Why we built an app for Aged Care to solve our family problem

With the passing of a grandparent or the declining health of another loved one, a family that lives all around the world may find communication difficult (although not impossible). But what would you do if the person you were trying to reach couldn’t use a telephone, mobile, or computer anymore? How would you reach out? What kind of process could you use?

I bet your first thought would be to contact that one family member or friend who lives nearby or your loved ones’ care service provider who assists them day to day.

Maybe you could write a letter, but risk waiting weeks for a reply? Maybe call a neighbour, but what if he/she are out running errands? Or will you just rely on your occasional visit;

When my Papa started receiving extra services at home, these are all the questions my family and I were asking. We felt highly disconnected and lacked clear communication around my grandfathers’ day to day living and wellbeing. We felt trapped and too dependent on technology and processes which had not changed or updated with the advancements of every other industry.

In January 2017 we became sick of asking what we should do and instead decided to create a solution for our own family’s problems. From January – September 2017 we began digging on the real problem, the WHY?, and the cause of our problem. Through this process, we began to discover and validate our theories, that:

  • Current social network/media apps do not have the user experience that suits aged care services, care staff, care recipients and families
  • Data is stored inappropriately on existing platforms
  • Families are highly connected and disconnected on all different social networks/media amongst all the advertising, groups, fake news and data leaks
  • The communities have never been driven by a shared commonality of caring or loving one person and wanting to stay connected to them in a sensitive time

We soon began asking others if they faced this problem too and after pitching, demo’ing and sharing our story in Australia, Israel and America we soon came to realise the problem we were addressing was global. Every person we had spoken to had a story, or a friend with a story, or a neighbour’s friend who had faced the same problem we had. So, just like that we had people on the same journey as us to help co-create the solution now known as Care Konnect.

We turned to those stories to create a platform that addressed all our needs; from care recipients to family members to service providers and even your grandparent’s friends at the local café. Everyone is included, informed and most importantly: connected.

By September it had begun; our first updates were coming in – we had kicked off the start of something!

            First it was the lost wallet… uh oh!                 

 

Found moments later by the care staff 

 

Soon we were having dinners together… meatballs, mash and a nice glass of red wine

 

More regular coffee catch ups

 

A freshly cleaned house leading in Papa’s 90th.

This is just a glimpse into what happened in these first few months, from fine dining, to flower arrangements and even travel updates. We were connected to my papa and he was connected to us. Papa’s care staff had become connected at the time creating a much more trusting and real relationship because they understand my Papa and our family better. The best part was we as a family were now able to provide the praise and feedback these amazing care staff deserved, changing a new shared perspective.

Now it probably seems like we have done it, and Care Konnect is now all very successful… mmmm not so much.

We are just one family, one example and one story; our mission extends far beyond us. We want every story, every person and every family and their friends to become connected during a sensitive time. Whether the older person lives in the community, retirement living or residential care – keeping the family connected is essential to the health and well-being of the older person and sustaining the family ties.

Initially, Care Konnect was created to connect our family to my grandfather. Today, it is connecting older people with their family, friends and service providers.

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