Caregivers for seniors often feel frustrated when they are unable to meet all the demands of their loved ones. Now a new, app-based, paid-by-the-hour service is opening in several north Atlanta metro communities — including Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Midtown, Decatur, and Vinings — to provide a backup.

Naborforce, a “labor force of neighbors,” digitally connects people who need services with “Nabors” in the area who can prepare meals, pick up prescriptions, provide rides to and from doctor appointments and take care of other simple daily needs. They’re also available to help in other ways, such as caring for pets, shopping for gifts, or taking clients to the library.

Naborforce launched in metro Atlanta recently (Credit: Naborforce)

Clients can sign up and schedule online or by phone to get the help they need. The cost is $30-35 per hour with a minimum of one hour. Monthly plans offer discounted hourly rates. 

Paige Vohs

Native Atlantan Paige Vohs, the local Naborhood Lead, said she’s excited that the company is entering the Atlanta market “as there is such a need and demand for assistance with our growing aging market to support aging in place.”

She’s especially looking forward to growing the pool of skilled, friendly helpers Nabors “who can provide loving help, care, and friendship to those who need a helping hand.”

Finding and filling a need

Naborforce was started in late 2018 by Paige Wilson of Richmond, Va., who held senior positions in the finance industry. Since then, Naborforce has completed over 20,000 visits.

When her mother broke her hip about 10 years ago, Wilson found herself in a bind. “I was the alpha daughter and wanted to be there for her, but I had a demanding job and was raising a teenage daughter,” she said. “I lived five minutes away, but it was just more than I could do.”

Paige Wilson

Wilson didn’t want her mother to lose access to the things that were important to her — living independently in her own home and traveling to activities like bridge club. She said she didn’t realize at the time that she was one of 52 million caregivers trying to juggle it all.

“When I started looking for a backup, I found there was a huge void between when you don’t need any help and when you start needing aids and nurses,” she explained.

Wilson found a lot of great homecare options, which came with hourly minimums and contracts, but said her mother “still saw herself as independent and vibrant, not needing that level of care. At the time I just kept thinking, ‘I need another me!’”

She shared some statistics: the number of people older than 80 is expected to triple over the next three decades, as 11,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. “And over that same period, the number of family members available to help is dropping in half — not to mention they are more and more disbursed and sandwiched.”

Inspired by joy through challenges

Naborforce will open in eight more communities this year and hopes to be able to serve families and communities across the country over the next five years. 

Wilson wants to “continue spreading joy to as many older adults and their families as possible. We talk about being “Inspired by Joy” all the time — my mom’s name was Joy!” she said.

The recent pandemic was a big challenge for Naborforce, Wilson said. “As you can imagine, when COVID first came on the scene, it was devastating. At the very time our clients needed us the most, we couldn’t be there for them!” she said.

The company’s revenue dropped 90% in the first few months, but “as the pandemic began to come under control and safety protocols were implemented, our business actually accelerated,” she said, adding that now even more seniors want to age in their home and more family caregivers need backup and respite.

While keeping everyone safe was a huge challenge, Wilson reported that last year, Naborforce performed 10,000 visits and had no cases of transmitting the virus to a client.

Won’t you be my Nabor?

Naborforce also provides a flexible source of income for a workforce that ranges in age from 21 to 79, with an average age of 55. “Most are empty nesters and retirees who have compassion for older folks,” Wilson said. Nabors get a sense of purpose while earning some extra income.

“The connections we are making every day are so inspiring. It’s really the essence of community supporting community,” she said. “Our markets embrace us because at the core, it’s community supporting community. We are providing a technology platform that harnesses the strength of community.”F

For more information

To find out more about using the Naborforce services or becoming a Nabor, visit naborforce.com or call 404-493-9555.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.