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Provide Better Alzheimer's / Dementia Care & Caregiver Cost Planning with Genivity (Updated 12/22 - Caregiver Feedback)

Genivity helps caregivers protect their retirement and care for loved ones by planning financially for health risks & care costs.

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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?

Caregivers as a group spend $190 billion annually on out-of-pocket, care-related costs, and 66% of them feel they could use financial advice, according to a new Merrill Lynch study. The report finds caregivers on average spend $7,000 on caregiving per year, which goes toward paying for personal, medical and household needs. While Alzheimer’s/dementia caregivers spend, on average, 54% more. Genivity helps caregivers understand and plan early for care costs to help protect their financial future.


Genivity HALO is a consumer-facing assessment that takes minutes to get started. The assessment results in pinpointing a client’s risk when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer's disease along with the related out-of-pocket and long-term care costs. 

Built by trusted experts with backgrounds in genetics, data science, medical sales and health IT, HALO shows the number of active healthy years a client has to look forward to left as well as the number of years they will potentially need additional assistance with daily activities of living (DAL) based on their family history and lifestyle. 

This helps the caregiver and their financial advisor build a more comprehensive financial plan together that addresses the caregiver's care needs and costs and that plan can be extended out to family members the client may also be responsible for from a caregiving perspective. 


HALO arms clients and their families with a full picture of the family’s hereditary history and potential health risks, allowing them to engage the whole family in: 

  • Decisions about caregiving, end-of-life decisions and support
  • Long-term care costs and projected years long-term disability
  • Out-of-pocket and long-term care cost options

HALO also helps a family's financial advisor become a part of the first alert care team. Often, financial advisors are the first to notice when a health issue is affecting their client. If they don't have an existing relationship with the family previously, they have no way to flag any potential issues with them when concerned about a client's changing behaviors. 

By talking to the family early about health issues, if something comes up, they now have a relationship and way to notify the family that something is amiss. This is especially critical with the escalation in elder financial abuse.

Balancing life as a caregiver: Genivity's 3-pronged support system: 

Care for Yourself, Care for your Loved One, Care for Each Other 

Caregiver Journey with Genivity 

The process of being a caregiver is ongoing and our approach to helping caregivers is cyclical:  

1) Planning and Preparing as an Individual = Genivity HALO 

2) Preparing to be a Caregiver = Genivity Caregiver Education Partnership with CaregiverReality

3) Memory Bonding + Positive Family Experiences = GenivityFamily 

These three components build upon one another to create a robust caregiver experience for anyone who has a family member or loved one suffering from dementia, providing support to both family caregivers and those they love throughout their caregiver journey.  

The process of being a dementia caregiver is ongoing and our approach to helping family caregivers is constantly evolving based on the everyday experiences of real family caregivers.

How Genivity Works 

Let’s dive into each one a little deeper and see how this three-pronged approach can help those with a loved one who’s been diagnosed with dementia.  

Planning and Preparing as an Individual 

As a caregiver, one of the primary people you should be taking care of is yourself. Studies have shown that caregivers of those with dementia face their own health and financial challenges that can be directly tied to the burden of caregiving.  

HALO by Genivity is one way that caregivers can begin to take care of themselves – starting with their financial security and health. HALO gives caregivers a way to understand their overall health and wealth by providing an individualized report that explains their current situation and provides a starting point for them to talk with their advisor about how to best plan for their future. 

HALO guides caregivers through understanding how their health and wealth are connected together (healthier choices and behaviors can positively reduce disease risk which can minimize those care costs).  HALO specifically focuses in on three key areas that provide high-impact information with actionable next steps: 

Out-of-Pocket Care Costs – HALO gives a structured and clear breakdown of what the caregiver’s out-of-pocket costs will be for the rest of their projected lifespan, given their current risk factors for developing disease and needing care due to lifestyle factors.  

Assisted Care Costs – Beyond out-of-pocket health care costs, HALO also determines the caregiver’s cost of eldercare for themselves. This looks at the different care and cost options across in-home, assisted living, and nursing home care. 

