Meet Our Founder

01 February, 2021

Care has been a part of Marion’s life since she was a child growing up in Estonia. It drives her deep, personal passion to help those who need care and those who give care. In a society with an aging population, it’s essential we’re able to provide care for a fulfilling life.

How and why did you found Elunow?

There are two reasons that I was inspired and motivated to start Elunow.

First, because care is a subject that really hits home for me. Throughout my life, even as a child, I’ve had to take care of my own family members and did not have enough time to live my own life. From the age of 10, I started to take care of my disabled brother and my mom, who also had problems with her mental health. It became my responsibility to make sure that they are taken care of and I didn’t have much time to think about myself. I’ve always felt that there’s that injustice in the world, that everyone should have the right to live their life without that burden of care, so I studied social work, social policy, and sociology at university.

Second, because of my experience as a care service provider in the UK for 6 years. My eyes were really opened to what life is like for both service providers and those in need of care. I got an inside look at the system, the lives of the people in it, and saw how classical care agencies could be improved. t

That’s when the light bulb went off, and I thought maybe there is something I can do about this.

What is Elunow and who is it designed for?

Online platforms like Elunow match the needs of those needing care with qualified and experienced local service providers while providing value-for-money and peace of mind. There are two main types of users – people who order care (either for themselves or for a loved one) and people who want to give care. It offers an opportunity to anyone who needs care services, and to anyone who is passionate about providing care.

In your opinion, what is the biggest problem with care?

The biggest problem is that home care service providers are not really valued highly enough. They’re typically not very well paid and that often results in high staff turnover for many agencies as people don’t tend to stay in the profession for very long. 

That means a lack of consistency in the provision of care too, which is not ideal for the person in need of care. Providing care is a hard job, physically and mentally demanding. I think if there was better support for home care service providers, which helps them develop their skills and experience but in a more flexible way that works for them as well as for the recipient, then I’m sure that lots more people would choose to care as a profession. It’s also important to pay them better too.

How does Elunow solve this problem?

We have created an online platform that’s mindful of the needs of both parties, care service providers, and care-receivers. It allows service providers an opportunity to work on their own schedule, as much or as little as they’d like, where they like. It empowers them to set their own schedule and to be responsible for their role. And offers better payment terms than most agencies do. And it gives care-receivers an easy-to-use platform that they can use to find local service providers based upon reviews, experience, the services they offer, their location, and availability. This platform gives our users the freedom of control over their own lives while giving them the safety of having someone in the middle to ensure everything goes smoothly.

In more traditional agency models, it’s often the case that you get what you’re given – the agency will provide suitably qualified staff but the recipient of the care often has no say in who turns up on the day. And that person may be a different day today, so it’s hard to build a rapport. Elunow offers the opportunity to choose service providers based upon reviews from other care recipients, for example, so you’re much more likely to find a Home Health Aide that fits your needs.

Why are you bringing Elunow to the USA?

Ever since my first trip to the USA, I’ve been extremely fond of the traditions, values, and culture and of the people there in general. There are already lots of care providers in the USA, but as I experienced myself during my time working in care, the standards and quality are not always what they should be and with Elunow I’m looking to change that.

What prompted you to become a care service provider yoruself?

It was not something that I planned at the beginning, my main goal was to find a job after my graduation internationally, because I wanted to do learn more about how social care problems are solved in different countries. I came across some in-home care companies and I applied for a few roles. From the moment I started being a Home Health Aide, I was trying to make people’s lives better and more equal because I didn’t have this myself when I was a child.

Did you find the role you were doing fulfilling?

It’s definitely a very fulfilling job. People are rightly very proud to say they are care workers. When clients are looking at you and saying thank you, that without you they’d really struggle to get through the day and that you help them lead independent, fulfilling lives it’s a great feeling. You can experience difficult times as a care provider, especially when caring for people with mental health issues, but it’s still very rewarding. Over time you develop a friendship with the people you’re looking after, it’s only natural I suppose if you’re seeing people regularly, so it becomes even more meaningful.

How has Elunow adapted to ensure safety and control during this pandemic?

We’re seeing more and more people looking for help and support because it’s harder for families to get to their loved ones, especially if they live some distance away from each other.

Our main goal is to make sure our platform service providers and receivers are as safe and healthy as possible, so we’ve implemented new rules and a new policy for all our care services providers, including ensuring they wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, wearing suitable PPE including mask, apron and disposable gloves, maintain social distancing wherever possible and monitor there own symptoms, by taking a temperature check each morning before they begin work. Additionally, the service providers have to inform us if they experience any symptoms or have been around any individuals who have symptoms. At that point, they’ll be asked to self-isolate in support of government guidelines.

We’ve also maintained our strict sign-up process, which all our platform users who want to serve clients go through when they register, so we maintain the highest quality care for our clients. All service providers available via Elunow have completed training. We interview all our service providers, conducting thorough background checks and vetting to ensure they have the skills and experience needed to provide the services they offer on the platform.

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