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Labor For Care - Update 12/22 (Refinement Questions, User Journeys, Prototype, and Feedback)

An online platform designed to reduce the caregiving workload.

Photo of Ashley
22 12

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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?

www.laborforcare.com is designed for family caregivers and for entrepreneurs. It supports caregivers by connecting them to small businesses that will assist them with household chores and caregiving responsibilities. Please visit the beta website at www.laborforcare.com. It's 90% complete.

LaborForCare.com is a website that allows caregivers to identify, search and book services for their caregiving needs. LaborForCare.com is designed for the caregiver who is busy managing their life and the life of the person they’re caring for. The goal of LaborForCare.com is to:

  • Connect caregivers to service providers to ease the workload of caregiving.
  • Provide emotional and practical support to caregivers.
  • Support small businesses and entrepreneurs by giving them a platform to reach new clients


Caregivers use the website by: 

1.       Identifying what services are needed to make your caregiving experience easier.

2.       Searching for a service provider that can provide assistance.

3.       Booking the service.

Service providers use the website by:

  1. Creating a profile describing their services.
  2. Secure clients.


Labor For Care LLC Vision

www.laborforcare.com seeks to provide a network of support to alleviate the burden of caregiving, so caregivers can focus on the caring while trusted professionals do the giving.

Key Features

1. Filtered Search 

2. Write/Read Reviews About Professionals

3. Create a profile/ Log in 

4. Tags - Service providers can tag their profile to ensure their visibility in the caregiver's search results.

5. Forum - A forum where caregivers and service providers can post comments and questions relating to caregiving.

6. Video Website Tour 

7. Send Money - A function that allows caregivers to pay the service provider through the website.

8. Messaging Through Website


Here's my video user walkthrough of laborforcare.com. 

My prototype is an Axure interactive wireframe. This was generated during the early stages of development. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Research

Survey

I created a survey using Survey Gizmo. I promoted the survey by sending it to a group of people and posting it on social media platforms. The responders had to complete three tasks on laborforcare.com then take the survey. The tasks are (1) find a service provider, (2) find the about page, and (3) find the forum. 

The goal is to assess whether or not they can navigate the website, whether or not they trust the information on the website and if they would recommend this website to others.

After promoting the survey for 2 months I've only received 2 responses. They can be found here. Overall, the findings indicate that the website is easy to use and appears to have trustworthy information on it. 

**If you're interested in taking the survey. It's still live. You can find it here.

User Testing

I physically tested the website with three people. Each participant thad to complete three tasks. The tasks are (1) find a service provider, (2) find the about page, and (3) find the forum. Two people used mobile devices and one person used a desktop computer. 

Each participant had an easy time finding the information. It took each participant less than two minutes to complete all of the tasks. It was reported that the design and placement of links are straightforward and easy to understand. 

In an informal casual conversation after the user testing participants indicated that they felt comfortable using the website and would recommend the product to other caregivers. However, they did indicate that they would feel more comfortable if there was a screening process for service providers. Without the screening process they would use other online resources the personally screen the service provider.


Opportunities for Improvement

- Add background checks for service providers. 

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

I would try website user-testing to test the functionality of the website. I would also seek recommendations for additional features.

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

I would like to know the percentage of people who would use a website such as Laborforcare.com to secure services and/or seek professional advice from the professionals on the page.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm currently an ESL teacher. In my free time I design and develop websites.

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone?

LaborForCare.com is a website where caregivers can identify, search and book services. Caregivers can identify what services they need to make their caregiving experience easier, search for a service provider that can help them, and book services! Service Providers create a profile describing services, and book clients. L4C connects people who need each other but can't find each other easily.

How does your idea demonstrate our Criteria of Accessibility?

This people-to-people model for doing business is becoming increasingly popular because it puts commerce back into the hands of people. As time goes by, caregivers will be more technologically savvy and be accustomed to this model. There's no cost to use the platform for caregivers. It's a simple solution to an issue that can be challenging for people: finding the right help for caregiving needs. In a lifetime, this website will still be trendy and be able to incorporate emerging technologies.

