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Social Integration and Education

Uberising Health Coaching Addressing the Increasing Demand for Just-in-Time, Bite-Sized and Affordable Health Coaching for Older Adults

PI: Prof Theng Yin Leng

Abstract

Motivation & Objectives

With a growing population of older adults aged 65 years and above, challenges from age-related disabilities and diseases, caregiver stress, and reductions in the number of available family caregivers due to factors such as declining fertility rates, has led to elderly care via the informal system to be insufficient. Hence, caregiving services are an increasing need for the rapidly ageing population of Singapore. This project aims to address the increasing demand for caregiving services for older adults especially in the management of diabetes and psychosocial care by proposing an ecosystem to “uberise” health coaching to harness innovative and smart technologies to deliver technology-enabled, just-in-time, bite-sized and affordable training modules on caregiving. In this project, we will design and develop an ecosystem, which we will call the “Uber Coaches for Health Services and Knowledge (UCHESK) system to uberise caregiving services through co-ordinating and managing just-in-time and bite-sized caregiving services training, as well as affordable and efficient health coaching to aid the elderly to better manage their diabetes conditions.

Method

The training curriculum for health coaches will be evaluated in stages. First, a baseline focus group study will be conducted to understand needs of caregiving with a focus on diabetes management and psychosocial issues. Second, a systematic review of existing curricula and training methods for effective health coaching will be conducted. Third, a focus group study will evaluate the proposed curriculum road map for health coaching of older adults with diabetes. Drawing upon theoretical models and empirical data, we will design and develop the UCHESK prototype. Feasibility data will be collected to test the usability and perceived effectiveness of the prototype. Using the case of health coaching for diabetes care management, an efficacy study using a randomized control trial design will be conducted to measure the UCHESK prototype in the way of productivity, effectiveness and satisfaction of the UCHESK prototype, an ecosystem delivering health coaching for older adults with diabetes.

Novelty and Contributions

We envisage that trained health coaches could support older adults to monitor and manage their personalized care plans developed by their primary care providers. Retrained older adults will experience a meaningful career that allows them remain engaged and productive as well as financially independent and active. Retrained older adults will also be healthier from the nature of their practice as formal caregivers, encouraging overall wellness as they age. We hypothesise that care recipients could experience better management of diabetes, decreases in social isolation and overall improvements to psychosocial wellness and wellbeing.