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There are more than 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States, providing 34 billion hours of care each year, representing an estimated $67 billion in lost income. Many caregivers struggle to balance a full-time job with caring for multiple family members simultaneously. Despite their importance to our families and communities, caregivers are an often overlooked and underrepresented majority.

Caregivers are at an increased risk of negative health outcomes. According to a 2023 Guardian Life study, 41% of caregivers report poor physical, mental and financial well-being, compared to 31% of non-caregivers. The stress that comes with caring for themselves and their loved ones leads to burnout in many caregivers. Symptoms of caregiver burnout are similar to anxiety and depression and lead to isolation, exhaustion, loss of interest in activities, detachment from care, and physical health problems in both the caregiver and the care recipient. Therefore, if the caregiver is experiencing burnout, they are more likely to place the care recipient in a long-term care facility.

When caregivers get the support they need, caregiving can be a positive, empowering experience. A study from the John Hopkins University Center on Aging reports that caregivers who prioritize their own health have higher self-esteem and longer life expectancy. The first step to improving health outcomes for caregivers is finding effective and affordable resources to reduce burnout and promote well-being. One such resource is TCARE, Inc., a caregiver support platform that combines high-tech and human empathy to reduce the risk of burnout. We sat down with Ali Ahmadi, the co-founder and CEO of TCARE, to learn more about the technology’s potential to improve health outcomes for caregivers.

A case study in nursing

Ali, a former U.S. Navy aviator who worked for Siemens for eight years as an engineer, was first introduced to caregiving in late 2015 after his mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma. In the months that followed, the stresses of caregiving took a toll on Ali’s family and marriage. A former military friend connected Ali with his mother, who was researching caregiving. In 2016, Ali and his wife met the team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where researchers were developing the Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral protocol.

The protocol is supported by Caregiver Identity Theory, which views caregiving as a series of personal and emotional transitions influenced by changes in the care environment and shifts in personal norms rooted in family roles and cultural backgrounds. Studies using the TCARE system have found that identity discrepancies, or identity shifts that occur in the early stages of caregiving when a child, spouse, parent, or friend becomes a caregiver, increase the risk of caregiver burnout. Throughout the day, caregivers change identities, from son or daughter to caregiver, and over time they lose their sense of self. The emotional impact of these identity discrepancies can lead to stress and, eventually, burnout.

Using AI for compassionate care

Recognizing the potential of the TCARE model to transform the lives of caregivers like himself, Ali partnered with experts in the field to expand the behavioral intervention model beyond academia and share it with caregivers. In 2017, Ali co-founded, a digital platform that uses AI to algorithmically assess the risks of caregiver burnout and connect caregivers with social workers or “care specialists” who provide the human touch. The TCARE care specialist provides empathy, advocacy, and ongoing connection to resources and services to meet the caregiver’s specific needs. Care specialists undergo training with the TCARE engineering team, data science team, and behavioral intervention team to learn how to use AI to improve their work. “We don’t overwhelm caregivers with technology. Technology is the tool, but not the enabler, that builds trust,” Ali clarifies. “We are able to build a one-on-one relationship with our care specialists, and they become trusted family caregiver navigators.”

When caregivers enroll in, they are assigned a care specialist who conducts a 20- to 40-minute assessment virtually via phone or video chat to gain information about the caregiver, understand their care journey, and their emotional and physical well-being. The care specialist will also ask questions about the care recipient, including the level of care they are receiving and activities they can do on their own. Using this information, the AI ​​algorithm recommends needed interventions and services to support the caregiver and helps create a care plan. Care specialists share this information with the caregiver and help them develop a care plan based on their needs, preferences, and availability. TCARE, Inc. partners with managed care organizations, long-term care insurance providers, employers, and federal and state-funded agencies to offer the platform to policyholders at no cost.

Ali and his wife used TCARE themselves to help them navigate the challenges of caregiving. TCARE’s algorithms identified that they needed marriage counseling because their risk factor for caregiver burnout was linked to the emotional impact of caregiving, which had led them to consider placing his mother-in-law in a nursing home. The system recommended a church two blocks from their home that offers free family counseling sessions.

Care in numbers

TCARE’s data scientists use 15 years of longitudinal data to identify trends and patterns for caregivers across different social, economic, and ethnic groups. The system can predict how likely someone is to place their loved one in a nursing home within the next 12 months or less, and use a person’s identity to determine what actions may increase or decrease caregiver burnout. TCARE’s data not only shows the differences among caregivers, but also the similarities between caregivers from all walks of life. “While tactical elements of caregiving may vary across cultures, the emotional impact on the caregiver is universal across cultures,” Ali explains.

The model has produced positive outcomes for many caregivers and their families. For example, 84% of users report reduced depression. The system has contributed to a 20% reduction in the use of home and community care and long-term care services, and an average delay of 21 months in placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Today, many caregivers remain at risk of burnout. Innovative models and technologies offer hope for a better future in which caregivers receive the care they need. She need so that they can continue to care for others.

The Well-being The blog supports critical health and well-being for all people to raise awareness, reduce stigma and discrimination, and change public discourse. The Well Beings campaign was launched in 2020 by WETA, the flagship station of PBS in Washington, DC, and began with the Youth Mental Health Project, followed by the 2022 documentary series Ken Burns presents “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness”, a film by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers (Now streaming on the PBS app.) WETA continues its award-winning “Well Beings” campaign with upcoming documentary CareExecutive producers: Bradley Cooper and Lea Pictures, premieres in 2025 on PBS.

For more Information: #WellBeings #WellBeingsLive You are not alone. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether or not they are considering suicide, please call, text or chat with a trained crisis counselor. To reach the Veterans Crisis Hotline, dial 988 and press 1, visit to chat online or send an SMS to 838255.

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