Projected Lifespan and Quality of Life – An easy-to-understand timeline is also made available for caregivers so they can see how their retirement goals align with their projected lifespan, active working years, active retirement years, assisted years (projected years of needing help with DAL), and years lost. 

All this information enables caregivers to plan ahead and make better decisions about how much they should be setting aside to save for their medical and care costs in retirement and sets a realistic expectation for what they should expect given their behavior and disease risk factors. HALO provides preventive care recommendations including information on how introducing healthy behaviors can reduce their risk so they have the information necessary to get started.   

Preparing to be a Caregiver 

Throughout the process of preparing their personal health and financial future, future caregivers must also prepare to become caregivers – it’s not a given that someone will know how to care for a loved one suffering from dementia.  

To help with this process, we’ve partnered with CaregiverReality, an organization dedicated to educating family members and others on how to become an effective caregiver no matter what stage they are at in the process. We’ve created materials that allow family members to self-select the stage they’re in and we meet them where they are. Our Caregiver 101 resources include:

Our Caregiver 101 resources include:

We believe that education is a core part of becoming an effective caregiver and enables them to avoid burnout and added stress from the additional responsibility.  

Memory Bonding + Creating Positive Family Experiences 

Now that the caregiver is on a path to caring for themselves as well as learning how to care for their loved one, they can begin to think about how to make the most of the time they have together. Connecting with a loved one who has dementia has many challenges, but when you’re able to create a connection, it can make for lasting memories that are documented for the following generations. These moments of bonding can also create a positive experience for those who are feeling burdened by caregiving. 

Beyond being a positive experience, it’s also important to gather relevant family health history and financial information while your loved one is still able to share it. This is especially helpful for learning about their parents or grandparents from a few generations back and preserving those memories while the loved one is still in the early stages of Alzheimer's / dementia. Using GenivityFamily, caregivers can sit down with their loved one and create a living record of the wealth of knowledge they hold and preserving it for future generations. 

GenivityFamily captures a full record of information for any member in your family, including allergies, medications, diseases, vital signs, important life events, important documents including advanced directives, medical power of attorney, insurance information and more. Taking the time to communicate with your family member who’s been diagnosed with dementia can give them an opportunity to tell you their story while you record their history. A bonding experience for both. 


HALO Caregiver Feedback 

For the refinement phase of the challenge, we wanted to focus on getting caregiver feedback on our existing HALO solution and then creating a roadmap for iterations and visuals based on that feedback.  

Caregiver Feedback Process 

To start the caregiver feedback process, our team drafted a set of questions and prompts as well as a script that would allow us to ensure the feedback process was consistent, regardless of which team member was leading it.  

You can view the script we used and the questions and prompts here

As a general overview, here’s what the process looked like in action: 

  1. Have the user take the HALO assessment with the Genivity team member in the room.  
  2. Monitor and note their interactions with HALO. 
    1. Gauge first impression. 
    2. Note any difficulties or confusion for the caregiver. 
    3. Review post-assessment questions with the caregiver.  
    4. Understand where they found the most value. 
    5. Know where they see room for improvement or additional value adds.
    6. Understand their role in caregiving and how the information from the assessment would allow them to better support their role as a caregiver.  
  3. Debrief with the Genivity team on the responses, taking note of any patterns in behavior or feedback to help define the product development roadmap.  

Takeaways from CaREGIVER Feedback 

Though we had a small sample size for this round of caregiver feedback, we were able to discover areas for improvement and pin down deliverables associated with those improvements.  

Key takeaways from this round of feedback include: 

  • Caregivers like how HALO takes a more laid-back approach to tough questions. Like the light-hearted tone. 
  • The outputs, including projected lifespan (including the breakdown of active years vs. assisted years) and out-of-pocket care costs allowed caregivers to see the reality of their potential future situation and gave them information to help them prepare.  
  • Caregivers need more context around whom to share the information with and what the next steps are once receiving their information. Though HALO is intended for financial planning, users saw more potential in people they could share it with to help prepare for caregiving for someone with dementia.  
  • If not directed to do so, some of the interactivity of the results screen is not immediately clear to users. Should have some type of direction for the user so they can see all the information available to them on the results screen. 
  • The report is a bit text-heavy. It’s a lot of information to digest and careviers need guidance on what they are looking at.  
  • Caregivers need more context around some of the questions in HALO. Learning more about the ‘why?’ of some of the disease questions would help users answer more accurately.  

