Vote for Your Favorite Caregiving Innovation


Vote for Your Favorite Caregiving Innovation

As part of our Second Annual National Caregiving Conference, we’re co-hosting the Second Annual National Caregiving Technology and Product Pitch Event with Aging 2.0 Chicago.. Our contest began with our call for caregiving innovators to to share a product, service, device or technology which can solve one of these three pressing problems family caregivers face:

  1. loneliness;

  2. financial strain;

  3. worries about a caree’s safety and well-being, including a way to track a caree’s daily condition.

We’re now ready to vote! You’ll want to choose your favorite product, service, device or idea from our entries. Watch the videos, below, and then cast your vote in our poll at the bottom of this post. Remember, you’re voting for your top choice which solves a family caregiver’s loneliness or financial strain or worries about a caree’s safety and well-being. You can only vote once for your top choice.

Voting ends at Midnight (Eastern time) on Friday, September 22.

The three entries that receive the most votes will receive a free exhibit table at our Second Annual National Caregiving Conference. At the conference we’ll vote for our favorite of the three and announce the winner on November 11 during our conference closing session. The contest winner receives $250 in cash and will be featured on and on an episode of Your Caregiving Journey, our Internet talk show. (Already have a product or service that helps or support family caregivers? Join us as an exhibitor or sponsor at NCC17.)

1. Whitney Bischoff

Our family of caregivers needed an immediate resource to help us with organizing our parent's care when emergency surgery was performed and the household routine was interrupted. We repurposed a family organizer app to assist us in coordinating caregiving appointments, events, and schedules. Sharing the joys and challenges of caregiving helped each of us feel less isolated. Having readily retrievable information about medications and medical history to facilitate timely medical care and avoid duplication in tests or delays in treatment saved both time and money. Using the app, family members chronicled our parents' daily lives and visitors. We could share pictures and documents. It helped all of us feel that we contributed to the care and comfort of our parents in their final years.

2. Cheryl Ginnings Consultant & Coach

Because there are so many caregivers (43.5 million in US unpaid last year) who are lonely and isolated I started a club where people can connect with one another and find out about what others have done that might help them. I also have a radio program on Monday nights at 9 pm on that is to encourage caregivers. I want to know what gives them courage to handle the challenge and what they learned others need to know. I have over 68 programs on there to listen to.

3. GreyMatters Care LLC

GreyMatters is a tablet application that aims to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers. Through an interactive life storybook, paired with music & games, the app helps patients and families preserve yesterday's memories, as well as share today's joyful moments. With a strong belief that people with dementia are "still here," GreyMatters taps into the abilities that remain to keep individuals engaged and connected.

GreyMatters was inspired by Jenny’s late grandmother, Frieda, who suffered from vascular dementia for six years. Unable to care for herself anymore, her family took on this caregiving role, and Jenny experienced what an enormous challenge this condition was for everyone involved. As too many families know, dementia is not only devastating for the patient, but also extremely hard on family caregivers – and there are an estimated 15 million of them in the U.S. Often baby boomers looking after parents, or spouses caring for partners, their daily demands, shifting roles, and many other stresses are physically, emotionally, and financially challenging.

Despite her grandmother’s decline, Jenny witnessed how Frieda’s long term memory, language and spirit could be drawn out dramatically through simple triggers like photos from youth, familiar music, and early life stories. As a graphic designer, Jenny set out to create a user-friendly product that would make it easier to draw out these remaining – yet often hidden – abilities in people with dementia, and help family members of all ages connect with loved ones, ultimately reducing caregiver stress & improving quality of life.

GreyMatters Promo Video from Jennifer Rozbruch on Vimeo.

4. Hands-Free LLC

Our innovative product is Quikiks -The first fully supportive, totally hands-free operable footwear that allow people with various physical and cognitive challenges to easily step into the shoes and have them securely fasten without the need to bend over our use their hands. Getting out is easy too -just strike the heel on the floor and the back opens up allowing the wearer to slip their foot out. Quikiks can improve the quality-of-life, independence and self-esteem for its users, because they won't have to rely on a caregiver to put their shoes on for them.

But what benefits do Quikiks have for the caregiver? Well, for the caregivers of the 50 million people in the U.S. who struggle with putting on their shoes, the obvious benefits are that it will save the caregiver time and an aching back from putting on and taking off the shoes for their loved one. But more importantly, Quikiks can give the caregiver greater peace of mind knowing that their loved one can get in and out of proper supportive, securely fastening footwear on their own -instead of being relegated to shuffling around in their bedroom slippers, flip-flops, Crocs or going barefoot -and by doing so, increasing their risk of having a slip and fall injury by 1000%!

The statistics related to slip and fall accidents are horrific. Slip and falls result in about 28,000 deaths per year in older adults and are the cause of 95% of the hip fractures that occur. And 50% of older adults hospitalized with a hip fracture are unable to return home or live independently again. Knowing that a caree can easily and independently don and doff good supportive, securely fastening footwear can help alleviate a caregiver's worries about their loved one's safety and well-being by decreasing the odds of them becoming another tragic slip and fall statistic.

