In a recent blog I talked about a community service web site called See, Click, Fix. Through their platform, anyone can report and track non-emergency issues anywhere in the world via the internet. In the process this empowers citizens, community groups, media organizations and governments to take care of and improve their neighborhoods. They maintain that citizens who take the time to report even minor issues and see them fixed are likely to get more engaged in their local communities. I blogged that a service like this should be extended to the elderly.
In a limited way, Lotsa Helping Hands seems to do this. It was created to support family caregivers by empowering their family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and church or synagogue members äóñ what they call a familyäó»s äóÖcircles of communityäó» äóñ who are eager to help them as they manage the daily tasks that become a challenge during times of family or medical crisis, caregiver exhaustion, or when caring for an elderly parent.
During their own caregiving experience, the founders saw how earnestly friends wanted to help, and juggling the difficulty of organizing their assistance, they designed Lotsa Helping Hands.
You start by creating a community. Maybe itäó»s for my mom so I enter Friends Who Want to Help Phil. I then invite people to join the community via email. I start with people who have expressed interest in helping. Next I start posting needs. This may include mom needs dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights; or rides to medical appointments on Tuesday mornings. Members are notified by email when new needs are posted. The system sends reminders to volunteers so no one forgets their commitments.
Organizers have designed this not just for the elderly. They suggest organizing volunteers to help a military family during deployment, coordinating meals and childcare for new parents; managing volunteers and events for a school or religious group; or coordinating volunteer activities in your local neighborhood.
Check it out.æ