Last week I was introduced to a young lady on Facebook named Melanie.
Melanie has grown up caring for her little sister, Megan, who has a developmental disability and cannot speak verbally. As a baby, Megan was slow to reach milestones such as learning to walk and talk. Melanie remembers being determined to teach her sister to talk, trying to help her sound out words such as “mama” and “baba” – Megan said some of these basic words when she was young, but eventually the progress slowed and she stopped talking altogether. At 21, Megan still needs extra care and help with basic tasks, but she is very intelligent, knows some basic sign language, loves listening to music, riding horses, and laughing. Melanie has always loved and looked out for her little sister although it has been challenging and stressful at times.
After graduating from college, Melanie worked as a financial consultant, but recently quit her job to pursue her passion of entrepreneurship and making a true difference in people’s lives. She now works with a company in Houston called Fruition Technology Labs, which helps inventors grow their ideas into businesses, from concept to fruition. The incubator works with about 15 startups, all with a mission to create a social impact. Melanie is leading a project along with an inventor, Daniel, who has been a caregiver for his father who suffered a stroke and has limited mobility. It has been a challenge because his father is still very sharp and gets frustrated that he requires help to perform basic tasks.
After realizing that there are so many unmet needs and challenges when it comes to caregiving, Daniel set out on a mission to use technology to help caregivers and care recipients. He is designing a platform that will be able to help families care for their loved ones and take care of their needs. The first step is to get an idea of the various situations that caregivers face, and what the biggest challenges are.
Melanie and Daniel have developed a brief survey which will help determine the most important needs and ways that quality of life can be improved.
If you are currently a caregiver, have been a caregiver in the past, or know someone who provides care for someone who is elderly, disabled or sick, please take a few minutes to fill out this survey, and pass it on: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HZ3Y78R
Thanks so much!
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