At the end of a life, there are many feelings involved from all sides and it can be complex to maneuver from all parties involved, from the caregiver to the patient to the family members.
While connectedness is a critical part of living, when someone is near the end of their life, they might feel distant, disconnected, loneliness from those around them. The caregivers and the family members too will feel these disconnected feelings and misunderstanding will happen if complex feelings are not brought up and addressed.
This wearable device could be high tech, or low tech where there are a set group of basic emotions such as Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, Fear, (this is from the movie Inside Out, but research can be done to decide which emotions to use in this device) plus one called "Ask Me" where the user would use the hand on the wearable emotional clock to indicate how he/she is feeling at the moment. There could be 2 hands, one for a primary feeling and one for a secondary feeling.
Before anyone interacts with each other, but especially on the part of the caregiver and family member, they should indicate how they are feeling at the moment, and try to be honest to themselves about it. Then, they can approach the patient and ask how the patient is feeling and start a conversation based on the wearable emotional clock that the patient is wearing. Based on that, the caregiver or family member can also share their own feelings, displaying their own vulnerabilities, and forge a connection when both sides have shared how they truly feel.
This is also an opportunity to provide whatever support all sides can give to one another. For example if the patient was feeling particularly angry or sad, and if the caregiver is also angry and sad, they can commiserate together and share about how they have gotten out of those feelings in the past. If one side feels joyful and the other side does, this is also an opportunity to "cheer" the other person up by talking about gratitude and sharing joy.
Through talking about feelings and connecting based on feelings after both sides have shown their feelings by wearing it, this is a chance to lift the other person up, or work together to lift both sides up, or simply to be there and cry together because sadness is also a natural feeling to have.
All parties involved should attend a workshop either together or in 3 separate groups (for Caregivers, for Patient, for Family members) to learn about the device, and how to use it to foster connectedness. This workshop could be devised by the company with the wearable device, and based on research, and be led by competent people in the field of human emotions. This could be trained.
-This idea was formed at a @NYCOpenIDEO popup session-