Easycare — Easycare is a new model for both aging population and local adults to empower local communities through the means of platform technology of internet. Through Easycare, older adults can benefit services without having to move to assisted living situations.

11

As we grow older and wiser, we want to live happily and independently in our own homes. Simultaneously, we will need easier access to community activities and the support of our friends. By leveraging conveniences provided by digital technology, we can develop a system that helps us live the way we want for the rest of our lives. A system that proves tools for expanding social reach, experimenting new activities and obtaining services that support independence with transform aging from inevitable decline to opportunity for new adventures.

2016 Fall/Winter

Product Designer
Researcher

product introproduct intro

Introducing Easycare

Nursing homes are academies of helplessness. The building themselves ostensibly are designed to foster long term care, actually disable the people who live there. Residents are miles and miles away from their family, friends, and most importantly their home; struggling to make a new home assisted by teams of staffs and special services.

Of course, people choose to live in nursing homes mainly because they require the specialized care that they can’t receive in their private homes. However, does that mean that they must give up and live away from what they call “home”?

Easycare enables seniors to enjoy their independent lifestyle through collaborative village effort through simple solution using internet platform. Through the product service, older adults can find out about their local communities and seek help to the community members who are also registered. Easycare platform is the essential tool that enables community members to build and empower the community and with right partnerships and incentive promotions, everyone can benefit from Easycare.

Service

Nursing homes are academies of helplessness. The building themselves ostensibly designed to foster long term care, actually disable the people who live there. Easycare platform is the essential tool that enables community members to build and empower the community. Since Easycare enables seniors to enjoy their independence services have to be made through the villager’s effort. With right partnership and incentives, everyone can benefit from this service.

Connectivity

Companionship is one of the essential ingredients of well being, yet we pay little attention. Our best old friend from high school while still dear to us, are not our companions because we no longer share the rhythms of daily life with them. Easycare aims to provide a platform in which the city can sustainably share rhythms of daily lives. Through Connectivity, all members of Easycare will benefit as well as partners and local residents. 

Learn

IWithin the context of independent living communities, the ability to use computers, tablets like the iPad, and other connected digital technology varies from one senior to another. While the study shows some promise of use of current technology, many have yet to familiarize themselves with computer interfaces and capabilities, which limits themselves from connecting to the  rest of the world. To connect with loved ones and the community, Easycare platform aims to assist older adults to adapt to popular technology uses while enjoying services provided the platform. .

Key Findings

Frist, we identified autonomy and companionship as older adults’ most urgent needs. Second, we recognize older adults’ ability and desire to offer wisdom and service for the wider community. Third, we wanted to pinpoint current gaps in local resources for providing connectivity. The outcome at the intersection of these values is a system that allows members to benefit from and contribute to creating meaning.  

Research Validation

After Coming up with 6 core principles of aging and identifying them by hierarchy of importance and preference, we could find connections with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At this point of our process we could finally find connections between many dots we have covered during our semester long research. Going back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, seniors choose to live in assisted living houses due to their basic needs such as safety and physical needs to survive. Because of this condition at assisted living situations, their sense of control slowly gets decreased resulting in lack of self-fulfillment needs and psychological needs. 

As a result, we wanted to figure out how older adults can enjoy all their core principles without having to move into facilitated housing. This way, we had to bring service to their home and hypothetically it would be possible with the effort of local community. 

Case Study

Beacon Hill Village, a member-driven organization for Boston residents 50 and over. It is considered the most sustainable aging solution which both seniors and locals can benefit. Local members and partnered organizations provide services for incentives while seniors can stay home and live independent lives.

With the success of Beacon Hill Village, they initialized Village Movement which continues still today in the last 15 years with 200 established + 150 in development. 

checkout their website   

Design Opportunity 

To be able to see the potential of Easycare, it is important to look at the demographics of the key technology = internet. Demographics are divided in to 4 categories; younger adults of age 18-29, adults of age 30 - 49, older adults of age 50 - 64, and seniors of age 65+. 

Through research, we were able to validate the universal technology that new and old generations share which is "Internet". Only 64 percent of age 65+ populations were aware of Internet. However, with the current efforts to leverage the education and the fluency of using internet among all ages below, It shows the promising future of Easycare; online platform for sustainable aging solution.

After coming up with our design opportunity, we did series of interviews with our primary users. We were able to find out most wanted services and compared it with our study. Just like the statistics, shown above, most were fluent with their smart phones and computers that they were able to do tasks such as connecting with their grand children and doing works such as dealing with emails and documents. On the other hand, people with less knowledge with technology were willing to learn as they felt the need to get more involved. 

Dr. Kathrine Hegedus

Retired history teacher at community college and highschool. She takes physical therapy lessons and balance class to prevent falls and often goes to lectures at Brown University.

"I am always curious about what is going on around my community".
"I really like that Silver Village can connect me to wider community other than the ones I know about now".
"Some people might not have internet at home".
 

Mary Langhorn

She is a Retired speech therapist and goes to Hamilton house 1-2 times a week to take math lessons from a volunteer. She also enjoys Instagram to share photos with her daughter.

"I wish that Icons and designs to be clear and easy to identify"
"I can imagine needing this service but I would be careful getting help from the stranger"
"I like that I can enjoy other activities around my town"

Jeanne Waters

She is a retired ballet instructor and attends yoga class and generally likes to socialize in the kitchen. Also she takes care of the front table to welcome guests. 

"I could imagine using the service since I do not like the conditions at the senior residencies. Services that I would need would be rides, groceries, cooking, companionships, cleaning and learning in general"

Desktop HD Copy 21Desktop HD Copy 21
Desktop HD Copy 20Desktop HD Copy 20
endingending