Monday, March 23, 2009

Have You Heard About Ruby's Bequest?

As you know, I sometimes make a point of reporting about other blogs and sites that are making a unique contribution to caregiving. I recently learned about a project you might be interested in. Basically it’s a virtual-reality project called Ruby’s Bequest, sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), AARP, and the Institute for the Future (IFTF) which seeks to develop solutions to the imminent care-giving crisis.

Experts are predicting that, in the near future, there will be shortages of paid care-givers and direct service providers, shortages in government resources to assist people who use care services, and an influx of people who will need said services as more Boomers with disabilities start aging, and as more Boomers start aging into disability.

Ruby’s Bequest is a story-telling project which aims to provoke a massive brainstorming session amongst all its participants. During the course of the project, participants will be presented with various future scenarios containing various care-giving related problems. They will then have to put their heads together and imagine creative solutions to those problems.

The end result of the project will be a compendium of novel ideas and solutions to the near-term problems associated with care-giving and caring in general. Hopefully it will also serve as the beginning of a conversation about a new, more holistic and sustainable way to look at the role of caring in society.

The creator's of Ruby’s Bequest state that:

- it is a “massively multi-player future forecasting role-playing experience” designed by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), AARP, and the Institute for the Future (IFTF).

- it is for people with disabilities and people without disabilities alike.

To look at the website go here:

- it is a way of crowd-sourcing for innovative solutions to challenges facing the care-giving community.

- it takes place in the fiction town of Deepwell, USA, where a cast of characters (played by IFTF operators) interacts with online participants (the public) and gives them a series of “caring challenges” to overcome.

To find out what’s going on in Deepwell, go here:

- it requires game participants to send in their suggestions and ideas for how to solve the problems posed by each “caring challenge”, either via email, telephone, or video message.

What a fun and challenging way to deal with our very serious subject!

Bob Tell
Author, "Dementia-Diary, A Caregiver's Journal"