Improving the transition towards a care home

As we progressively grow older as a society, the need for care homes to keep up with this pace is rapidly increasing. Regardless, while the care homes’ staff is doing the best in their power, they face multiple challenges, such as staff shortages and resource limitations. This got worst during the pandemic and is expected to grow drastically in the coming 10 years in the Netherlands. The scenario is particularly hard on patients that unexpectedly need to transition from their residence to a care home without a return date to rely on and their loved ones, who support them through the process. To provide a better experience for people starting rehabilitation and leaving their homes behind and their caregivers, we developed an elaborate website that guides them through each rehabilitation step by combining Service and UX Design.

Client

Amsta, Cordaan, Evean & Zonnehuisgroep Amstelland as part of RAK (a joined force of multiple healthcare institutions in and around Amsterdam)

Challenge

How can we improve the transition from a permanent residence to a care home for people who are unexpectedly unable to live independently anymore?

Impact

A website that creates an overview and manages expectation in an unsettling process for patients and their relatives

Empowering the relatives of elderly in the journey to a care home

To explore the world of care homes, we spoke to several clients, inhabitants, clients’ family members, and employees with different roles in the care process. This way, we gained a holistic view of the care process and its influences on the user experience.

We discovered that the elderly’s family members have to take on unexpected responsibilities, are critical in communication, and struggle with emotional and administrative burdens. By including the experiences of both clients and their relatives in the customer journey, we created a visual overview of the similarities and differences.

The journey was the starting point for the ideation phase, in which we explored the different opportunity areas; was nothing there yet, and the lack of this information was the underlying cause of many pains later in the process. As a result, we targeted clients’ family members to provide them with information on the process of care homes.

A design sprint resulted in a simple concept of a website containing general information on the process of rehabilitation and the possible scenarios that come afterwards. We prototyped, tested, and validated the desirability with the care home staff and the clients’ family members. After also having clarity, usability, and accessibility validated, it was time to make this prototype a reality, leading us to the last and most crucial step.

To launch our design, we worked together with a development team that created the website that is now live.

I wish the website would have been here when I needed to deal with this for my mother.

— Patient's family member

An informative website guiding through the care process, step by step

The project’s outcome resulted in a website, a service of its own, designed for the loved ones of elderly patients, containing general information on the process and the possible scenarios after rehabilitation. 

Together with experts in the field, we co-created the website content, which translated into pages entailing an overview of each step of the rehabilitation process, what to expect, what is expected from you, and what the care homes will arrange.

Accessibility and inclusivity were guiding principles for this solution, such as the option to augment the font and change the colour of the website text. 

Accompanying the website, we created promotional materials, such as posters, flyers, email signatures, and website tiles for the care homes to use so that the website could easily reach the target audience.

The project has softened the life fracture of care recipients who suddenly have to go to nursing homes and improved the cooperation of the participating care organisations.

— Amsta Healthcare institution

Impacting patients, their loved ones and care home workers

With this website, we support relatives by getting a realistic overview and expectations of what they will face when supporting their loved ones on their journeys toward a care home. 

Additionally, it clarifies the transitioning process and relieves the relatives of many logistical hassles. This should result in more time spent with their loved ones dealing with their decline. 

Lastly, it releases stress from the staff, who are overwhelmed with questions and do not have the means to provide all the correct information and resources. 

The website has been live since March 2022 and is used in many different care homes in and around Amsterdam. Simplifying and humanising the challenging process of moving your loved one to a care home is now a growing reality by providing more clarity and certainty in such an unsettling time. This solution can potentially impact 115,000 people in care homes, 230,000 relatives, and 380,000 elderly care employees in the Netherlands.

The brainpower behind this project

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Oda Landsman

Emma Schalkers

Hoe creëer je een duurzame en positieve impact? Emma heeft daar het antwoord op. Met haar enthousiasme zorgt ze ervoor dat elk project een meetbare positieve impact zal hebben.    
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