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Care Pair

An au pair service matching millennial live-in caregivers and people with dementia

Photo of Marina Terteryan
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

This idea provides live-in support for those with dementia, giving loved ones an affordable way to get assistance in caring for their loved ones, while providing millennials with a way to save on rent and give back.

A dementia or Alzheimer's disease diagnosis impacts the lives of the patient as well as his or her loved ones. Through our research we discovered that one of the major challenges that caregivers of patients have is the inability to take a short vacation or break from caring for their loved ones, especially if the loved ones live in the same home. 

Au pair: an assistant that cares for a family's children while living as part of the host family.

Our service offers a temporary to full time live-in "au pair," much like the service offered for childcare. It matches responsible millennials with families that have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's. The Care Pair are trained to care for dementia patients and would go through a careful screening process. Families can specify needs and skills, as they are matched with the best choice for their circumstances.

This service is not meant to replace, but to supplement care from trained medical professionals. The Care Pair will assist in spending time with the patient, providing interaction and mental and intellectual stimulation that is not within the scope of visiting medical professionals. It also allows the primary and secondary caregivers an opportunity to take time for themselves, knowing that there is another person who can be present for their loved one. 

As a bonus, this will benefit the Care Pair millennials, allowing them to gain experience and knowledge on caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

A very early service prototype could be posting an ad for live-in caregivers to the targeted millennial demographic and an ad for families who have loved one(s) with dementia. This can be done in the form of a Craigslist ad or job boards (for the live-in caregiver) and in the form of posts or conversations on communities (for the families of those with dementia).

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

It would be great to get feedback and opinions from the OpenIDEO community!

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter

Tell us about your work experience:

The team behind this idea included: - A caregiver - A service designer - A graphic designer - An IDEO community manager - An operations professional at a major hospital - A medical technology designer


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