Mocks for Iterations to Address CAREGIVER Feedback

A few of the items that the Genivity team felt were most pressing from the caregiver feedback were: 

  • Improving the readability of the HALO report. 
  • Focusing more on the ‘why?’ of the questions.  
  • Showing details in an easier to understand way. 

To those points, we drafted several ideas and mocks to address these issues. We’ve compiled these changes in a document that you can view here

1. Caregiver input snapshot that shows the caregiver the details that we used to calculate their results. This would be used in the HALO report in lieu of a bulleted list. 

2. Adding a ‘Why it Matters’ section to each slide of the HALO assessment to provide more context to caregivers. 

3. Creating charts for some of our information, including our Probability of Living to… calculation.  

As a team, we will continue to identify these areas for improvement and get continuous caregiver feedback to ensure we are always closing the loop on what caregivers truly need and offering solutions to solve those needs.  

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

While many aspects of caregiving have been previously studied, financial caregiving remains largely unexamined. We are currently working with financial advisors who are interested in providing caregiving and care planning solutions to their clients. We want to more closely track results from these planning conversations to show how this risk information helps caregivers save more today for retirement so their own care needs will be covered after caregiving.

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

Feedback on our caregiver experience and help with how to display care cost and disability information in a sensitive yet educational way to families. Health care costs are a top fear of pre-retirees and we need help and guidance on how to personalize that information to caregivers so that they prioritize taking care of their health and making sure they are also protected financially.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

Heather leads the vision for Genivity and focuses on product design, business development, and fundraising. She brings a decade of sales, marketing and market development experience to Genivity from her time in the medical device industry working for Medtronic & Abbott Vascular.

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

We want to make sure no one runs out of money in retirement because of unforeseen medical expenses. Genivity helps caregivers protect themselves financially so they can stay on track with their own retirement planning while still being able to provide and pay for care for their loved one suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia.

How does your idea demonstrate our Criteria of Accessibility?

HALO by Genivity is a scalable solution that is flexible in its application. As such, HALO is something that employers would implement as part of their wellness programs to enable broad access to our solution. The cost of implementation would fall to organizations and companies as part of their benefits and ongoing care of employees and their families.

How does your idea demonstrate or plan to demonstrate scalability?

Due to the flexible nature of the HALO by Genivity solution, it can be easily scaled to reach large audiences. The solution can be embedded directly on an organization's website (or hosted by Genivity) to give full and immediate access to anyone with the unique URL.

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

We measure the impact of HALO for caregivers in several ways: The first metric is usage. We look at how many people are using HALO from a specific organization as well as how many people start the assessment yet never finish. This enables us to understand where we can better improve our experience and how well its being promoted by the organization. The second metric, which relates directly to caregivers, is tracking their immediate next step. Whether with a financial planner or with

What are your immediate next steps after the Challenge?

The Genivity team is currently working with large financial institutions to roll out HALO to a large audience of their advisors and, in turn, their clients. In addition, Genivity is working with large organizations to roll out the HALO solution with HR departments as part of corporate wellness initiatives. From a technology standpoint, Genivity recently brought on a highly-experienced CTO who is leading the way for integrations with other platforms to help scale quickly.

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Photo of Molly Oberholtzer

Hi Heather Holmes it was really helpful to see your most recent mockup document to get an idea of what the idea looks and feels like. The "why it matters" section is a great addition for educating caregivers with highly relevant information-- budgeting & bottom line. Great work, I hope to be able to use it in the future!

Photo of Heather Holmes

Thank you so much Molly for your feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to review our updates and share your thoughts. We're looking forward to taking the next steps with this project and helping families everywhere care and protect the ones they love.

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