|From pg 4 of "Challenging Innovators"|
"Challenging Innovators: Matching offerings to the needs of older adults" by Laurie Orlov, sponsored by AARP's Thought Leadership group, and
|From pg 2 of "Catalyzing Technology"|
Both reports are based on expert opinion (as opposed to survey data), and seem to be primarily geared towards helping entrepreneurs develop better solutions related to the care of aging adults. (Note: the NAC report isn't specifically about caring for older adults, but acknowledges that much family caregiving activity is driven by the needs of older adults.)
Although these reports are worth reading, I'll admit that they both left me a bit perplexed and dissatisfied.
Undoubtedly this is partly because the authors -- and the primary intended audience -- are not "people like me."
Meaning they aren't practicing clinicians or academic experts embedded within geriatrics divisions, or even healthcare improvement circles.
The AARP report is very "business-y", and the NAC report seems to have purposefully excluded the perspective of healthcare professionals. (Perhaps to counter the way that healthcare professionals have historically dominated conversations about aging and caregiving?)
But let's set the needs of doctors and quality improvers aside for now. In the end, this is supposed to be about helping people, right? As in, helping patients, helping older adults, and helping the families and friends and many others -- like front-line clinicians -- who help them.
So, I tried to think of older adults and their caregivers as I read these reports. And I found myself still struggling to see just how these ideas and approaches were going to turn into materially better experiences for the patients and caregivers I work with.
Failure of my imagination? Or weakness of the proposed ideas and conceptual foundations?
Janny: A real boomer who could use tech help for aging and caregiving
Personally, when I find myself getting confused by concepts and improvement ideas, I resort to the concrete.
As in, I think of people I know who have common problems, and need help. And then I try to follow a mental path from some entrepreneur's ideas to actual help for an older person, and/or the family.
This week I read about a family caregiver, whose problems are very common. Her handle is "Janny57" and I read about her situation on the AgingCare.com caregiver forum. (Now there is a GREAT way to learn about what family caregivers are struggling with: read the questions they post on active forums.)
Last week, Janny57 posted asking if anyone else had left husband and kids to care for a parent.