How the Dayton-area startup is filling the gaps for families taking care of loved ones
Families with a loved one in a care facility face dozens of challenges on a regular basis. How can they coordinate who visits and when? Where can they find the information they need? When can they make time to communicate with care facilities? Those decisions don’t come lightly, and are often made under intensely emotional circumstances. These are the challenges Carely is addressing with a holistic approach for those who want the best for their loved ones.
“Carely is a technology-enabled company focused on the family caregiver experience,” said founder Mike Eidsaune. “When you boil it down, it’s really about improving that experience. We have the Carely family app, our mobile component, the Carely community platform, which is a way for healthcare organizations to connect with families and to keep them up to date, and then we’ve got caregiving.com, which is focused on the educational side of family caregiving. When we first started, it was strictly focused on seniors, but we’ve realized that caregiver burden falls across a really broad group of people. Now, we’re focused pretty evenly on adults caring for children, children caring for adults and everything in between.”
The Carely platform isn’t just a business. The people-first approach from the Dayton-area startup comes from its founder, who first realized the need for something like Carely when his own family dealt with the challenges that come along with having a family member in a care facility.
“Carely started from my personal experience,” he said. “Nine years ago, my family was caring for my great-grandmother, who was living in a senior living community. One of the major challenges wasn’t so much about the quality of care she was receiving, it was communicating simple updates to one another so that we all knew who was visiting when. For instance, everybody would come on a Friday and Saturday and then nobody would see her for a week and a half. There wasn’t a good tool to coordinate visits and share updates. It was eye-opening for me. So I said, “Why don’t we just take the guest book concept, throw it on a website and we’ll see what happens?”
Carely partners with care facilities and is free to use for families, connecting the two seamlessly. Since its launch in 2012, Carely has grown by leaps and bounds, and its latest step was the acquisition of Caregiving.com, which will serve as the new focal point in Carely’s evolution. The site comes with 10,000 blog posts and hundreds of videos about caring for loved ones, and boasts 40,000 unique visitors a month. That kind of scope will help Carely reach its goals, which Eidsaune sets very high.
“We want to impact 100 million caregivers globally,” he said. “This challenge is much more global in nature than I think a lot of people realize. In fact, countries like Japan are struggling with caregiver burden and caregiver resources even more than the U.S. We think the formula that we’re creating here will be easily applicable in other countries. We’ve been fortunate to find investors that are really aligned with our mission of driving impact, so we can stay focused on that North Star and try to improve the life and ease the burden of 100 million caregivers.”
Carely’s global aspirations start from their Ohio home in Alpha, just outside Beavercreek. Their location serves not only as a home base, but as part of their mission and family-first focus. And to achieve their international goals, Eidsaune says he’s in exactly the right place.
“For me, Dayton was home far before we started the company — my wife was born and raised here and this is where we want to raise our kids. So when I started building the company and we’re thinking about resources and investment, it was important for me to really be clear that we’re not going to move to the coast, it’s not the culture we’re trying to build and that’s not going to change — we’re not going to shift gears and open a new office in a big city. What’s important to us, the company mission, is family first. We’re trying to improve people’s experience caring for a loved one or family member.”