High School Student Develops App to Help Grandmother Age in Place
Four years ago, when Logan Wells’ grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, Logan was just a high school freshman focused on the usual teenage things. But it didn’t take long for Logan to notice the challenges that his grandmother’s diagnosis presented to his parents, who cared for his grandmother along with his aunt--challenges exacerbated by the desire to keep his grandmother in her own home as long as she was physically able.
And a little research showed Logan his family wasn’t the only one facing this struggle. The AARP reports that 40 million family caregivers provide $4.7 billion annually in unpaid care to a loved one.
Logan, being a high school freshman with a lifetime of access to a smartphone, thought he could solve some of these problems by leveraging technology that most caregivers had on them at all times.
“Those of us involved in my grandmother’s care found it really rewarding, but for my mom, who was doing most of the coordination, the more stressful pieces centered around communication and coordination,” says Logan. “I felt I could help her with that, and by helping her, I could help anyone in this position. If you look at the language used around caregiving, it can be pretty depressing. I wanted to combat that and help caregivers like the ones in my own family feel like they were truly accomplishing something while allowing them to focus on the more rewarding aspects of the process.”
And, so, Logan began to teach himself to code, coming up with an idea for an app that would alleviate some of the biggest pain points he saw his mom, Hallie, experiencing: communication, scheduling and consistency. While caregiving could be a rewarding endeavor, the administrative overhead could make it time-consuming, overwhelming and could take away from its joy.
Logan’s parents, Hallie and Eric, quickly realized their son was on to something and joined him to help bring his app, today called CareZare, to fruition. Their mission is to help caregivers take a team-based approach to caregiving, involving family and friends along with professional caregivers, to increase efficiency, provide more consistent information and ultimately give better care.
Today, most of CareZare’s users are aging in place. Making caregiving less stressful may help those who choose to age in place, as caregivers may be more comfortable with the process as they stay better connected with and on top of the entire team caring for their loved one.
CareZare is another technological tool for those who choose to stay in their own homes to communicate, collaborate and connect with the people who allow them to remain in a familiar environment while also getting the services and help they need. The platform is easy to use and can be operated on a web browser or on a smartphone (iPhone or Android). Users can provide alerts, calendar entries, journal updates, basic caregiving information and more, easing the burden of the caregiving administrative load from one person and allowing it to become more collaborative.
In the future, the CareZare team plans to integrate services such as ride-sharing, grocery delivery, prescription refills and more to give care teams and those aging in place a one-stop-shop for their needs.
For more information on CareZare, visit www.carezare.com. You can download the app for free in the App Store or on Google Play or visit www.carezareapp.com to access it via web browser. CareZare is currently being offered for free and will shortly be moving to a paid subscription ($9.95 per month per CareStar/person being cared for)