GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care, today announced its 2019 Health Innovation Challenge, Caring for Caregivers, focused on addressing critical barriers family caregivers face while caring for adult family members.
The Caring for Caregivers Challenge will award up to $400,000 in prize money to as many as four companies or non-profit organizations, or teams of organizations, with sustainable, innovative approaches to reduce or eliminate the complex issues faced by family caregivers every day.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving more than 43.5 million adults in the United States provide unpaid care to adult family members. On average, a family caregiver spends more than 24 hours each week caring for a loved one, and 75% of these family caregivers do so while also working. Family caregivers often face a blend of health and social issues, which include chronic stress, fatigue, social isolation, financial burdens, work conflicts and more.
“Work exhaustion, stress, financial burnout, depression and lack of privacy are the norm for many family caregivers,” said Kirstie McCool, executive director of GuideWell Innovation. “This ‘silent army’ of family caregivers needs a robust array of resources to help them care for themselves on top of caring for their loved ones, which is why GuideWell launched the challenge in hopes of identifying, piloting and scaling innovative solutions to serve this amazing population of people.”
The nationwide challenge seeks innovative solutions for two caregiver demographics—those caring for senior family members over the age of 65, and those caring for partners or adult children ages 18-65 who are mentally disabled, permanently homebound due to physical disability, terminally ill or dealing with a debilitating chronic disease.
Applicants will be evaluated on their ability to develop and deploy approaches that support the mental, social and economic health of family caregivers and improve their ability to care for loved ones. Those showing the most potential will focus on providing affordable, accessible solutions that improve the quality of life for family caregivers, the loved ones they are caring for, and other family members living in the same home as the caregiver.
The Caring for Caregivers Challenge asks participants to address at least two of the following areas:
• Reduction in family caregiver stress
• Social inclusion for caregivers and care recipients
• Financial, legal or health care assistance
• Employer-based solutions/resources to assist employee-caregivers
• Increased independence for family care recipients
• Improved lifestyle for caregiving families
• Development of healthy habits for caregiving families – nutrition, exercise, social integration
• Improved accessibility of healthy foods, prescriptions or other supplies
• Affordable, holistic care for family care recipients
In addition to awarding prize money to up to four finalists, two finalists may also gain the opportunity to pilot their solutions in collaboration with GuideWell.
Applications must be submitted by Nov.15, 2019. To learn more, visit https://guidewellinnovation.com/health-innovation-challenge/