It turns out that the technological leaps made by the online dating industry could have more humanitarian benefits than we thought.
A while back we reported that it was helping farmers match cows with the best bulls for breeding, but now the BBC reports that it will help disabled people and the care industry too.
Russell Smith, 29, a former special needs teacher with muscular dystrophy, has come up with the idea of Care Pair, a website which asks all the kind of questions you might expect from an online dating profile but with the aim of matching people up with the best carers.
Many people in need of carers have to resort to jobs sites or classifieds in order to track down someone to help. These of course all charge money to place an ad. Smith hopes that with Care Pair, not only will it become quick, free and easy to find a carer but also the carer will be best matched to the needs of the client.
It makes things more comfortable for everyone. Smith recalls in the BBC story having a carer escort him to a Maximo Park gig in Birmingham. She was in her 50s, he was in his 20s. “She was sat there at one point with her fingers in her ears looking absolutely distressed at being there. I don’t think it was something she would ever do herself.”
Now with CarePair, situations like this can be avoided with carers and clients being matched up by a series of questions asking them everything from film to music tastes.
It also means that if a carer has to cancel at short notice, people with disabilities are not left stranded and can search other carers in the area, as Smith points out on his site: “In the event of a scheduled carer having to cancel at short notice, for example due to illness, CarePair allows users to find suitable carers at short notice, avoiding the need to hire agency carers at a much greater cost than the Direct Payment budget allows for. Users can also find carers based on location, making it easier to find support when they are in a new area, for example on holiday.”
The website isn’t the easiest to find (it comes quite a long way under the ‘find an au pair’ pages on Google) but it’s a well built site, easy to use and Smith has even developed the idea into an app.
And who knows maybe a little romance may spring from it too?