When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be overwhelming for every member of the family. The devastating brain disease causes the person suffering from it to gradually lose the ability to think and remember, so it’s often up to the people around them to help them function on a daily basis.
When 19-year-old, Massachusetts-based Logan Wells’ grandmother Nannie was diagnosed with dementia 4 years ago, he watched his parents and aunt take on the huge task of caring for her. But the difficult time also triggered an entrepreneurial spark in the then-high school sophomore. He came up with the idea for CareZare, an app that provides a complete toolkit for managing the care of someone with dementia.
Like most families, the Wells quickly discovered that providing the right care for grandmother Nannie would be a monumental challenge—but one they were more than willing to take on. “It quickly became apparent that we were facing a steep learning curve,” the family reveals. “We needed to climb it, fast, all while figuring out how to share the burden of care, manage professional caregivers, maintain our lives as parents, kids, professionals and students, and, most importantly, provide the world’s best possible care to keep Nannie safe and happy.”
As Nannie’s illness progressed, it became more and more difficult to keep track of what she needed, as multiple family members and paid caregivers were involved. That’s when Logan began working on a prototype for CareZare, and on-boarded the help of his family to make it happen. “We’re a family with a loved one who needed care,” say the Wells. “And we built CareZare because we needed it.”
The now finished CareZare app invites users to collaborate, allowing groups of carers to schedule and track activities in real time. You can log things like the person's mood, how you spent your time together, and leave a “heads up” message for the other users in the group. The team-based approach empowers families to stay on top of their daily tasks and improves communication.
So far, over 600 families are using the app, and Wells hopes that number will grow. “Our users have been great about giving us feedback so we can tailor the app to their needs,” he says. “Caregiving is such an important issue for them because it's so personal for them, just as it is for me.”