Georgetown McDonough’s Aging Well Hub announced the rollout of two experience mapping tools during an event held on Sept. 13 in the Fisher Colloquium. The program, which featured expert panels and presentations from the directors of the Aging Well Hub, part of the school’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative, focused on the development of the “Caregiver Journey” and “Re-imagining Living Environments of the Future” experience maps.
The experience maps are tools to “allow people in the [caregiving and senior housing] industry to develop a common framework about what people are going to need,” according to Liddy Manson, director of the Aging Well Hub. The “Caregiver Journey” map charts the experiences of an adult caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. “Re-imagining Living Environments of the Future” examines the choices in housing an aging Baby Boomer may face starting in their late 60s. Manson said that the mapping tools are designed for industry players to understand these experiences from the perspective of the people involved.
Bill Novelli, founder of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative, spoke to the need for tools like these. “A half a trillion dollars’ worth of free caregiving is delivered by and to American families,” he said. “But how much do we really know about caregivers and their quiet work? How do we better support them, to walk a mile in their shoes?”
He added that, for example, the experience mapping tools can be used to understand the challenges and opportunities of providing housing for an aging population.
The Aging Well Hub event was the initial release of the senior housing experience map and a re-release of the caregiver map, which was first released in 2017, according to Manson. Since its release, Manson added, the caregiver map has been used in clinical settings and for lobbying in Congress around the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also has expanded on the map for their specific needs.
Manson is hopeful that the Aging Well Hub’s mapping tools will continue to be useful in crafting policy around caregivers and senior housing in the future. “We think it’s an effective method for untangling the complex challenges in caring for an exponentially aging population.”