A collaborative economy app for informal caregivers to help and tackle issues that they can have
Informal Caregiving is becoming more and more commonplace in Ireland today, with people taking on responsibility for caring for their family and loved ones at home full-time, rather than having them admitted to a hospital, clinic or nursing home. The 2016 census showed that a total of 195,263 people in Ireland are providing unpaid care.
Many of these people are thrust into full-time caring out of necessity with no experience or training and without realising the massive impact that the work will have on their health, their mental well-being and their life in general, the goal of my FYP is to create an application to support caregivers in an attempt to alleviate at least some of the stress of their work. I had a particular interest in pursuing this topic as my own aunt has been a full-time informal caregiver for both of my grandparents for nearly 5 years now and so I have experienced first-hand, the struggle to adjust to this new life-style and the day to day hardships that she faced and still faces now in her work.
I needed to explore and gain a deep understanding of the research and development that has already focused on carers while also working one-on-one with an experienced caregiver to employ participatory design methodology in an attempt to create a solution that is tailored to the user and the greater communities’ needs. My goal was to develop a high fidelity, working prototype produced through co-design that leverages the collaborative economy to help tackle some of the issues faced by members of the informal caregiving community.
Advocare, the final prototype is an application based around aiding in organisation and collaboration between caregivers and their support network and hopes to provide an opportunity to interact with and learn from one-another through the included forums.