In a November 16, 2011 Fast Company article by Francine Hardaway, WeSprout was listed as one of 12 healthcare start-ups to watch because WeSprout launched Kinsights.com a website to crowdsource children’s health information to the community of parents. Parent to Parent advice sharing happens already informally so why not codify and monetize it to a web platform? It reminds me of Healthtap.com, which crowdsources answers from thousands of trusted physicians to answer submitted medical questions. Both of these remind me of an listserv I used to follow from from Family Caregivers Alliance. The family caregivers in this forum expressed their lonely desperation and stress, shared inspiration and offered solutions and information. The old user interface of the listserv limited the interaction to a string of linear conversations but the value of connecting and communicating with others in a similar situation was evident.
What would the next generation online experience look like that connected informal caregivers, older adults and their eco-system of care?
Informal family caregivers spend lots of money and time on caring for an older parent. The challenge is to find out where they congregrate and to create an offering that fits into the highly variable stages of elder care.
Did you know the median age is 49 and largely female (61%) with a mean income of $57,000. The majority are well educated with over 70% college attendance and over 20% with graduate level education. Caregivers are caring for an elder with an average age of 81 and spend an average of 19 hours a week in direct care.
There is a need. Creating a solution is the challenge.
Very good statistics. As women are choosing to have their own children at a little older age than previous generations, the challenges of the “sandwich” generation will increase with the typical 49 year old caregiver still having child-rearing responsibilities with at-home kids in addition to the care needed for the parent(s). Add to this the fact a large number of these women have their own jobs outside the house and have fewer siblings to share the caregiving responsibilities. It all adds up to a highly stressful situation.
Senior living communities and home care companies need to become better acquainted with these dynamics to be able to offer better Value for the older parent and/or their adult children.