Holochain Forum

Aging at Home in Your Community

I want to create a group to discuss the use of Technology and Service Model changes to help seniors age at home. The ability to create a community based value exchange mechanism makes HoloChain an ideal platform for creating a support infrastructure for Aging at Home as a community.
I am still learning more about HoloChain and IOT and that also seems like an great option for a resilient support capability for Aging at Home.
Hope to gather folks interested in developing this capability. I am in discussions with the creator of a product called Helpful Village (https://www.helpfulvillage.com/the_village_movement ) to see if he wants to help with this effort. He may need some convincing after our initial discussions.
@MsAnita @lucas.tauil


Also needed to add @bear to this list.

Have you looked into Fureai Kippu?


What are you looking for support-wise at this stage @ravinbala?

Eric: I am interested in creating a discussion on what such a system would entail in terms of capabilities. After we map out initial capabilities, I would seek dev help. I appreciate the contribution from Moritz Beirling above.

Aha. Okay. Cool.

@ravinbala, I think just opening a general discussion on the forum is the kind of thing that kind of thing that usually fizzles without some mass getting added to it. I think a good first step would be to do some describing or, better yet, doodling/diagraming of what/how you think a distributed application structure for resilient support capability for aging at home community.

Do you have any of these thoughts on paper or virtual paper yet that you could share as a jumping off point for conversation, and as a place to see where your current thinking’s at and what shifts might be possible with Holochain?

I’m not the kind of person who does that stuff independantly, so if you would benefit from working it through with someone, I imagine there’d be a community organizer who’d be down to spend a little time working with you to get the stuff down and into a shareable format for the conversation to grow from!

What do you think?

@bear I don’t have a white paper or a design document. However, the Village to Village network is the base model that can be improved upon and Helpful Village is a infrastructure to start with enhanceents that only a HoloChain framework can provide;

  1. https://www.helpfulvillage.com
  2. https://www.vtvnetwork.org/content.aspx?page_id=274&club_id=691012

Given this, I would like to pair up with some one that can explain what is possible with HoloChain and see if we can add the features of the Fureai Kippu to the VTV framework. This also needs concepts such as reputation economy built in that Sid Sthalekar talks about. I know this is wide and unformed but that is the stage of the project.

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Hi @ravinbala!

It was great to “meet” you at the virtual meetup a couple of weeks back, thanks for taking me up on my suggestion of posting here in the forums in order to open up discussions as I have an interest in this area and I’m sure others do too.

You mentioned you’d discussed this on elemental chat however I am not lucky enough to be able to have access to that and presumably the nature of synchronous comms means it’s not stored/accessible easily at the moment - did anything come out of that? Just trying to get an idea of what’s the current ‘status’.

I think this is a fantastic idea as there are so many opportunities in this area - I have my own ideas based on my recent experience with my Vitamin B12 recovery and how that helped me discover going grain free and pain free and how in turn that helped me heal my mother’s leg ulcers in three months simply by changing diet but sadly they’re now back again due to not keeping up said diet and how all that ties into things like mental health, having regular local contact not just from random amazon delivery people and so on.

Having spent another couple of hours on the phone yesterday figuring out which precise creams and various snake oil treatments she’s wanting me to order her online and another few hundred quid down the drain I believe there’s a business model to be created that could link keen young people who want to do things like cook and perhaps light home duties and it would cost a lot less than my mother’s spending on various what I term as ‘medical’ supplies for stuff that’s not fixing the underlying problem.

Also the food is mostly from factories and/or ground that has pretty much all the nutrients gone from it. As I found out in my journey going grain-free, inflammatory ingredients seem to be in everything which is why I cook everything from scratch and at the moment have a pretty limited grain-free, nightshade-free, vegetarian (almost vegan but sitting here digging into my weekly thick greek yoghurt lol).

