Wiki-Care - A Framework for Sustainable Caregiving Abstract This document describes the means to implement a system that

allows persons in need of assistance and care to place “assistance requests” on an Internet platform, accessible to a community of “caregivers”. Each subscribed caregiver periodically receives reports about the current demand for assistance, and chooses his own actions and timeschedule. From the caregiver’s point of view, the system operates in a similar way as a pension system, wherein each contributor agrees to give up a fraction of his income (time), and expects to receive a later payback. Introduction Although altruism was intensely investigated over the past decades ([1],[2],[3]) there are still many open questions regarding the psychological and neurological machanisms theat motivate certain individuals to act –apparently – against their immediate interests of well-being. While some altruistic actions seem more like a “postponed egoism” (e.g. a pension system, wherein each contributor gives up a fraction of his income, and expects to receive a later payback), others have complex motivations (e.g. Wikipedia [4]), not necessarily related to empathy. Even at a superficial review of the literature on altruism, it becomes obvious that the mechanisms involved in altruistic behavior are described by keywords like: empathy, kin/community, reciprocity/reward, reputation, values, ideology. Description of the solution Background The vast majority of people in need of constant care are elderly suffering from cognitive and/or locomotion disorders. Their number is likely to grow in the near future, as the population of developped countries is ageing. In many cases, it is even possible to predict (based on the medical and social record) that some persons have an increased risk of becoming a burden for the family or social services. I believe that most people coming close to retirement would be ready to “invest” some of their time and effort in a sort of insurance policy, by working voluntarily as caregivers, if they knew that they would benefit of similar care, when needed. The solution Define the techological and social framework to create a system, operating similarly to a pension system, wherein contributors do not invest money, but time and effort as caregivers. Such contributors are entitled to receive, free of charge, similar care if they will need it sometime in the future.

the right to register as a careseeker in the system can be restricted only to former caregivers. email. Tarcher. web). Ushahidi is open source. and provide feedback after the actual contact. mobile.Create a system for reputation management based on user feedback (ebay style) for both careseekers and caregivers. American Psychologist. . IP cameras when possible). No.Create a database of caregivers. email. what they chose. Nature 425. References [1] Ernst Fehr and Urs Fischbacher. Daniel. In principle. 336-346. What motivates Wikipedians? Communications of the ACM Volume 50 Issue 11. . This is possible with the following technical setup: . and not just from a financial perspective (see [6]). pp. based on Ushahidi ([5]) to manage and display the requests for assistance from various sources (SMS. but keep a record of the total time they spend in caregiving activities. Jeremy P.45. MMS. Careseekers without a previous record as caregivers may be required to pay a fee to benefit from the services offered by the system. Let them work Wiki-style. Journal of Consciousness Studies. pp.3.785-791 [2] Batson.Create an Internet platform. 2009 . How social an animal? The human capacity for caring. 8. The impact might be considerable. Note that. after a registration. Vol 45(3).1037/0003-066X. 5–7. The ‘Shared Manifold’ Hypothesis From Mirror Neurons To Empathy. 2001.com/ [6] Jeremy Rifkin. and will require minimal costs for maintenance. Conclusion The proposed solution is feasible with reasonable effort. by allowing them.Allow direct communication between careseekers (or their families) and caregivers (Skype. so that any user can access a “profile” of the persons with whom he comes in contact. The whole set of software modules involved should be open access and open source. November 2007 [5] http://ushahidi.336 [3] Vittorio Gallese. once created. and keep track of their activity. After some time. Mar 1990. C. open access and free. doi: 10. with minimal supervision and costs. the system described above will operate in a manner entirely similar to Wikipedia. Several similar systems can operate in parallel. to select from the current list of active requests for assistance. .Ideally. when they chose. Oct. Enable telepresence when possible. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 33–50 [4] Oded Nov. and can be implemented in a matter of months. The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis. such a system can be maintained by NGOs or Government authorities. The nature of human altruism. 2003. this system should work just by direct interaction between careseekers and caregivers.

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