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Type of Work

Product Design, Service Design

My Role

The Challenge

Immigrants whose elderly parents back home feel helpless and guilty when it comes to caring for them from overseas.

The Outcome

DinDin is a service that allows you to stay connected with your family. Especially those who are away from each other. DinDin helps families hold each other accountable for their personal health through facilitated activities.

Giving Voices through Intergenerational Care

The facilitated activities such as puzzle, yoga, journals, book club are recommended by the service based on the families’ goals and demographics. They give voices to the children and elderly parents who play huge roles in transnational families but have not been given a lot of attention.

 

Context

Opportunities

are a major driver of migration.

Migration improves their income, their access to education and health, and provide better prospects for their family.

But, many families remain separated, which makes it hard to keep track of each others’ health from afar.

Current US immigration policies are more focused on individual migrant and severely limits family-based immigration. This leaves many families remain separated (not only at borders). 

Transnational caregiving is a process involving the challenges of time, money, family life cycle stage, health considerations, work demands, competing household obligations, crisis care, visa limitations, travel costs, mismatched cultural expectations, and use of communication technology.

Why not just bring them with you?

Neither financially viable nor the best solution as it might be hard for them to adapt and may lead to social isolation and parents want to feel independent.

Help adult immigrant children stay informed of the level and quality of care provided to their parents, and be ready to step in when needed through monitoring and communication technology.

Help adult immigrant children stay informed of the level and quality of care provided to their parents, and be ready to step in when needed through monitoring and communication technology.

But, many families remain separated, which makes it hard to keep track of each others’ health from afar.

Current US immigration policies are more focused on individual migrant and severely limits family-based immigration. This leaves many families remain separated (not only at borders). 

Transnational caregiving is a process involving the challenges of time, money, family life cycle stage, health considerations, work demands, competing household obligations, crisis care, visa limitations, travel costs, mismatched cultural expectations, and use of communication technology.

Why not just bring them with you?

Neither financially viable nor the best solution as it might be hard for them to adapt and may lead to social isolation and parents want to feel independent.

Users Say

"We don’t know until something is serious!”

“I never felt free from this problem since I moved abroad.”

“What role would I play? I need to make decisions quickly."

Design Opportunity

Reframing the Problem

This issue has been regarded as something that is nothing there to do but feeling helpless. When I approached this issue from a solution space standpoint, I created prototypes that were about monitoring aging parents from afar or helping them stay in communication with the healthcare stakeholders. These solutions may have helped people feel relieved for immigrants but parents also wanted to maintain some autonomy. What makes this experience more difficult is how families experience gaps growing apart emotionally. This may often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings, and stress from uncertainty. That prevents the families from having more emotional connectedness. They never know until something is seriously misaligned as a family. This helped me identify design opportunities in creating a space for them to re-connect through facilitated conversation or ‘check-in’s so that they can step in whenever it’s needed without the feeling of surveillance.

Reframing the Problem

This issue has been regarded as something that is nothing there to do but feeling helpless. When I approached this issue from a solution space standpoint, I created prototypes that were about monitoring aging parents from afar or helping them stay in communication with the healthcare stakeholders. These solutions may have helped people feel relieved for immigrants but parents also wanted to maintain some autonomy. 

What makes this experience more difficult is how families experience gaps growing apart emotionally. 

This may often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings, and stress from uncertainty. That prevents the families from having more emotional connectedness. They never know until something is seriously misaligned as a family. This helped me identify design opportunities in creating a space for them to re-connect through facilitated conversation or ‘check-in’s so that they can step in whenever it’s needed without the feeling of surveillance.

Impact

DinDin will make an impact on the improved health of the parents, feelings of connectedness and relief through intergenerational care

by measuring the following:

Increased communication

Response Rate 

Daily engagement

# of activities participated

# of interactions between

different family members

Autonomy and well-being

Improved health of parents

Vocal Patterns

Vision

Our vision is to help transnational families stay connected across continents and cultures. 

Just through love and care without the feeling of monitoring or surveillance.

Next Steps

“A voice says a lot.”

The most important question when confronting senior users with new technology is: Are they willing to use it? This question often came up in user testing as well. One interviewee said that their parents really are satisfied with just connecting with their grandchildren. Researchers around the world are exploring how to detect vocal patterns that might indicate Parkinson’s or even heart disease. 

Think about the potential this field represents to help our elderly. Using voice assistants to detect the onset of degenerative neurological diseases would be fantastic. This spurred my design forward to give more voice to children and aging parents as contributors to care across the distance.

Whether you're looking to complete your team or simply need a gun for hire, let's touch base to find out how we can collaborate together! 

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