5. Mr. Bill P Designs

We are launching the first design which is the Child’s design urinal cover here is the first prototype the idea is to create a material that covers the urinal easy access to remove for measurement and visual assessments. Also material has to be able to warm to the skin and other body parts. We are working on many different options.

This product can assist carees have fun and not feel all alone.
This product/company could inspire other carees create their own purpose or business.
This Product will help Caregivers keep track of the carees mood, attitude on a daily basis.
Bill has been an amazing step-father and has always love children and a great teacher and motivator. This product will make the subject of being sick lighter.

6. Selfhelp Community Services

The VSC provides a platform for that efficient delivery of care. Increasingly, more services will be provided through services based upon technology. The VSC is unique in that its design is focused on the user experience of the older adult, rather than the “coolness” of the technology. As a result, it is more easily adopted by older adults and therefore can be of greater benefit to them and those that provide care to those older adults. Upon opening the VSC computer application from an All-in-One computer or tablet, users encounter a senior-friendly interface. They can navigate using a touchscreen, and are also provided with a large-print keyboard and a webcam. From the welcome screen, users can view the class schedule, join a class, see the news and weather, or play a social game. Programs are available in four languages (English, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean). When users join a class, they see all the other participants and the class facilitator, and they are visible as well. This is the core feature of the VSC. It improves users' feelings of connection to others because they can see, hear and talk to each other in real time, without leaving their homes.

Classes are taught on a variety of topics by volunteer facilitators, including VSC members. Cultural experiences include curated museum tours and concerts. These serve to engage participants in discussion, where they can share their opinions and hear the reactions from a group of their peers - which is otherwise not possible when isolated in their homes. Caregivers using the system will be able to access specific supportive classes, including fitness, mind/body classes, stress reduction, tips & tricks for caregiving, health literacy programs, and identifying resources, as well as support groups led by a social worker, and opportunities for one-on-one discussion with social workers. They will also have the opportunity to volunteer to facilitate classes themselves.

These classes, and the overall structure of the VSC Caregiver Channel, will be designed to address specific concerns associated with caregiver burden by providing specific information, emotional support, and opportunities for engagement with the outside world.

7. thriveosity

Dr. Trivedi-Purohit needed to find an easy way to fill the gaps in chronic medical and cancer care to meet patients’ and caregivers' medical, personal and emotional needs. She conceived an idea of helping patients recover and obtain the highest possible quality of life by delivering meaningful and functional care packages that address the various needs of patients from intellectual stimulation to symptom management. She filled her packages with items chosen through research in areas where patients need the most support beyond medical care: nutrition, cognition, skin-care, aromatherapy and the basics, which include comfort items and other essentials. She says, “Each box has items to help patients manage their symptoms and feel supported in order to normalize their experience in some ways because it feels so abnormal.”

Ordering a thriveosity box for a patient allows loved ones to contribute to recovery in a meaningful way. The packages not only directly benefit those receiving them, but also benefit organizations involved in cancer research and patient advocacy. Thriveosity donates portions of the proceeds from each box to organizations fighting to make cancer a thing of the past.

While thriveosity began as a way to provide greater support to cancer patients, it has expanded to include support for caregivers as well. The idea behind caregiver boxes is to make the caregiver feel supported and appreciated and to help combat burnout.

“We know that caregivers play a critical role in the entire treatment and recovery process of a patient and they really need a lot of support themselves,” says Trivedi-Purohit. “It’s almost like you’re giving them permission to take care of themselves when you deliver something in a box to them. When we provide people with the tools and information to guide them, they will take the reins from there.”
Dr. Trivedi-Purohit is also actively developing partnerships with long-term care facilities, hospitals and cancer centers to enhance their offerings to their patient populations. Medical facilities see thriveosity as a way to increase their continuum of care between touchpoints, provide a comprehensive approach to treatments as well as a major point of differentiation for institutions. Furthermore, care providers and patient experience officers have requested care packages for other chronic populations such as diabetes, cardiac, surgical centers, and even for their own employees.

8. Karin Zirk

The Imaginal Mythology Workshop for Caregivers is on-line workshop based on research in mythology, depth psychology, and caregiver well-being performed as part of my doctoral dissertation. As a family caregiver for fourteen years, this project is very personal to me. My research concludes that participation in the workshop creates a community of caregivers who use the wisdom in age-old stories to process feelings about caregiving, reduce loneliness, and imagine new perspectives in all aspects of our lives.

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Congrats to our winners:\r\n\r\nGreyMatters Care LLC\r\nHands-Free LLC\r\nSelfhelp Community Services\r\n\r\nThanks so much to all who entered! We are grateful for your work to make caregiving easier.