With interviews and contextual inquiry, we were able to see the system from their point of view and we learned about their interactions, environments, behaviours, frustrations, goals and aspirations.
Using synthesis methods such as affinity and empathy mapping, we were able to come up with themes of insights (such as the users’ outlook on their independence, their relationships with their support workers and families) and six personas that went into detail about the lives, goals and frustrations of disabled and aged clients and those who surround and care for them.
As we hypothesised, there was a clear distinction between the aged and disabled. The disabled were more likely to be tech savvy, more independent, resourceful and goal-orientated. The aged were less tech-savvy, and hoped to retain their independence in the hopes of not being a burden.
Although the current ecosystem treated both disabled and aged equally, their needs, views towards healthcare and ways of using technology, were not the same.
We found that the care recipient, with the support of their family and friends, create their own ecosystem of care that is made up of a mixture of different service providers, local medical professionals, volunteer organisations and their local council. This is their way of ‘hacking the system,’ to get the most of the available services in order to receive the care they need, as their needs cannot all be met by one service provider.
Our service recommendations focused on having the care recipient - disabled and aged - receive care based on their individual goals, healthcare needs and progress. We recommended putting “the Care Recipient at the Centre.”
By giving the care recipient full visibility of their support plan and the services that have been implemented to facilitate it, they will be well-informed and able to manage their care alongside the family and friends who support them.
With the care recipient in the centre, support workers, service providers and other services in the ecosystem are able to easily collaborate as they seek to address their unique needs and goals.