By Abbie Lahmers
When Andrew Parker saw how difficult it was to ensure his own grandpa (affectionately known as “Papa”) was receiving the best possible care as he and his family were also juggling life’s daily demands, he knew there had to be a better way to support aging loved ones. Founded in Miami in 2017, Papa was the solution to the companionship and care Parker was seeking – not only for his grandpa but for countless others, too.
Papa has grown into a national network of thousands of empathetic Papa Pals, caring for older adults, families, and other vulnerable populations – whether it’s helping with chores, or simply connecting over a cup of coffee. “They are eyes and ears in the home,” says Parker. “Through time and trust, Papa Pals identify health and social vulnerabilities as vital allies to health plan members and in their commitment to high-quality, individualized care.”
To create further impact for Rhode Islanders, Papa is seeking caring, empathetic individuals to work on their own schedules – via an easy-to-use app – to help older adults and families in the community with a variety of tasks. “Pals can support members in many different ways, from car rides and grocery shopping to companionship and conversations,” says Parker. “Nearly 70% of members who reported feeling lonely, felt less lonely after visits with a Papa Pal.”
Papa Pals also gain career experience and make money in the process. With no limit on the number of visits they can complete, dedicated Pals can earn $3,000 per month. Pals earn an hourly rate and receive mileage reimbursement. Additionally, Pals earn daily and weekly bonuses depending on how many visits they complete.
Since its founding, Papa has been making waves, earning Rock Health’s Top 50 In Digital Health Equity Advocate Award, named Crunchbase’s Top 30 Funded Black and Latinx Companies, and listed as one of CB Insights’ 150 most promising private digital health companies in the world. Says Parker, “being a Pal means you are making a difference in someone’s life,” no matter how small the task may seem.
Visit Papa online to learn how you can get started as a Rhode Island Pal.