The quest for sustainability around informational tools that empower dementia patients and caregivers

Posted on June 23, 2011 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

What do I do now?"

How can we put patients and caregivers in control of dementia versus dementia being in control of them?”

These are the questions we hope to answer as we further develop our work from exploring the dementia landscape to implementing what can be done in the space.

What do I do now?

This may be the first question asked when someone receives the diagnosis of dementia. It certainly is the first question the loved one (aka caregiver) will ask. And despite all the technology and information we have today, this is a very difficult question to answer. It is difficult because each case of dementia is different, and more importantly, each community in which we live has different resources available.

“How can we put patients and caregivers in control of dementia versus dementia being in control of them?”

There is no cure for most causes of dementia. Until there is, “control” may be defined as having the right information and right support at the right time for both the patient and the caregiver.

The two questions above, and their answers, seem basic…and they are. We believe the solution is a tool or utility which provides this information. In fact, we know this is the solution because one exists. We hope to take what is already built and evolve and enhance it.

The challenge we face is the business model around such a utility. In other words, how will it become financially sustainable? How will it be introduced into a new community?  Who will we partner with in a local community? How will the product’s introduction be communicated in a given geographical area?

These and many other “business questions” need to be asked and answered before and as The Patterson Foundation moves forward with this initiative. It wouldn’t be prudent for us to do all this work and spend a significant amount of money if a long-term sustainability model didn’t exist.  These are our next steps...

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