Julie Northcutt had a vision in 2001. Some didn’t think it was a good idea, and others didn’t think it would be profitable, but Northcutt thought otherwise. She was working in advertising at the time, having moved into the Internet sphere in 1996, growing an online advertising site from zero dollars to $6 million in four years. She watched as a new industry emerged. She honed her business skills. She wore herself out. Then, she wanted to do something fulfilling. So in 2001, Northcutt launched home care agency Chicagoland Caregivers, the impetus behind Caregiverlist, despite what her background and others had to say.
After watching Chicagoland Caregivers flourish, Northcutt sold it in 2007 in order to focus on her new venture, Caregiverlist.
“Every single person I talked to about Caregiverlist thought it was a good idea,” Northcutt said. “That rarely happens when you are kicking around a new business idea.”
And people still think Caregiverlist – a website published creating interactive online tools for seniors, professional caregivers and senior care companies – is a good idea today. The site was recently awarded an official U.S. trademark registration for its innnovative senior care site. Their featured ratings, reviews and products were instrumental in solidifying the trademark, Northcutt said.
“We really do understand what goes into choosing the right senior care options, and that is the key information we validate and pass on,” said Northcutt. “We know that senior care referrals involve more sophistication than selling many other types of online referrals.”
Other VC-backed companies have failed in the senior care realm because of their lack of knowledge on the subject. Northcutt’s background and passion for meeting the needs of her clients is what puts Caregiverlist a step above the rest.
The interactive database is customized for the senior care industry, comprising of caregivers and nursing aides. Caregiverlist makes the hiring process less tedious than other vectors, allowing for companies to provide state-required training with one click, and interact with all their professional caregivers. It has had annual subscribers since its inception thanks to the ease of its platform and the details it gives on about 18,000 nursing homes.
“Nobody plans ahead for senior care, yet most us will need senior care for at least two years,” Northcutt said. “Medicare, the health insurance you receive at age 65, does not pay for long-term care. Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a nursing home – this means nursing homes have become an extension of a hospital stay for seniors.”
Northcutt is right. No one thinks about senior care until they have to. So when push comes to shove, it’s nice to know that Northcutt and her company make the hard decisions a bit easier.