Millennials and seniors are often pitted against each other, especially when it comes to economics, but the people who use an app called Umbrella are dispelling those stereotypes.
How the App Works
Seniors in Brooklyn pay an annual fee of $300 or less, in addition to an hourly fee for service rendered. This gives them access to the Umbrella service where they can call, text, or email the company when they need an odd job completed in or around their home.
The request is then sent to the Umbrella app, where Umbrella employees called “neighbors” can agree to take on a job. Umbrella focuses on hiring retired and semi-retired people, and persons must be 65 or older to use the services.
What It Means for the Economy
Thousands of elderly Americans enter nursing homes each year, not because they are too sick to stay home alone, but because they are physically incapable of maintaining their home. For example, a person with bad knees can’t necessarily climb a ladder to change the batteries in a smoke detector. When several minor repairs are left undone, a home can become uninhabitable. Umbrella helps healthy seniors stay home so that nursing facility resources can be used for those who are sicker.
Despite laws to combat it, age discrimination is rampant, so it is difficult for an elderly person to get hired, and it is common for those nearing retirement to be laid off. Umbrella provides a space for people in this age group to work.
What It Means for People
Umbrella is helping to combat loneliness among seniors because the app helps to build friendships.