RALEIGH, N.C. — Over 53 million people in the U.S. are currently family caregivers, providing at-home care for a loved one. According to AARP, 61% of family caregivers are also working jobs outside of their care giving duties.
What You Need To Know
- More than 53 million people are family caregivers, according to AARP
- CareYaya is a student-based care giving service
- More than 1,500 North Carolina college students are working as caregivers
A UNC graduate launched a business in early 2022 to help alleviate the burden that finding affordable care giving services can have on a family. CareYaya has onboarded over 1,500 students across North Carolina universities as caregivers.
Many of the student caregivers are pursuing a degree in the health care field, including Josh Kendall. Kendall is a junior at N.C. State University, and is on the pre-medicine track with a goal to attend medical school. He began working as a caregiver during his spring 2022 semester.
“I feel like it gives me a little bit of extra knowledge and it will make me a more attractive applicant for medical school because I get to see a large variety of things,” Kendall said.
Kendall visits with Joe Botsick and Kathleen Bias on Thursdays. Botsick has Parkinson’s disease and Bias is living with essential tremors, a nervous system disorder that causes shaking during simple tasks.
“It’s definitely solidified my passion for medicine, I get to go with Joe and Kathy to a lot of their appointments and their therapy,” Kendall said.
Kendall does daily exercises with the couple, attends appointments and provides them company.
“I don’t ask him to cook for us, I don’t ask him to do the dishes, I don’t ask him to make the bed,” Bias said.
Bias says Kendall has a different set of skills than most caregivers.
“What I discovered was that Joe worked really well with Josh,” Bias said.
The pair talk cars and share stories over coffee.
“It’s honestly the best part of my week, I get to escape from my studies and spend time with these guys who’ve become my friends really,” Kendall said.
“Our first report we said we loved him, and we’ve loved him ever since,” Botsick said.
Caregivers are paid $15 per hour through CareYaya, and the money goes directly to the student. The rate does not change for overnight or weekend visits.
The organization says the goal is to provide more accessible and equitable access to care giving services.