Buddy Home Care

Buddy Home Care

a social business aim to solves 2 social problems in the same time,

one is the problem of caring needs for disadvantages elderly and another one is the problem of disadvantages hill tribe children who are unable to continue to study then become poor and unsecure on income.


BUDDY Homecare is a social enterprise established in November 2012 by the Foundation for Older Persons Development (FOPDEV) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It has a triple social mission: to provide disadvantaged people (with an emphasis on youth) with training and jobs caring for older people; to provide older people with cost-effective and high quality homecare; and to develop a network of volunteer-based care services for disadvantaged older people unable to meet their care needs.

Legal Status: BUDDY Homecare currently operates as a sub-division of FOPDEV’s organisational remit. It is in the process of registering as an independent social enterprise, which will be completed once Thailand’s Social Enterprise Law is passed (targeted for the middle of 2016; in the process of applying in March 2016)


Business Model

One of the project aims is to address the limited job opportunities disadvantaged people face. In the first round of training, young people from rural areas are targeted. They are offered the opportunity to apply to the training programme in order to become a qualified care worker (carer).

The training is delivered by Chiang Mai University’s (CMU) Faculty of Nursing in a total of 420 hours over the course of three months. Trainees were sponsored for the cost of their training (150USD per person, per month) and further given a monthly stipend of 40 USD towards their accommodation and living expenses.

On completion, trainees receive a certificate of Long Term Care. Once qualified, BUDDY Homecare provides them with employment by advertising their paid homecare services to older people. Monthly salaries can range from 250-450USD depending on the complexity of the care services required. All trainees reimburse the cost of their training at a rate of 35 USD per month over 3 years. This practice was established in order to build up a revolving fund for the training of future carers. There is flexibility on repayment however and if a carer cannot afford to pay one month a note is made to this effect by FOPDEV and they will resume reimbursement when they can afford to do so.

In return, carers are encouraged but not contractually obliged to provide support to FOPDEV’s Volunteer Homecare scheme, which provides free homecare services to disadvantaged older people in Chiang Mai. The Volunteer Homecare scheme currently has 111 volunteers providing befriending and home-help support to 217 older people. The expert BUDDY Homecare staff support the volunteer homecare scheme in conducting basic health monitoring (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, height and weight) of about for the older people covered under the volunteer homecare programme, assessing their needs and providing the volunteers and relatives with advice on how to improve their care.   The qualified care givers receive an extra daily payment for their support to this scheme.

Experience to date

PHASE 1 - 2012

In 2012, a grant of 1,650USD from UnLtd Thailand was used in conducting a market survey.

PHASE 2 - 2013

In 2013, a six month training for two care workers was piloted with funding from UnLtd Thailand. The training was provided by a private nursing home in Mao Jo, Chiang Mai.

Services provided by Buddy Homecare

BUDDY Homecare offers two service packages. The first is the full-time package, which provides eight hours of care per day, six days a week. This costs between 300 and 475 USD per month depending on the level of care required. The second provides two hours of care per day, six days a week. This costs is 130 USD per month. To date only the full-time package has been sold. Most clients are paired with a single carer and prefer this arrangement.

Buddy Homecare services are advertised on social media (facebook), Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and brochures.

To date there is a waiting list of 32 clients indicating high demand for such services.

Evaluating Social Return on Investment (SROI) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

Use quality of life of older people receiving care, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Measure taken after 6 weeks


Current and future plans: Phase 4