The first co-design workshops for Our Care Journal were held in March in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Carers gave us a tonne of wonderful input to make our app even more person-centred and human in its approach to design. As well as wanting to make sure there was information about the person being cared for, carers have confirmed how important it is to connect with other carers, as peers and sources of support and information. We'll be integrating functions that support carers to connect and also to be able to access important information they need to undertake care. Being a carer often means living with unpredictability and a need to remain flexible to change plans at any time. Large parts of the day are spent managing practical issues (transport; parking and mobility; arrangements within a care plan). Overall, carers described scheduling, planning and coordinating as being central concepts to helping someone live an independent and fulfilling life.
New app under development to support carers
Carers are being asked to participate in the design of a mobile app with the potential to help coordinate care better.
Brisbane-based startup, The Ageing Revolution received an $80,500 Advancing Queensland Age-Friendly Community grant from the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, to develop the app called Our Care Journal.
"Our Care Journal will give carers an easier way to coordinate and record vital information, such as medications, appointments, contacts and nutritional information, as well as other essential information about the person they are caring for, such as their habits, likes and dislikes,” said Leonie Sanderson, Director and co-founder of The Ageing Revolution.
“We have recruited a number of carers to participate in co-design workshops being conducted by The Ageing Revolution in partnership with researchers from the QUT Design Lab, at Queensland University of Technology’s Brisbane city campus on 20 March 2018.
"These workshops will be essential to ensure the app fits the needs of real people in the real world," Ms Sanderson said. "It’s important to include the voice of lived experience in our design to make sure it’s supporting the needs of carers."
The Ageing Revolution also hopes to use the app to enable carers to connect with other carers who understand their situation and can offer support.
It is estimated that Queensland's 484,000 plus carers contribute around $8.3 billion to the state's economy each year, yet many labour in isolation with only limited support and resources.
"We need a way of helping our carers coordinate the information they need, stay connected with their community and form supportive networks," said Simon Lowe, The Ageing Revolution’s other co-founder and Director.
"This is one of the key things we want to achieve through Our Care Journal.
"Caring better for people, especially older people in their home for longer delivers many benefits at the individual and social levels," Mr Lowe said.
"It can increase the well-being of ageing Queenslanders, make our communities more age friendly and also potentially provide economic wins for the state's healthcare system."
For more information please contact:
Mr Simon Lowe
0420 739 699
Ms Leonie Sanderson
0437 637 033
www.theageingrevolution.com or www.ourcarejournal.com
We're looking for carers to attend our Co-designing Care workshop at QUT Kelvin Grove on Tuesday 20 March. To register, just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0420 739 699 for more information or register at Eventbrite
In 2017, we won a Queensland Government grant to work on our idea for a mobile app aimed at helping older people and their carers. We've got the ball rolling, given it a name (for now), and done some work based on our research with people round Australia and our expertise in developing apps, but because we believe that products and services should meet the needs of those who use them, we're asking you to get involved even more.
If you're a carer, we'd like to invite you to come to a co-design workshop (fancy words for bringing together people who know caring with people who know design, that's where QUT come in) to improve care.
We'd also love to you to come along and get involved if you're a recipient of care. We know that sometimes that's not always possible, but we'll do everything we can to make sure that you, as a person being cared for, can have your say too.
Don't leave it too late to register - there's a little bit of homework for participants to complete before attending. Reserve your place now for this very special workshop.
Thanks to the Queensland Government, we're beginning our journey to develop a new mobile application. We're going to use this blog to document our journey, our challenges and achievements along the way. We hope it will be interesting and informative, and will become a way to encourage others to embark on the social business path. Stay tuned!