The story with my mother is because I stayed round hers for about six months a year ago as I’d spent the previous two years going from not being able to stand up or think straight to discovering I had a Vitamin B12 deficiency, that my father has always had low B12 and doesn’t recycle it well, my mother has plenty but issues with transport of it around the body hence more up and down as externalised by ADHD but now ends up in hospital when the B12 drops really low which she thinks is stroke but hospital always let her out after a day or so saying they don’t know what it is but suspiciously the last two times its happened have been not that long after my sister whom I haven’t spoken with in years has taken her out for a meal in a pub. With gravy and stuff.

Anyway, I digress and yes my comments are long but there is a reason - and I agree a group would be good to discuss these areas as there are literally thousands of things Holochain could potentially be of benefit as opposed to other options however the forums here are all we have at the moment where the community is so sorry but not sorry about the long reply but I hope you’ll see why by the end of this first reply… :wink:

So, to wrap up the first bit about my interest, the key reason I thought up providing local food for local people is because my B12 recovery relied on following protocols for vitamin recovery I discovered on facebook groups, some with over 70k members. B12 is a HUGE issue - see sites like https://b12deficiency.info/ and there’s a handy symptoms calculator at http://www.b12d.org/admin/healthcheck/diagnosticcalculator you can use and share for anyone who’s ill with things like CFS and many other ‘diseases’ which get misdiagnosed but really are just B12 deficiency. Trouble is there’s lots of money in the pharma industry as we know and things like cheap unpatentable vitamin therapy like B12 is just not profitable. So whether by active choice or just because money is focused elsewhere we now have this issue where hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are ill and on various medication which isn’t fixing the problem but patching the result of the problem and leads to other problems. Also increasingly actions like the MHRA (the UK’s regulatory authority / corporate protection racket) do things like stop the B12 charity from sending free supplies out to those who need it yet you can go to a beauty salon and pay an exorbitant price for an injection - £20 or so when they cost 50p plus 50p for syringes/needles etc. each. For recovery I had to self-inject at least once every 48 hours which is actually the NICE/BNF official guidelines for those with history of mental health issues however literally zero doctors in the UK give you this, I had two sets of ‘loading doses’ and half-way through the second set my appointment got postponed so I decided to bite the bullet and order B12 from Germany (cos we are not allowed to buy it over the counter in the UK but can import it for personal use) and haven’t looked back since. I was literally losing my mind at the time and saw it could be permanent with Subacute Combined Degeneration of the Spinal Cord if I didn’t get up on therapy quickly so took it into my own hands and went from passing out whenever I saw a needle to someone who’s now self-injected over 2,000 times in the last three years and gone from not being able to stand up or think straight to losing half my weight, cycling 30 miles 3 times a week around the Essex countryside on my little Brompton, and who can write incredibly long comment replies on forums lol…

So, discovering the B12 issue in myself and seeing how it affected my parents - my father started therapy too and went from having ‘flappy feet’ to looking ten years younger and is a lot better now but has a terrible diet and doesn’t plan on changing that anytime soon and has been on statins since he was 35 and made it to 83 so far but hovering on stage 3/4 kidney disease so will see how that goes but he’s fairly ok with daily life. My mother however has always been ill as far as I remember and has been housebound with leg ulcers which came on after chemo and has issues with high platelet levels, irregular production of red blood cells and lots of stomach issues. I saw correlation between this and B12 as if you don’t fix an underlying B12 issue it spreads to affecting everything and when I thought my sister was helping her with food ordering and stuff but went to visit and her fridge just had mouldy food in it and not a lot - she literally won’t eat for days when ill but doesn’t see that it’s the food she’s eating that’s making her ill and the medicine she’s taking like this stuff to sooth her stomach but has milk in it so it’s a vicious circle. Anyway three months into me being there and going through pretty much hell every day her ulcers were almost gone but it’s not easy to live on the diet I am I admit as it takes time and determination and even though I fall off the wagon once a week I see most people seem to do it multiple times a day.

