Florida-based startup pairing retirees with college students to help out with transportation, technology & companionship

When 67-year-old retired school teacher Barbara Marks developed early symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease in 2013, she didn’t feel safe driving alone, and she also needed help with some everyday tasks such as carrying her groceries.

“I don’t have any family close by, (and) with my son and daughter-in-law working, there’s no way they could have helped,” the retired school teacher living in Deerfield Beach, Fla., told Moneyish.

Then she stumbled on a Facebook ad for Papa, a service that allows senior citizens to hire college-aged students for help with such daily chores, and decided to give it a try. Now she pays $20 an hour to get help troubleshooting her tech problems, driving to doctor’s appointments, running errands -- and just having someone to chat with.

Marks was paired with Alan Golan, 24, who started working for Papa full-time to make ends meet when he couldn’t find a sales job. He’s been helping Marks for around six hours a day on weekdays for the past six months, earning $12 for the first hour, and 17 cents per minute (or about $10.50 an hour) after that. A typical day includes accompanying Marks to appointments and helping out around the house; he’s also taught Marks shortcuts that help make texting and Googling things much easier. In return, Golan says that he’s found a love of caregiving, and a newfound friendship.

“Barbara and I get along so well,” said Golan, adding that he see Marks as more of a friend than a boss. “The day-to-day conversation and banter is really funny. The way we interact now is really fun. I care about her; she’s like family.”

Continue reading on Marketwatch.com.


get updates