Mauricio is 80 years old and takes care of his 100 year-old mother, who has broken both hips. She has macular degeneration and is blind. He also takes care of his wife, who has dementia, and is unable to walk.

Needs Current Approaches used by Mauricio Alternate Suggestions What Could Be Created?
1. Mauricio needs help maintaining his mother’s strength, mobility, and independence. She is currently 100 and walks well with her walker, but has broken both hips. He tries to limit her dependence on assistive technologies – her walker is a cheap one.

Did not get a walker until she broke both hips and the hospital would not let her be discharged without a walker. She didn’t use it for 6-7 years afterward, and pulled it out again in the last 3 years.

2. Mauricio needs a technology that will remind him when the battery for the lift needs recharging (the red and green light do not provide enough detail).  
3. Mauricio needs a way of feeling physical closeness to his wife in the hospital, which was not possible because the bed was so small! Cuddling was very important to both him and his wife.  
4. Mauricio needs help finding solutions for dressing his wife since his wife is bed ridden. Found clothes that were easier to put on and take off – tops opened up at the back in wheelchair.
5. Mauricio needs help coping with the psychological strain of being a care giver.  He is also finding it difficult to watch his wife transform into another person. He would like others to understand that caregivers would want to be asked “what were you doing previous to becoming a caregiver that you would like to begin doing again?” instead of “what can we do to help you?” because care givers don’t think about themselves, but think mainly about the person they care for.

He deals with the decline of his wife’s health by thinking he’d rather be a loving caregiver than a grieving husband.

Hugs and physical intimacy from others, as well as his wife, help.

He was able to use principles from his faith (Buddhism), which has a strong emphasis on compassion, in order to accept the role of a caregiver he has taken on.

6. Mauricio believes that the diagnosing tools are not well-rounded. His wife was a math major and physics minor in university, and was accepted into medicine. She was not diagnosed with dementia for a while because she started with a very high intelligence level.