Aboutthe Membo Noticeboard Story
Membo Noticeboard was created by Anne-Louise and Mark Underwood
Video story created by LifeTec Australia as part of a project funded by the Dementia and Aged Service Fund
Like so many great ideas, Membo is a digital communication system that came about from our personal experience with an issue that many of us face, and for which many of us are ill-prepared – dementia care.
Our challenge was how to look after Anne-Louise’s elderly mother amidst the onset of Alzheimer’s Dementia – initially her progressive memory loss, and as the time went on, her loss of other cognitive capacity and ability to manage basic daily activities.
There was a significant threat to her independence, and we struggled with increasing levels of carer overwhelm as a result of constant phone calls, increasing responsibilites, and our concerns for her well-being.
We have a background in Medical Administration Software & Services Development, with the common elements in our systems being real-time communication, connection and servicing people.
It wasn’t a huge step to consider creating something that would help us to manage our own situation.
Membo proved so successful, that now we provide vital support for people living with a range of conditions and disabilities including Acquired Brain Injury, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia including Younger Onset, ADHD, mental illnesses, and complex physical disabilities.
Our Key Criteria
Our solution had to be simple. The Noticeboard needed to be constantly on display without the need to touch it, and simple in layout & format.
The Noticeboard needed to provide not just daily appointment information, but also the answers to constantly worrying, and frequently changing questions – an inherent part of dementia care.
We needed to be able to display & effectively exchange up-to-date information with everyone involved – family and support workers.
We needed to be able to update information without the need to physically go over to her home so that we could provide the same level of support even when we weren’t there.
Reduce worry and stress
Overall, we needed to create a solution that would meet her need for accurate information 24/7 and alleviate our mounting feelings of overwhelm
Creating a Digital Communication System
At the heart of all decisions in relation to Membo Noticeboard:
1. creating a system that is easy for everyone to use, irrespective of technical proficiency
2. creating a system that does the job for which it was designed, and does it well
3. whenever practical, enhancing the system to meet our Users’ needs
It can be difficult to resist the temptation to add functionality – just because you can, and of course with software, virtually everything is possible!
Our approach has always been to adopt only enhancements that increase the value and usability for our end users – whether that be the person who needs support, a Family member or Carer, or a member of the Support Team.
“As you know, I’m in Melbourne and dad lives in Brisbane. After he had an accident and I visited him in Brisbane, my concern was how was he going to cope when I got home. We had been working with dad’s pocket diary and a whiteboard, but that wasn’t helping me to know what was going on and whether he was getting the help he needed. I have found the Noticeboard really beneficial because I can now keep track. It’s been a real life saver, and an absolute relief to be able to know what’s going on.”
“The Noticeboard has made a real difference in managing a complex and challenging support plan. With up to 12 support workers providing care support 24/7 the App has enabled his whole support team to connect on another level to meet his needs.”
“We are loving the ability for therapists to input their notes so kids and I are updated, and it enables easy multi-disciplinary approach. Well done Anne-Louise, congratulations! As you know I’m a raving fan having had personal experience using Membo Noticeboard to support family. A brilliant product to also help support those living with acquired brain injuries.”