Oh, the key - yes, so the key is the injections - if you had a local network where you either start with people in their kitchens or a shared kitchen somewhere where meals could be prepped for local delivery and those who deliver could also do things like sort out injections where necessary and perhaps other light duties then you could mix a number of current services in and all you’d need for it to be sustainable is a minimum number of ‘subscribers’ and I think it would solve a lot of problems in one go - local jobs, company for old people in terms of getting to know regular people, healthy diet stuff as I believe you can cook pretty good nice tasty stuff without having stuff that makes you ill in it, and big issues like B12 deficiency which they think could be up to a third of all alzheimers /dementia. Currently the MHRA and pharma are pushing people towards lozenges and stuff like that for B12 which simply doesn’t work, injections are the only ‘proper’ recovery way for those who don’t absorb properly. Lozenges work for some, but when you see videos like on the sites I linked to above where this guy went from literally skeleton to full life again it’s obvious - there was a ‘mysterious’ case in London a couple of years back where they found this mummified body and said they’d not taken their B12 for a while but there was ‘no link’. They’re even dousing sheep in B12 because the way farming is it’s completely ripped it out of the ground. There’s so many links on this issue hence why I suggested posting on the forum as I believe it’s wider than just helping people age - it could be a catalyst for helping in other areas, it’s all about finding something that will be used and sustainable - ideas are great but execution is key.

The problems I see for my ‘idea’ is a) getting enough recipes that are going to be of interest to people who are at a stage where many seem quite reluctant to change, or just ignoring those and focusing on ones who do but then finding enough in an area - where my mother lives for example is a small rural town so the service couldn’t necessarily be that specific but I don’t know until research done b) if including the B12 injections then education about the issue - I know I recovered from it and many do, but perhaps people older think it’s “too late” when it’s never too late and things can change very quickly just like they did when I was doing the cooking and B12 therapy for my mum, she was literally dancing around the room smiling at one point because she could see her body was beginning to recover and no longer looking like skeletor. Gonna have to stop typing that stuff cos crying a bit but it’s truly amazing and also shocking how bad the system we live in now is but we can change it if we actually co-operate and blah blah stop ranting steve.

Other things like the knowledge of a chef, managing business, etc. there are plenty of people out there skilled who can do that, none of these ideas will work unless there are customers, and that’s the sweet spot I’m hoping discussions like this will help spark ideas and connections in others that perhaps means something beneficial will emerge in time. I’ve seen plenty of examples where just the fact someone has posted their idea online it’s developed many years after so better out than in.

Where I think Holochain works particularly well on this is not to do with mutual credit, although could be applied to it. Where I believe Holochain comes into effect is the ability for each “customer” to have a small machine in their home that stores their preferences, medical info, and so on. It also provides the ability for continuity of service as the nature of the model is local so eventually it wouldn’t rely on the town being connected to the next town in order to work. Also I feel the nature of the project if successful could annoy a few big businesses and other actors so it provides resilience. And in terms of medical data, it enables querying of actual data, I personally feel a lot of the ‘current situation’ in the world has dubious foundations when it comes to actual facts and statistics. But that’s another story.

This idea also stemmed from when I was in contact with the B12 charity as they wanted to update their symptoms tracker and back-end system as they have lots of requests for help but no funds as usual for any of these interesting issues. I see if people own their own data then you can have different ‘views’ into that, say one is a layer to see if you have B12 deficiency. Also owning your own data and making projects like this successful will hopefully provide power to move other parts of the industry to do similar as at the moment it’s very top-down and often you can’t even access your own data or you have to pay for it. If you find that ‘killer app’ for Holochain and change the way value is created and show it’s possible for agent-centricity to work and be profitable in this way then companies will follow, happens every time - they will say no no no until you show them how to make money from it then they’re like flies round sh*t. Some don’t, and they die, like kodak etc.

I don’t think Holochain is unique in its ability to do this, I believe there’s more unique properties of Holochain’s distributed decentralised agent-centric approach that could create interesting value propositions other technologies can’t, like I’ve outlined in my rant above.

