What sparked this idea?
Message from Sheila, Kit Conductor
My brother Mark and I loved to toss around a football and ideas. During the course of our consulting work and Live it Up! not at the horizon, we noticed some things that didn’t seem quite right and started to ask questions:
- How much time do residents of retirement communities and long-term care homes spend doing meaningful activities?
- How much time do seniors and others who spend lots of time at home spend doing things that they enjoy?
- When do they learn new things? How often do they feel good about their accomplishments?
- How do the care partners of people who participate in day programs 3 times a week for 5 hours, manage the other 153 hours a week? What about all the people who are waiting lists for programs? What about people who from rural and remote communities where services may be few and far between? How do they cope?
- How many people don’t call or come to visit friends and family in hospital, at home or in long-term care home because they don’t know what to talk about?
- What about people who are in hospital or other facilities where there are no or very few social and physical activities that promote independence, cognitive vitality and health?
Then we challenged ourselves:
- There are tons of smart phone apps out there, but do they really make it easier for seniors, people with memory challenges, family and friends to do fun stuff together? Is more screen time a good idea? What could we do differently?
- Loneliness is as harmful to our health as smoking. Could we help folks feel less lonely?
- How could we go beyond the surplus of tips and tricks for seniors, care partners and health care providers to make a real difference to people’s physical and mental health?
- How could we give people something to look forward to everyday?
- How could we gather ideas from our Live it Up! community and then put them into play?
- Could we support Live it Up! clubs that are run by participants?
- How could we make calls and visits more comfortable and interesting?
- How can we help everyone in the Live it Up! community develop resiliency strategies?
Mark, my work colleague, brother and friend passed away in January 2020. As one way of honouring his life and his “This doesn’t make sense. There’s got to be a better way” rants, I decided to move the Live it Up! concept into action. Many of the creative ideas you’ll experience belong to Mark.
All this pondering happened before the Corona Virus invaded. I felt compelled to accelerate the protype and testing phases. In some way it seemed like an ideal time to support people during the uncertainty and physical isolation. Let’s go exploring together.
Special thanks to our Live it Up! test pilots
I’m deeply appreciative to each of you for coming on board to test the Live it Up! Kits. Your honest feedback will improve the products, and hopefully help us find the financial support needed to move into full distribution so more people can Live it Up! I’d also like to give a shout out to my friends and family who are always 100% willing to support my crazy ideas.