How does your idea demonstrate or plan to demonstrate scalability?

The platform can accommodate many users from around the world. It can used by anyone with a computer, tablet or phone. Marketing is the primary tool needed for scalability. It's important that people are aware of LaborForCare's purpose and abilities. Other tools to consider are adding one or two team members to help with customer service, and incorporating multiple languages into the platform. I would also like to add service provider background checks into the platform.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

The impact can be measured by evaluating 3 things. 1 - The use of the platform. We can look at how many people are using the website for caregiving help and booking services. 2 - Evaluating the satisfaction of all users from booking the services to the actual service being provided. 3 - Look for improvement suggestions from consumers. When people want your platform to be better it shows they're interested in your success.

What are your immediate next steps after the Challenge?

I need to work on procedural things such as creating a refund policy and creating a vetting process for service providers. I'm interested in looking at a questionnaire and maybe even a fee to register on the website. If people are willing to pay a fee to use the website it shows their interest and commitment. Once those are complete, I will integrate the payment system.
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Attachments (3)

Visual Composition.pdf

This document shows the design journey of Laborforcare.com from wireframe to the actual website.

L4C Slide Deck.pptx

This document shows Laborforcare.com vision, purpose and has tutorials attached.

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Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Hi Ashley! Great to see your updates. You mention, "Marketing is the primary tool needed for scalability." Can you tell us more about early thoughts you have about caregiver adoption and getting local businesses onto Labor for Care? I also want to let you know that I get an error when I try to access your video user walkthrough https://goanimate.com/videos/0a1U-zFk8Fiw?utm_source=linkshare&utm_medium=linkshare&utm_campaign=usercontent says "The video you are trying to access is currently unavailable."
Thanks for your work in this Challenge!

Photo of Ashley
Team

Please try this video link - https://vimeo.com/249973291.

I believe caregiver and service provider adoption will largely be due to word of mouth. I would like to partner with local hospitals and nursing homes to find caregivers. An example partnership would be me paying them to post marketing materials and provide usage incentives to use the platform. I will find service providers by doing the same thing with local unions and groups of employers.

I hope this helps. Thank you.

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Thank you - I hope you've found participating in this Challenge helpful! Stay tuned for our Top Ideas Announcement.

Photo of Ashley
Team

You’re welcome!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Ashley!

It is great to see you in the ideas phase.

How does this website compare to TaskRabbit and other sites where you can book services? Why would a caregiver chose 'labor for care' over other services?

Who would you like to get feedback on the website from e.g. caregivers?

I look forward to seeing how this idea progresses.

Photo of Ashley
Team

Great questions! One of the issues I had when taking care of my father was that when people came to the house to do work they didn't expect someone to be there who had cognitive challenges. They didn't respond well to someone who has Dementia. Using www.laborforcare.com ensures that the service providers understand they're dealing with a customer who is different.

Also, I had many concerns about how to handle his finances and legal situation. I would have loved to just use www.laborforcare.com to ask an attorney in the forum who specializes in elderly care about different things such as Power of Attorney and Legal Guardianship.

www.laborforcare.com is not just about booking services it's about ensuring the caregiver and their loved one(s) are a priority.

I would like to receive feedback from caregivers and from service providers.

Photo of Amanda Sepanski
Team

Hi Ashley,

I love this idea as someone who has experienced service providers not understanding my mom's condition. She is very young and when she was in the early stages it seemed as though nothing SHOULD be wrong with her because she's not "old". People had very negative responses to her seemingly strange behavior or repeating her comments to them. Specific example, we had someone come to clean the house and didn't know how to interact with her or understand her behaviors/mood changes. Finding legal help and services that are relevant to your situation as a caregiver is one thing but finding a trusted household service that understands the situation is more difficult.

My question: How are you finding these services and how do you give them an understanding of what your app provides? How do you maintain that relationship and ensure that each person within the company being sent to a home will understand as well?

