Carepanion

Carepanion is a service offered through digital and physical channels which gives home-based end of life family carers mental and physical support through a series of interventions. Our aim is to enhance carers' wellbeing through increasing mental resilience and improving their decision-making abilities to reduce stress and gain confidence through our service.
Inclusive
STUDENTS INVOLVED
Shuning Wang
(Sally)Shiting zhou
ABOUT
Independent Project
Improving wellbeing for every carer
With around 140 000 people in the UK dying at home each year, family carers take care of their loved one’s end of life for more than 3 years on average. But often carers don’t consider their own needs or what support they could benefit from, despite so many carers having poor physical and mental health. Carepanion is a commercially minded charity which aims to enhance wellbeing for every home-based, end of life carer through increasing their mental resilience and improving their decision-making abilities.
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Why
From our interviews with different stakeholders, we found that family carers play an absolutely essential role in the home-based scenario. They had a lot of expectations put on them. Being a carer is a full-time job, they have a lot of emotional and physical stress, with many carers feeling unsupported. They want to make as few mistakes as possible, but they lack the caring knowledge they need from the beginning. They want to hear about the experiences of people in similar situations, but they are also concerned about their data privacy. The government realised carers should be supported throughout, and there are many useful services available, but it’s difficult and time-consuming for carers to find them. In addition, although the experience of taking care of a loved one is tough, it will become a precious memory.

How

There are four key outcomes of our service:  Caring diaries help carers take better care of themselves and save memories throughout the whole journey. The Carepanion Network is the best place to find out about related services with contact lists in specific areas. Simpler, clearer, faster.  Community is a safe and anonymous place for users to find peer support from other users going through similar situations as them. Carers can find the solution and feel that they are not alone here. Insights provide users with both caring knowledge and localised information, it empowers users to choose how to take care of their loved ones.

Business model

CarePanion offers five cooperation strategies for our business partners, including donations, resource exchange, employee benefits, strategic partnerships and corporate volunteering.  For example, St. Christopher’s hospices could be one of our partners in the care industry. Carepanion develops customized services for them, such as care-plans and training programs. Helping employees improve their ability to adjust their mental health and supporting them to provide better care. Carepanion as a commercially minded charity also hopes to cooperate with job skill training agencies such as On-Purpose. We act as a placement host, offering selected and skilled volunteers a place to practice and learn.
Who it is for
The term family carer we mention here refers in particular to those people of any age who provide unpaid support to elderly family members who are approaching the end of their life. They wouldn’t identify themselves as a ‘carer’. They likely just view themselves as a mum, dad, partner, son, or daughter.
What's the value?
Carepanion has feasibility, viability and desirability.  It’s feasible because it’s accessible to anyone, anytime. It offers user onboarding tests and personalised information, integrating end of life care resources in different areas. Through building business partnerships with Carepanion, our Partners can build their corporate image, expand their influence, bring more benefits to their employees and enhance their wellbeing. They are also able to innovate based on our shared data. Carepanion helps carers to build their confidence, provides them with a sense of community, helps them to gain more experience, reducing mistakes while making decisions and helping them balance their life throughout their care journey.
special thanks
Deeqa, Melisa, Jane and all the kind people who participated in our interview process. GP Maggie, District nurse Ann Marie, Domiciliary carer Aman and his colleagues who shared their clinical perspective about the end of life care with us.  Professor June James from the University of Leicester, Marieke Sonneveld from the Delft University of Technology and JJ.Nadicksbernd from UCL Partner who had several enlightening conversations with us. Camilla Buchanan from Policy Lab, Ivor Willams from Helix Centre who shared their time and experiences with us of design in social innovation and end of life care. Our brilliant colleague Francesco Cagnola and his parents, also Shanshan Liu and Judith Buhmann who gave great useful feedback during our testing process. And we want to extend heartfelt gratitude to our tutor Neal Stone for his help and encouragement during the whole process.
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