CaringFamily completes NIA Phase I research; proceeds to Phase II

National Institute on Aging SBIR study suggests elders and family communications increase

Boulder, CO - October 17, 2006 - CaringFamily today announced that Phase I of its National Institute on Aging-funded research initiative has been successfully completed. After thorough observation of the system's operations in a representative test group, and amid promising indications of family communications improvements, CaringFamily is finalizing work on Phase II testing design. That phase will seek to demonstrate specific, quantifiable effects from the company’s service, which connects elders in assisted living with remote family and friends.

"Phase I studies of this type are staged to confirm the operational feasibility of the test system and to assess the promise it holds in broader scale research," said Mike Williams, CaringFamily’s Chief Technology Officer and principal investigator on the NIA research effort. "We're pleased that our system performed so well in this preliminary work. Of course we're far more excited to proceed to Phase II, where we expect to see, now more than ever, the dramatic impacts our system can produce in elder wellness through enhanced family communications."

Williams continued, "We 're confident that as we deliver our system's full suite of therapeutic applications to a broader range of test subjects in the next Phase, the results could be truly ground-breaking."

Promoting social interaction within families

The study’s pilot group of elders and their caregivers were equipped with CaringFamily’s innovative Magic Mailbox appliance and the online service that supports communications with it. Over several months, each test group was encouraged to use the service to exchange messages on topics of their choice.

The results revealed unexpectedly high levels of communications between elders and their extended families, producing intriguing insight into family social dynamics. Specifically, each pilot "caregroup" exchanged an average of 10 messages per week with the subject elder, on topics that covered a broad range of life issues, notably health issues. Elders also took frequent advantage of the Magic Mailbox's patent pending one-button send capability to create hand-written cards and messages that were automatically routed to appropriate family members. The study also identified the central role of the "kin keeper" (the most active moderator and guardian of family interaction) in these conversations. These concepts will in part guide the processes pursued in Phase II.

A new approach to family communication

The service is designed to bridge the side of the "digital divide" by allowing every generation to communicate in ways they’re most comfortable with: elders use pencil and paper, while their children and grandchildren use computers and other familiar digital tools. CaringFamily’s patent-pending service is the subject of two major federal grants and is in commercial trial with leading assisted living firms around the US.

About CaringFamily

CaringFamily provides the first service that brings the therapeutic benefits of family communications to elder care. The service enables assisted living and other care professionals to encourage active dialog between seniors in their care and their families, regardless of location-every day, with virtually no additional effort. Scientific studies point to dramatic therapeutic outcomes from such communications, including enhanced physical and mental health and, ultimately, longer life spans—as well as substantial profitability gains for the senior care companies that provide it. Located in Louisville, CO, CaringFamily is privately held. More information is available at www.caringfamily.com.

To contact us for more information:

CaringFamily, LLC
1003 Turnberry Cir
Louisville, CO 80027-9594
303-442-2607
info at caring family dot com