I love Andrew Parker! He is doing, real time, what I’ve dreamed of for years – taping into a huge reservoir of engaging care partners ideally suited for the burgeoning number of olders elders ancients needing non-medical, life-expanding support.
I love his description – “We try to get to people before they need care. If you have multiple chronic diseases and you’re bed ridden, you shouldn’t use PapaPals. But if you’re 90 years old and you’re fine, you just don’t have a car, or don’t drive one, that”s where we support you.” Couldn’t have said it better!
Come back with us a few years. Parker’s grandfather – Papa – had dementia. His family kept running into problems arranging quality care. It was less meds & daily maintenance support, more transportation, companionship & life enrichment. His grandson had a flash of genius & hired a college student to be Papa’s “grandkid on demand.” Worked like a charm for all parties. Parker saw the potential for something special.
While he didn’t have any experience in Computer Science or Product Development, Parker knew a winning idea when he had it. And his market research told him that the two generations identified as most at risk of feeling isolated & alone – – the elderly & Gen Z (18-22) – – are also the two that studies show have a natural affinity for each other. “Intergenerational solidarity” makes college students – Parker typically recruits aspiring doctors, nurses & medical care professionals – – and olders an ideal match.
While Parker couldn’t create the app – he farmed most of the work out to a firm in Argentina! – he knew what he wanted it to do. He took a winning situation for his family & turned it into an app others can access.
Although he sees his app as ultimately delivering a wide range of services, Parker’s presently focusing on PapaPals, where he recruits “high quality individuals” to help olders with non-medical needs. A student might drive an older to an appointment, wait for them, take them shopping on the return trip. Once home, he or she might help prepare & share a meal, talk about world events or recent movie releases, maybe watch some television together or share a game of backgammon. They might take older friends to family events, hang out at the pool or beach, even record or journal life stories.
The mobile app lets individuals & families or care coordinators schedule same day care or future support. Parker started developing Papa in 2016 & it is now live on the App store.
I feel like kicking up my heels with joy that SOMEONE is utilizing the huge supply of mature but young care partners who can deliver non-medical care – transportation, household chores, technology – served up with the bonus of lively, interesting companionship. Amen to Parker’s comment, “It’s a completely different experience from the traditional care.”
Papa Technologies LLC is taking it slow but sure; they’ve recently expanded beyond their initial South Florida base, to Tampa & Sarasota. Although requests are pouring in to expand to more areas of Florida, they put ensuring the quality of their provided services over rapid growth.
Let there be dancing in the streets! Andrew Parker & Papa Technologies LLC are living my dream – connecting olders elders ancients with interesting care partners who can provide engaging conversation along with day-to-day care & enrichment support, who can chauffeur them to the doctors & wait, the ferry them back home, or be their “plus one”at a wedding. My heart goes pitter patter reading, “Papa helps reduce the stress from family caregivers and boosts seniors’ mental engagement with younger generations.”
What a great gift for Andrew’s Papa, what a wonderful legacy for his grandfather to leave.
About Papa: Papa is a startup that is based in Miami. It opened in late 2017 and has close to 200 Papa Pals providing assistance to members throughout South Florida, Sarasota, and Tampa.
Download App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/join-papa/id1105425605?mt=8