Sometimes the help we need is just down the block, or right next door.


Designed especially for that period before full-time, professional caretaking assistance is required, NeighborsCARE is an application that combines existing home sensory technology for seniors with a neighborhood alert mechanism. Taking existing home sensory technology and applications for seniors one step further, NeighborsCARE allows caretaking family members who don't live with or nearby their sick or elderly relatives to program in neighbors who can receive an alert when something goes wrong, and intervene more immediately or if the family member has not received the alert immediately, because they are in a meeting, on a plane, etc.

Describe a caregiver situation that you were/are involved in.

This application is inspired by family events. My mother was the secondary caretaker for my grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My grandmother was the primary caretaker, but she herself was elderly and vulnerable to situations like falling. One evening, after my mother had just left after her weekly visit, my grandmother fell while cooking and had to be hospitalized.

Explain the caregiver problem that resulted for you and/or other caregiver(s).

The problem was that my mother lived an hour away and had a full-time job, so she could not constantly monitor the situation and intervene in a timely manner. It was also not easy at the time to convince my grandparents that extra live-in assistance was needed, because they were used to being independent.

Describe your caregiver solution that would provide assistance or relief to the problem of the caregiver.

This solution provides more immediate alerts and faster response time. My mother would have received an alert on her phone that the kitchen stove was left on, or, had that not been the case, that my grandmother had not gone to bed or turned off the lights. She could have immediately contacted a neighbor (who had willingly signed up to be part of the application system) to check on the situation and gotten more immediate help before the situation worsened.

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