How one experience changed my life and the lives of many.
I met my friend Anoula back in 2011. We both worked for the same Biotech Company in Melbourne. She was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2013 and passed away in 2015. It took a village to provide care for her and even if we were providing care as a collective, we all got very differently effected, fought our internal battles and dealt with our own experience and challenges.
Soon after Anoula passed, I left my job back in 2016 and have been on a mission since to create a positive impact on those experiences and changed the way carers are supported to date.
I shook a lot of hands over the last 4 years, with the aim to understand how the healthcare and community support in AU works and where the shortfalls are. I was lucky enough to meet the most passionate and experienced humans, mentoring and sharing their expertise freely and showing me new ways of tackling this problem. The Carers Couch journey and success has always been a team effort and our carers are always front of mind in everything we do.
I have been travelling, speaking, advocating and consulting where ever the opportunity arose to be able to get the right stakeholders engaged and on board with our mission.
Currently, the Carers Couch Crew are made up of 7 adaptive innovators driving collaborative relationships to solve real-world problems. We are curious about the deeper meaning and implications of service and systems redesign and how innovation can transform experiences and operational outcomes.
Through our co-design approach, we seek the right expertise at the right time to help solve systemic problems. In healthcare, we have used human-centred design to drive greater articulation of the needs and experiences of carers for loved ones with cancer.
This work and products multifaceted and draws upon our eclectic skillset to deliver consensus-driven outcomes that make a difference in the lives of organisations and their people.
Our products have been purposely designed and developed to cater to a diverse population and as such we’ve held great importance on knowing and understanding wide-ranging demographics, age, language, concerns and communication styles. Often, a support crew is made up of more than one person, so by offering a wide range of products, we’re catering to a wide range of consumer behaviours.
Carers Couch Care Support Service
We pride ourselves on human connections and where possible will have phone conversations, video conferencing, as well as emails, texts, messaging or face 2 face meetings or through the Carers Couch App with our carers and families. Recognising many carers are unable to articulate their needs, we will strive to achieve an appropriate and holistic approach to support.
Carers Couch App
A digitally based care and carer coordination platform, combining secure engagement with clinical providers, peer support and easy access to support services.
The Couch App is unique in matching carers with support based on their concerns, languages and expertise and for as long as they require.
Additionally, the Carers Couch team has an active part in the ecosystem. We can make suggestions about who to connect with, which community groups match their interest and provide virtual care coordination with the “Ask Betty” live chat.
The Carers Couch app is accessible 24/7 and there are real-life care coordinators available to assist and speak with through their journey.
Couch Talk Communication Cards
In partnership with the Health Transformation Lab @RMIT, we explored original ways to engage and communicate with carers and ways for them to more easily interact with the Carers Couch App and our support offering.
We used a hybrid methodology including games design, augmented reality, and human-centred design in an approach the Carers Couch team calls guerrilla information provision. This approach challenges the traditional collateral development process used for developing information about cancer.
The final product has a short shelf life, designed to be engaged with and then moving carers towards the use of the app and our service offering. It is an example of the tactile and digital working synergistically to produce more choices for carers as they support their loved one during cancer treatment.
These cards can be co-branded with no charge for our partners and the ability to enrol in the Carers Couch Carers Support Service.
We're ready to launch the Carers Couch App and support people through the pandemic crisis who are in deep distress and lack of peer or expert assistance across Australia.
Help us to get them on the Couch!
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