Updated: Dec 2, 2019
I spent most of my homecare career in liaison-type roles- visiting clients in their homes, assessing their conditions, and coordinating services. The initial call would often come from a son, daughter, or close relative. They would tell me about their overwhelm and how badly they need support to care for their elder loved one. I’d then set up an appointment to hear more about their challenges, sign the appropriate forms, then went right to work to schedule their visits, and find a suitable caregiver for the assignment. I felt a mix of satisfaction, fulfillment, and humility once the assessment was done and the case was staffed. On the drive home, I’d think- “Wow, my job is seriously to make everyone’s life better.”
But every now and then, I’d get a call from a client, calling for themselves. I recall one conversation with a frail 87 year old lady that started with “I live alone, I don’t have any family or friends, I don’t have much money, but I need a little help”. My stomach would turn as I listened to her entire story because I dreaded having to tell her we wouldn’t be able to help. We couldn’t help because most homecare companies have service minimums. Once I explained the policy, her sweet voice turned to sad disappointment. I would try to find ways to help but she still wouldn’t be able to afford the premium-added rate agencies charge for shifts that are less than 4 hours.
It bothered me for days. I’d think “What options does this lady have? How’s she going to get the help she needs? How sad that she’s alone in this world with no one to call for a little help”. I had no solution for her the day she called and no way to make her life better. The voice inside me was saying, "I am not doing my job".
It was after months of turning these calls away that prompted me to develop the Pop In Care model. It sounded crazy at first but the more I thought of the conversation I had with that 87 year old lady, the more determined I was to make something happen.
I pulled out a yellow legal pad and jotted down ‘POP IN CARE’- because I knew we would be the type of company who could offer quick visits for those who just needed a little help and those who can’t afford a 4 hour shift. It also had a nice ring to it- and different. We would be the agency who COULD just pop in on someone’s mom and dad to make sure they are OK. It sat well inside of me… Pop In Care would be the name and exactly what we do.
We chose Irvine to be our home because it’s central to the communities we want to serve. In our research, we discovered there was no other Irvine Home Care agency like us. Further research revealed no other agency in greater Orange County specializes in short shifts for caregiving services. I shared the concept with other agency owners; they were supportive of my idea. It was then that I realized, "Whoa, we might really be on to something here.” It was my Aha! Moment (in Oprah voice).
Once we were licensed, we had to get clear about our tagline and mission. Keeping to our model, we chose a simple tagline: Pop In Care offers quality homecare with no minimums. We are committed to delivering care that is simple, affordable, flexible, and efficient.
We are starting small but have big plans for the future. We would love to see a Pop In Care in every state. For now, we are focused on perfecting our craft, serving our local communities, and making a difference one pop in at a time.