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It’s time for a new solution. It’s time for Caregiver Village.

Posted Oct 11 2011 3:00pm

The societal problem:
Despite millions of government dollars and hundreds of dedicated websites, family caregivers are in trouble.  With over 60 million family caregivers in the U.S. alone, many caregivers become sick (with nearly twice the rate of chronic illnesses as their non-caregiving peers); they’re depressed (40-70% report significant feelings of depression), they face a significantly increased risk of stroke, and they’re frustrated, unable to find resources or solutions they need to help with the enormous burden thrust upon them. They’re also costly to our economy accounting for an estimated $33.6 billion in lost productivity.   
The caregiver’s problem:
Family caregivers are exhausted, stressed to the point of illness and frustrated by their isolation. Caregiver Village’s  virtual village creates a close knit community where caregivers can discover a sense of deep personal satisfaction – and escape – from the hard, intense work of family caregiving; while simultaneously learning how to handle their stress and building online connections with people in exactly the same situation as them.
It’s time for a new solution.  It’s time for  Caregiver Village . An escape from worries; an innovative way to gain new skills.Games and episodic TV works because they provide escape.   Caregiver Village  engages caregivers for hours as they play an episodic game while they engage and learn. They return to play the next episode deepening their engagement and learning. Real support and connections. Caregivers need support.  Caregiver Village  creates an online ‘village’ environment where caregivers engage for hours as they interact with others while they and learn and escape.  People connect based on common needs and interests in a place that becomes their own village of support and encouragement. The power of sharing. Caregivers need to share their story with others.  Caregiver Village  gives caregivers a means to share their story through the creation of an online journal, guided by supportive experts and well know real life authors. These authors host discussion groups and interact with village members. They help them share their own stories and they discuss topics of community interest. A treasure trove of resources. While  Caregiver Village  is an escape and outlet for stress, it is also packed full of valuable resources for caregivers. Over 1,000 resources, including courses, tip sheets, caregiving products and hundreds of links to disease specific resources are personalized to their needs. Advanced technology.  Caregiver Village  is not just a website. It is a technologically advanced product that uses the most modern technologies available - mobile technology, gamification, social networking, social media, web based course delivery and other advanced technologies - to solve one of the country’s most desperate problems. Play the Caregiver Village Game.  Change your Life. It’s time to change this description of the family caregiver.
Family caregivers who are exhausted, stressed to the point of illness and frustrated may find it hard to believe that they can play a game and change their lives.  But  Caregiver Village’s  virtual world of the website and the game, Village Chronicles, are designed to create a place where caregivers can discover a sense of deep personal satisfaction – and fun – from the hard, intense work of family caregiving.
Caregiver Village  is built around solid concepts of game success: key design concepts that make games, especially web games with virtual communities, engaging and rewarding to billions of people today, including women (who compose about 40% of all gamers) and older adults (one out of four gamers today is over 50). It’s a game – its fun.  Games work because they’re fun.  They’re fun because they require focus and effort and result in achievements that are specific and tangible.  The Village Chronicles virtual game is built to be fun. It requires focus, it takes effort to solve the puzzles (and the ultimate mystery of the story that continues episode to episode), and achievements are earned along the way. It’s a uniquely powerful way for family caregivers to learn better self-care, stress management skills and positive attitudes about their caregiving work. It builds community.  Linking with other people helps us understand and achieve things we couldn’t possibly realize alone, in a way that fills a deep human need for connection and companionship. In  Caregiver Village , neighbors help each other by providing advice, recommending resources and offering crucial words of encouragement and support.  Groups – called “book clubs” in Village terms – are led by experts who can help guide, coach and nurture the strength of the individual and the group.  It’s just more fun to be a part of a team. It facilitates sharing and affirms choice. In  Caregiver Village  neighbors use a time-tested technique of journaling their experience to reinforce the “choice” aspect of their work. It’s a way to express emotions, process difficult experiences and gain deeper understanding into the complex and challenging life of a caregiver, arriving at a re-affirmation of the choice involved in their work.  Caregiver Village  neighbors may choose to display this choice, too, in the form of a badge that proclaims, “I’m a Proud Family Caregiver – my time, my choice, my gift.” It’s loaded with tools.  Mastering really challenging games often means acquiring an array of tools to help you succeed.  For caregivers, tools can help them succeed, as well. Tools provided in  Caregiver Village  include information about books, organizations, products and services that can offer tangible support. It includes exclusive  Caregiver Village  tip sheets and online training courses that offer tricks and tips from the experts who have mastered the “game” of caregiving.   Family caregivers provide well over 90% of all caregiving services in the U.S. today.  It’s time to break the pattern of stress, sickness, despair and dysfunction that represents family caregiving today.  It’s time, with  Caregiver Village , to change the lives of family caregivers.
Join Caregiver Village and be a part of something BIG!

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