Valpo-based website connects caregivers, those in need of care

2013-04-06T15:00:00Z 2013-04-08T10:05:06Z Valpo-based website connects caregivers, those in need of careBy Vanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | A long-time Valparaiso University professor has launched a web-based company that links caregivers with those in need of care.

Kristen Mauk, an expert in gerontological and rehabilitation nursing, developed Senior Care Central LLC, found at www.seniorcarecentral.net, out of her home-based Valpo office.

The site matches older people and those who have disabilities with a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or a nursing student, she said.

Mauk, who has taught at the university for more than two decades, saw a need for quality, affordable care. Other websites may offer to match those in need with caring people, but her site puts them in touch with people who are medically trained or are studying to be medical professionals, Mauk said.

Before developing the website, Mauk would put people in touch with her students. The two sides then work out a contract. The website functions the same way, but with an expanded reach to multiple states.

"We're expanding as we see the need," she said.

It also offers resources for caregivers and for those seeking care, such as tips for establishing a work schedule.

Mauk verifies the CNAs that are listed on the website, and she encourages those seeking care to request nursing students bring a school ID card or transcript as proof they are actually studying nursing, she said.

The website went live about a month ago and gets more than 100 hits a day, Mauk said.

Having an in-home caretaker helps people "age in place," without having to move to a nursing home.

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