By Todd Miller

As the U.S. population grows older, there are currently more than 44 million adult children with aging parents who must find affordable, quality senior care to keep their loved ones aging comfortably in their homes. Because traditional home care can be prohibitively expensive, as well as inconsistent, Mary Jo Dietrich, a registered nurse for the past 18 years and owner of a home care agency that she and her husband, David, established in 2007, founded Caregogi earlier this year. The Coraopolis-based company is a cost-effective alternative that matches caregivers with care seekers online.

Dietrich’s idea for starting the company resulted from meetings with more than 1,000 families dealing with senior care issues. The company derives its name from the words “care,” “go,” a reference to seniors’ desire to remain active, and “gi” a shortened version of a grandparent nickname.

“I wanted to expand my home care company to help more seniors. I knew that by taking my expertise online I could do just that,” said Dietrich.

Through its proprietary algorithm, created by a team with more than 25 years of senior care experience, Caregogi disrupts the traditional senior care business model. Since the beginning of this year, the company has attracted more than 3,000 caregivers seeking to connect with seniors needing care.

“I wanted to expand my home care company to help more seniors. I knew that by taking my expertise online I could do just that,” said Dietrich.

Caregogi has already had success in matching families with caregivers. In one instance, a man came to Caregogi seeking care for his grandmother, who had dementia. Overwhelmed by the demands of her care, he was ready to quit his job and provide full-time care. Within a week, he was able to find and hire a full-time caregiver through Caregogi. Three months into his membership, he has already saved more than $3,000. By the end of his first year as a Caregogi client, he will have saved more than $20,000.

Families who log on to Caregogi can browse through the profiles of hundreds of caregivers. Using the company’s algorithm, caregivers are given a match percentage based on criteria related to a senior’s home care needs. Additionally, each caregiver listed on the site has been vetted and approved by Caregogi staff. Furthermore, clients and caregivers have access to background checks and educational materials to continually maximize the quality of care provided.

Currently, Caregogi is supported by AlphaLab, a nationally ranked startup accelerator which only accepts four percent of applicants each funding cycle. As Caregogi continues to promote successful and healthy aging by making home care more affordable to families in the Pittsburgh area, the company is looking to expand over the next year by creating strategic alliances with health care organizations throughout the country.