I'm talking more about the lawn care/house cleaning/electrical work...etc...

Photo of Ashley
Team

Hello Amanda,

Thank you for your comment. Service providers create their own account at their own will. I do not find them. Before booking a service each person signs a legal document (created by attorneys) that basically says Labor For Care LLC is not responsible for what happens after you book the service. While we definitely encourage an amazing experience, we just simply do not have the capacity to guarantee each company carries out their duties successfully.

Photo of Ashley
Team

Great!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Hi Ashley - welcome to Refinement! We're eager to see updates to your idea and learn more. Don't forget there are a few additional questions now that you're in the Refinement Phase. You can see them by clicking "Edit Contribution" and scrolling to the questions that don't yet have answers from you. We also encourage you to add an image and start thinking about a small experiment you could test in the next few weeks. Please reach out with questions!

Photo of Veronique Thirot-Lafond
Team

Hi Ashley, I like your idea. You could ask Thumbtack how they provide background checks certificate to their clients on behalf of their providers. The provider has to pay for it.

Photo of Ashley
Team

Great idea. I’ll look into it.

Photo of Tonia Porras
Team

Hi Ashely,

Something to think about - When dealing with people with dementia you may want to seriously think about some sort of screening process because they do have a cognitive impairment. Otherwise who knows who you could get to sign up as a vendor.

Photo of Ashley
Team

Thanks for your comment! It's nearly impossible to accurately screen a service provider. I haven't came across any online platform that is able to do it successfully. It's just not something that the online world has been able to do just yet. You need huge infrastructure, large team, and a solid screening process to accurately. Even considering that, many outsourcing companies run into issues with finding quality talent. Think of the hiring process. You can screen a candidate but you have no idea how valuable they will be on a team until they are on staff. Same thing! :-)

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Ashley
Team

Yay! So exciting!

Photo of Anita
Team

Hi Ashley

This idea speaks to my heart. My mother does not have Alzheimer's, but she does have Lou Gehrig's disease (it's like a cousin of Alzheimers - your body utterly fails you but your mind stays sharp). So I’ve learned more about caregiving in the last few years than I ever intended to. One of my sisters + her family moved to our hometown, and my mom now stays mainly with them. My dad goes back and forth from our family home, and my other sister and I travel in from out of state for chunks of time to help with the caregiving. I’ve learned that caregiving is hard, gut-wrenching, soul-crushing work. Adapting to having to provide constant care has been difficult for everyone in our family, in a different way.

And then we found Liz. Liz is a wonderful woman who comes to my sister's house five days a week for a few hours to help my incapacitated mother with personal care activities (bathing, brushing teeth, changing, etc.), gives her morning medicines, takes care of making her formula and does her first tube-feeding, and also washes dishes and clothes and cleans up the house while she's here so that everyone's load is lighter. And she does all of it with so much love - she is loving to our mother, loving to us, and takes the work of supporting us very seriously. Her compassion is humbling, and it has saved us.

Finding Liz was really really really difficult, and we all suffered a lot in the meantime. Our only resources were things like Care.com and Next Door, and they were an utterly inefficient means of finding the type of person/services we needed. Had we known about something that was specifically designed to help caregivers find the support and services they needed, we would have searched there first, and saved ourselves and our mom at least 6 months of angst.

Kate, I hope this also helps give one user’s perspective on why a caregiver might choose this particular service over others.

Best of luck, and onward!

Anita

PS One last thought - keep in mind that different people who need help will have different budgets. Would be nice if there were service providers for all different budgets.

Photo of Ashley
Team

Hello Anita,

This is very helpful! I will take your thoughts into consideration. If you have any more information to offer I would love to know if you thought the website was easy to use and understand. It would also be helpful to know how the websites you listed weren't helpful. Was it the kind of information presented on the website? Customer service?

Either way, I enjoyed your contribution and I wish you well!

Sincerely,

Ashley