CareWheels Interdependent Care (I-Care) for Aging in Place
“With so much evidence in its favor and with everyone from Einstein to Jobs in its corner, why, then, is questioning underappreciated in business, undertaught in schools, and underutilized in our everyday lives?”
― Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
Aging in Place Influencer, Claude Goodman has a Beautiful Question:
What if to remain Independent, we had to be more Inter-dependent?
At first glance it appears to be a paradox—an unlikely Paring. Further, to answer his own question he embraces yet another paradox, that is, the marriage of technology and touch. What if we employed simple technology to monitor daily activities and overlaid it with face-to-face services?
CareWheels Interdependent Care (I-Care)
The Why / What If / How…? Of CareWheels
To fulfill our AiP desires and needs in the personal, familial and societal dimensions.
To preserve elders’ natural rhythms and quality of life within the home and community.
To provide meaningful transition paths that uphold dignity, self-efficacy and social connections.
To cope with the demands of an expanding elder cohort and aging society that is historically unique in terms of longevity and high ratio of elders to the total population, including caregivers as depicted by the inverting Population Pyramid.
We are indeed the ones that we have been waiting for.
We believe that altruism is the guiding principle and act according to the Golden Rule.
We have the necessary technology and realize that the challenge is updating people’s attitudes.
We can help people achieve lifestyle change by realizing that they are already part way there. (Idea comes from Behavioral Economics, in response to Rama’s “a journey without an end.”)
We take better care of ourselves by caring for each other. (Enlightened self-interest)
By making good use of all that we have, we will have what we need. (Regard elders as assets)
Preserving the natural rhythms of life by observing daily patterns with sensing technology, quantify them, then employ (and enjoy) the data to optimize and ultimately preserve them.
Propagating the Interdependence Meme based on Golden Rule:
To remain independent, we become more interdependent by doing unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.
The benefits of Interdependent Care are transformative – bringing greater comfort, safety, self-efficacy and joy to people who are aging-in-place together by choice and/or necessity. We may cultivate greater interdependence and help redistribute scarce health care resources more equitably across our society by empowering people with technology to build peer support networks that convert our surplus human capital into social capital through CareBanking – a combination of TeleCare and TimeBanking.
Our society has insufficient resources to provide institutional care services for every elder, nor does every elder want them. Increasing dependence on increasingly costly professional services leads to financial hardship and social isolation, which breeds fear, loneliness and its associated co-morbidities including: self-neglect, substance abuse and suicide. Social connectedness and community involvement are two of the most powerful determinants of health and well-being. We can overcome social isolation by sharing the benefits of interdependence, an effective strategy to support successful aging-in-place.
CareBanking facilitates these benefits by empowering elders to provide affordable mutual care services, engaging them as assets to exchange services based on their abilities. CareBanking is scalable from the neighborhood level to the greater community, complementing and strengthening existing health care services by harnessing elders’ potential abilities to provide the only resource great enough to scale-up and meet the growing needs of our aging society. Indeed we are the ones we’ve been waiting for!
Claude A. Goodman founded CareWheels in 2001. He is a Gerontechnologist, trained in Biomedical Engineering, with 7 U.S. patents and experience in health sciences research, development and technology transfer as a guest scientist at the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is a member of LeadingAge and the Oregon Gerontological Association.
CareWheels.org is a §501(c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation developing technology empowered services to help people live safely with utmost independence by keeping elders, their families and professional care teams connected and informed of their well-being. Founded in 2001, with research grant funding from the Intel Research Council and additional grants from the National Institutes of Health, CareWheels has participated in founding the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology at Oregon Health & Science University and the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License by Claude A. Goodman, President, CareWheels Corporation
For more information contact Claude Goodman: Carewheels.org