Visionary Award Nominee: Naomi Bourgeois

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Visionary Award Nominee: Naomi Bourgeois

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Nominated by: Jessica Martinsen

Tell us about the nominee's caregiving story.
Naomi Bourgeois lost her husband Greg, six years ago after he succumbed to cancer. She cared for him through the grueling process of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and through complications associated with these treatments. Their two young children were only two and four years old at the time, she had a full-time career to keep, and a household to maintain, all while she was caring for her husband.

At the onset of Greg’s diagnosis and again after his death, many of Naomi and Greg’s friends and family came together to offer help. However, at the onset of difficult situations, we often don’t know what we need and feel too overwhelmed, but this is when friends and family are offering help the most. Often by the time we realize the kind of help we need, friends and family have understandably moved on with their own lives and asking for help at that point is even more difficult. Naomi experienced these gaps and inefficiencies in the way people give and receive help during challenging times while caring for her husband. In the lives of caregivers, this is very common and because of her experience, Naomi decided to create a company to make giving and receiving help easier, better, and more practical.

Tell us about the support the nominee provides. What makes it innovative? How has the support made caregiving easier or better?
Naomi created a company called Kikupal to change the way we support caregivers in the most significant way… by helping them with the daily tasks that can be delegated and profoundly impacting the quality of life of both caregivers and their loved ones. On average, caregivers spend 13 days a month on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication, but most of these tasks can be delegated giving the caregiver more time to use on tasks that cannot be delegated and/or more time to care for themselves.

Kikupal (Kiku means listening in Japanese) is an online platform for caregivers to bank the goodwill of help being offered to them by their families, friends, coworkers, and members of their community. The practical help includes the delegation of day-to-day tasks such house cleaning, lawn care, meal delivery, rides, and concierge services. These services are gifted to caregivers from their support network in the form of Kikupoints (1 Kikupoint equaling 1 dollar). The caregivers get to bank the goodwill of help when people are offering it, exchange the points for services, and decide which service they need and when.

How does the nominee inspire others?
Naomi has not only inspired me, but hundreds of others with her ability to turn heartache and loss into something useful and meaningful for caregivers and grievers. Naomi's innovative solution as well as her resilience and compassion, have impacted our community and the way we view helping each other. Naomi understands the needs of caregivers and is passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of those experiencing similar situations.

Please provide testimonials of family caregivers or former family caregivers who benefit from this support.
The following testimonials are from caregivers who see the value that Kikupal provides.

This testimonial is from someone who was caring for a terminally ill parent:
"...I haven’t eaten, the dogs were not fed, the house was a mess, there were no groceries, the trash hasn’t been take out, the lawn was a mess… you’re not thinking about them being done… they just weren’t being thought of, but somebody thought of them for me, which was nice for our family…"
- Gregg A

This testimonial was from someone who didn't know how to help a friend who had just lost a loved one:
"You let the person decide in their grieving process when they are ready to receive that gift and do something with it."
-Ross S

This testimonial was from someone in his 60s caring for a newborn baby.
“You are not always going to know what a person needs. You are not going to know exactly what they are going through...if there is somebody you care about or someone you know, and they need help… you help!"
- Manuel Z




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