Caring Family

Connecting Elders, Empowering Caregivers

CaringFamilyOlder adults value and benefit from regular contact with family members but often do not get enough, especially after moving into assisted living.  Families want connection but geographic dispersion limits visits.  Their preferred e-contact mechanisms exclude most elders.  The Family Connections Services (FCS) technology bridges the gap between the pencil and paper world of elders and the electronic universe of their families, using communication as a therapeutic tool.  This proposal adapts the Digital Mailbox for assisted living environment, and tests the impact of the FCS on frequency of e-communication, the range of family involved, and family and individual well-being.

This study aims to:

A. Overall aim:  Facilitate connections between elders in assisted living centers with their families.

B. Specific aims:

  1. Evaluate business processes related to deployment of the Family Connections Service (FCS) to older adults living in assisted living.
  2. Evaluate the ability of FCS to increase communication between elderly and families.
  3. Investigate the relationship between use of the FCS and elder and family well-being.

The people involved with this project are:

  • Sara Honn Qualls, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

  • Kelli Klebe, Ph.D., Investigator

  • Melissa Doffing, M.A., Project Director

  • Kate Lane, Sheri Gibson, Christina Vair, Project Staff

  • Paul Davoust, President & CEO, CaringFamily

  • Michael D. Williams, Chief Technology Officer, CaringFamily

  • David Taenzer, Director of Software Engineering, CaringFamily

  • Paul Hudnut, Member of the Board of Directors, CaringFamily


This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health through a SBIR grant with CaringFamily.


Contact Information

  • Melissa Doffing, M.A., Project Director, 719-667-0187,