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Reducing the burden on caregivers by providing a transportation solution catered to the specific needs of individuals with dementia.

Photo of Kinjal, Scott, Tyler Gumb

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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?

Transportation is essential to leading an independent life and driving is one of the first skills that people with dementia lose. We propose an on-demand transportation service tailored to the needs of people with dementia. This will reduce the burden on caregivers to provide transportation. Additionally, it will extend a sense of independence for people in early stages of the disease.


The number of people living with dementia is increasing. By 2050 the number is expected to triple. The disease is debilitating for those suffering from it and places a massive emotional and financial strain on caregivers.

Stages of the Disease

There is a progressive loss of function as dementia develops. 

Early Stage: decreased ability to remember, keep appointments, travel alone, or drive

Moderate Stage: loss of the ability to perform basic daily tasks such as grooming or selecting clothes, poor judgment and impulsivity can also be symptoms

Final Stage: almost all tasks of daily living require assistance

As moderate and severe dementia often requires full time, institutional care, our strategy focuses on extending independence of those with pre and early stage dementia.


In our interviews transportation emerged as a significant burden for caregivers who are caring for someone in the early stages of the disease. It was very straining to always take time out from their schedule to drive their loved ones with dementia for various errands or to their appointments.


We propose a car service with unique features, tailored to the needs of people with dementia. 

Some of the critical features would include:

Tracking: Caregivers have direct access to the car's coordinates and can track the ride via GPS.

Door to Door: It is critical for impaired older people to be provided with door to door service.

Dash Camera: For the caregivers peace of mind, all cars are equipped with a webcam and caregivers can access a live videofeed to see the state of their loved one at any time during the ride. 

Video Conferencing: Additionally they have the option to videoconference with their loved ones during the ride. We imagine this will be valuable in a case where their loved one starts experiencing distress during the ride.

Online Training from the Dementia Care Providers of America: It is important that drivers have training to prepare them for potential communication difficulties.

Safety Locks: Drivers equip safety locks in the back during the duration of the entire trip.

We’ve filmed the short video below with actors to simulate what the experience would be like.

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

We would like to conduct a trial run of our service providing transportation for the father of one of the caregivers we interviewed during research. This will allow us to test the different features of the service and how effectively our solution provides value.

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

We are unsure if our approach should be around designing a whole new service or if we should attempt to provide an add-on or extension to an existing service like Uber or Lyft.

A few other things we are interested in getting feedback and discussing:
-Legal Issues and Liability concerns
-Value of specific features

How long has your idea existed?

  • 4 months - 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration

Tell us about your work experience:

Kinjal Shah, Scott Cowell and Tyler Gumb are a team of three graduate students currently studying Interaction Design at SVA. They have backgrounds in architecture, UX design and Alzheimer's research.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Brittany Margot

Hi Kinjal, Scott, Tyler Gumb  - 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 a user journey map and start thinking about a small experiment you could test in the next few weeks. Perhaps testing with both caregivers and care-recipients? Gathering feedback? Please reach out with questions! or feel free to email me at

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