caregivers from Hometeam, a startup providing in-home care to seniors, take turns staying over. They communicate with each other, and with Carol, through an app loaded on a tablet that stands in the center of her coffee table, in a room lined with family portraits and travel souvenirs.

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The Guardian

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