Upside — formerly known as UpsideHōM — once made waves for disrupting the aging-in-place sector. Now that the startup has cemented its spot in the aging services space, the company is focused on supplementing its offerings with the launch of Upside+.
Upside’s business model involves partnering with existing apartment complexes and leasing individual units — or blocks of units — to offer tech-enabled co-living spaces for older adults. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company’s new membership, Upside+, builds on this by offering enhanced care and support for residents who want or need a higher level of assistance.
“What we’ve seen is that our basic membership, which is a very independent solution, is great for most people,” Jake Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of Upside, told Home Health Care News. “However, as people age with us, there has been a need for a graduated level of care.”
An Upside+ membership allows the company’s residents to have access to an array of additional resources including: daily on-site care delivered by certified nursing assistants; non-clinical care management; referrals to physicians and specialists; chef-prepared meals; transportation and more.
To operate Upside+, the company teamed up with the home-based care organization TheKey.
The membership will include all rent and utilities, daily certified caregiver support, and on-site community events. Plus, residents are assigned a care manager.
“With more than 30% of our members now requesting an extra layer of support and care, we focused on making sure we could meet their needs and keep them out of institutionalized settings,” Peter Badgley, co-founder and COO of Upside, said in a press release. “This level of care support at this cost simply doesn’t exist in the market today outside of the ‘senior living facility.’”
The company’s members sparked the idea for Upside+, according to Rothstein.
“People were coming to us and saying, ‘We really want to stay, we love living with you and love the services that your home management team provides, but I need help transferring in the morning, or my wife just got diagnosed with very early stage dementia, and it would be really beneficial for someone to come in and help,’” he said.
Along these lines, Rothstein points out that Upside+ is customizable in real-time. When members get started with the service they build a package based on their needs, but the company leaves room for these packages to change. Members can also pause services while they travel.
One service that all Upside members have access to is Papa Pals, through the in-home companionship company Papa. Before leaving in 2017, Rothstein was one of Papa’s co-founders.
Rothstein clarified that the launch of Upside+ doesn’t change the company partnership with Papa.
“The relationship with Papa continues to be incredibly close,” he said. “Papa Pals are going to be going into the Upside+ communities as companionship caregivers in addition to our certified nursing assistants that work in the building. It’s just another layer of care — we’re looking at this as various layers of care.”
In addition to the roll out of Upside+, the company also rebranded from UpsideHōM to Upside. It’s a move that happened organically, according to Rothstein.
“People have referred to us as upside for short over the past few years,” he said. “It was a very natural progression — upside is a really positive word. It’s more encompassing of the overall goal that we have, which is enabling and enhancing the lives of older adults everywhere versus just thinking about the home. We really wanted to broaden the scope to allow for all things aging.”
Upside is also “pacing nicely” towards its goal to expand into 100 new markets across the U.S. by the end of this year. Currently, the company operates in 78 markets across 22 states.