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Team up with other Dementia caregivers using technology

We want to apply new collaboration solutions to empower caregivers to team up, share resources and information and conquer the challenges.

Photo of Ann Ting
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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?

Designed for family or professional caregivers as well as the care recipients. When care-giving, people always forget about their own care. With a team, caregivers and loved one(s) share their time to stay connected - make it both social and as part of a "treatment plan" for everyone. CareExchange platform by CareXc provides advanced features for people to effortlessly combine physical & emotional care for loved ones and self-calf, and socialize to efficiently leverage the shared time.

CareXChange platform is based on our believes that:

  • caregiving starts with a plan, 
  • in order to care for others one must first care for themselves,
  • the key element in successfully carrying out a plan by a team is to stay-connected. 

These believes are even more important for Dementia care. 

To enable easy access of a plan, CareXChange curates care plans from experts, and any experienced caregivers who are willing to share their experience, organized them into categories of health condition and care situations. Each plan provides step-by-step guidance that enable untrained caregivers to learn and care. The care plan also serves as a central hub for getting access to other information related to this care, e.g. the estimated time needed , the products or services needed. Associated with a plan, one can also do cost estimate to better understand the cost side of the care and decide a strategy for cost management.  

Not everyone can use exactly the same plan even if they have the same health problem, CareXChange enables people to easily customize the curated plan to fit their particular situation and can continue making changes over time when situation changes. Most importantly, it enables people to estimate the cost in case they have financial constraints.

It takes a village to care for a person is almost an understatement for Dementia care. That is the reason CareXChange provides the "create and manage your team" feature for people who want to use a team approach for caring out their plan. 

In our proposal for this challenge, we are heavily leveraging the team creation and management feature and its tight relationship with the plan the main family caregiver decided to use. And our solution proposes to include as many people from family members, neighbors, friends of the family, professional caregivers and their family, community group, and health networks. And the combination of how many of each type can change based on the condition and the plan tasks the team is to carry out. The main reason for proposing this more complicated and dynamic team approach is because the team members are not only caring out the plan but also part of the "treatment process" for the recipient as well as for their own self care. 

For example, they need to join the activities that can bring back good old day's "get togethers" memories, or a walk and talk in the park, or to go watch neighborhood children play at certain times, etc for the care recipients. And we also propose caregivers should more efficiently share the time for their own planned tasks too, like caregivers can use the time to carry out their own social activities of talking to their old neighborhood friends living near the recipient's house, or get their exercise goals met by taking the walk in the park with the recipient or with other caregivers. Each plan for the recipient may contain tasks that are for caregivers to accomplish their own wellbeing goals. In our solution, self-care "tasks" and for loved-one tasks are interchangeable depending on the task and the composition of the team.

When self-care tasks and caregiving tasks can be accomplished at the same time, it helps stretching the limited time each caregiver has in their busy lives.  

This would be a too complicated process if without having the patent pending technology embedded in the CareXChange platform and the self-care resources guide the platform provides that address self-care activities to enhance the physical, mental, and social well-being of the caregivers.  

CareXChange has an open architecture for integrating with other high tech solutions provided by other companies. The integrated solution will have all the capabilities for Dementia caregivers to easily and dynamically form a team, share the fun and tasks even with remote team members, and share resources different members in the team can offer to drastically reduce costs, and discuss caregiving topics using CareXChange's built in "discussion of tasks" feature. This dynamic and efficiently leverage the caregiving time approach will bring all caregivers and there loved ones the following benefits:

  •  raising the recipient's quality of care,
  •  reducing caregivers' stress, 
  •  reducing the overall time to care for the loved ones and be able to do self-care at the same time,
  •  and significantly reducing cost by swapping various resources.

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

We are in the process of planning a trial of our solution with a local senior community residents and their children to understand the difficulties and benefits of using a team approach. Furthermore, we want to get some validation and feedback on the design of the team-work process.

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

Communication is key in a team-based activity plan. For OpenIDEO community people the following can make this solution stronger as well as increasingly advanced and better going forward: - those who provide advanced communication mechanisms especially those that are instant or the mechanisms that are suitable for different age groups - those who provide content management that can help caregivers' self-care, or better organize CareXC's total care plan - those who provide analytic solutions.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration

Tell us about your work experience:

I have a PhD in C.S. Twenty+years in hi-tech industry founded two software companies. After struggling to be a "good" caregiver for three of my loved ones, I founded CareXc to provide a virtual village for other caregivers who are facing similar situations. This solution is an application of CareXc.

Attachments (1)

The On-Line Village For Caregivers and Their Loved Ones.pdf

This document contains the detailed design principle, user experience design and technology of the CareXChange platform which provides the foundation for offering this "Team Up with other Dementia caregivers using technology solution". CareXChange is the winner of the AARP 2017 Innovation Champion for Care Coordination.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Joanna Spoth

Hi Ann Ting ,

We'd love more information on your idea. What does the user experience look like? What are tangible ways in which the platform helps us care for loved ones and ourselves?

Photo of Ann Ting

Hi Joanna,
Thanks for your comments and interests in learning more about our solution. Both questions are now better explained in the solution entry updated today and a document attached.
This solution is based on CareXc's CareXChange platform. So the User Experience is designed for "global use". That is, users can use it on a device they most familiar with, PC, Laptop, mobile phone, pad, etc. Furthermore, we want to take advantage of other advanced tools to further make it easy for users to use their type of mechanisms to join the care activities. There are three areas of functions: the browsing of the curated plan will be like browsing a Web page, with the additional feature of we divide the plans into user situation and disease/health condition for easier searching and accessing the content when they want to browse only plans that address their condition. It is a CareXc total plan in it has not only the tasks of a plan but also resources needed for caring out the plan all in one page (with three different tabs). This User experience design is to address the issue of when user goes on Internet to directly search for these information, they will be going to multiple pages which is not only time wasting but frustrating if one forgets where was the previous page they saw.
On the team creation and management area, again as these are tied to the plan the team will be carrying out, so the linked information is for easier access. The same design principle applies to the products needs page associated with the plan. Current Beta page, can give a glance of these pages if you register. And I can do a demo if there are further interests or questions.

Photo of Joanna Spoth

Thanks for the response, Ann Ting and for the incredible work you're doing in the space.  

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