Homecare platform Lifted has been awarded £1.3m by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of its healthy ageing challenge.
The money will be used to help with care worker recruitment and retention and enable people to access regulated homecare quickly and easily.
Lifted enables people to find, manage and keep up to date with regulated homecare on their phone, with 24/7 support. It provides a personalised service, including real-time updates and the ability to share moments between loved ones and carers. It is also designed to improve the wellbeing of carers with real-time feedback from families and support.
‘When I had to find care for my mother, I was completely shocked by how difficult the process was. My own experience has inspired me to create an entirely new way for people to access regulated, ongoing homecare for their loved ones that’s as simple and stress-free as possible,’ said Lifted co-founder and chief executive Rachael Crook.
The £1.3m award will enable Lifted to extend the capabilities of its platform and create the Lifted complete care companion. It aims to reduce the average time to hire a carer from over 100 days to less than 14 via AI-assisted automation. It also aims to double carer retention rates, as almost 40% of workers leave their roles every year.
‘The carer compliance process is incredibly lengthy and inefficient, with the care sector losing many potentially excellent candidates because they can’t afford to wait months on end before starting work,’ said Crook. ‘This also opens the door to unregulated workers, which puts loved ones at risk. By automating the compliance process, the Lifted complete care companion will massively reduce approval times and quickly get carers into worthwhile roles.’
The platform will also increase emphasis on carer development and the creation of an online care worker community.
‘Lifted is built on interactivity, and the UKRI award will enable us to introduce comprehensive gamified programmes to boost carer career progression and to create a vibrant online community where carers can share experiences and receive support from others,’ Crook added.
The company also runs an online community that includes a marketplace of products designed to support people living with dementia, used by over 40,000 families.
Dr Jane Townson, Homecare Association chief executive, said: ‘Recruitment and retention of care works is a critical challenge. It has a severe detrimental impact on the ability of older people to receive the support they need to live life on their terms.
‘While digital technology is increasingly being adopted in the sector, there is a lack of products designed to address this challenge creatively and effectively. Lifted’s approach is highly innovative and unique, and could make a significant difference to homecare delivery and the lives of older adults in the UK.’