Also there’s the benefits of community apps like chat etc. that a small machine in each house would provide.

Creating code is the last thing needed IMHO, that’s the easy bit. Also capabilities are pretty much abundant. Paying customers, that’s what’s needed. Having spent the last 30 years in the IT industry, every single time something has worked it’s because someone had a need for it and been willing to pay for satisfying that need, and every time something hasn’t it’s because people have put time, money and effort into something which has zero paying customers yet (including external funders, not friend and family). That’s just my 2p though…!

I looked at the thing that was the software offering - I would say they have their own business model and I believe the value Holochain provides is dimensionally different that some “higher” thinking needs to be done about offerings like I hope I have done above in terms of things like how personal data is stored and used, providing local resilience etc.

Right, that’s probably enough from me for now lol. Thanks again for posting, it’s this cross-pollination of ideas I love!

OK, one more… you got me thinking of my mum… this is the card I made for her birthday back in Jan with pics from when I was round there - top right is the one where she was trying on new clothes and happy cos B12 therapy was beginning to work.

I feel I need to clarify:

I realise sometimes I type stuff that is interpreted as me thinking I know all the things. I don’t, here’s a great episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast where David Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group describes this entrepreneurial process really well in that the best thing to do is execute, find a start point and try it. That’s not negating what I’m saying above about paying customers - if you execute and nobody buys then you have your answer. What I’m alluding to is how we can all build these ideas up in our minds and in products and services then go and try to sell them as opposed to starting from a very early stage then moulding as we go because often the initial idea is nothing like the end result because our brains are limited by our ability to see.

In fact IIRC David says he thinks all ideas are bad, it’s the act of execution that leads to things.

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Hi @ravinbala, thanks for the invite. You may be interested in the Low-Code Holo project that is currently being explored at https://crystalwaters.org.au/ in Australia. The initial problem they want to address is centred around the whole volunteer model and then expand across a number of other functions. Interestingly the whole idea was centred around the problems for older women who are very vulnerable in a post-Covid economy. The question who to enable them to feel safe or at least meet the needs of being safer. David Atkins will be interviewing them with Belinda next week. I will reach out to Sabine and invite her to comment. PS. I believe that @stephenbpurkiss has highlighted a very important principle. Look that the problem first and then the tech and not the other way around. For my part, I have some understanding of age-care from a professional perspective and suspect that the complex root problem will be the starting point if you can define it and, that this will probably be “wicked” in nature. Therefore, a single solution can not fix it, requiring a more holistic perspective and a staged incremental approach. Trick stuff - age-care and health, to fix. Almost all technology-based initiatives have failed worldwide (in health and human services sectors) at an astonishing cost. I suspect that the Holochain architecture can provide a brilliant bedrock for a meaningful solution once you have discovered what that is. If not, then it’s the usual story of the blind leading the blind to nowhere and that’s not where you or they want to be. haha Pip pip Stephen

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Stephen: Agree 100%. Need mission and problem first.

I want to create a communications and value exchange infrastructure to support a super Village (using this as a foundation: https://vtvnetwork.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=691012&module_id=248578) that enables [email protected] in Your Community ( Engaged Active Living with Purpose). The functions that I would like to see enabled are:

  1. Transportation (volunteer and/or uber/lyft)
  2. Food (neighbor food exchange or ghost kitchen)
  3. Chores Help ( a barter / value exchange system of time)
  4. Skilled labor ( value exchange with some type of equivalence) – not fully formed.
  5. Companionship – Sitting / storytime / VR etc
  6. ADL and Deeper level care –
  7. All of this need to be powered by Value Exchange with some type of FureAi Kippu type ability so that remote family can help (https://youtu.be/x7bzk3DmoGk ).
  8. The system should be set up so that it can function as a single household or as a community.


  1. The local agent should also be able to interact with AgeTech IOT and create alerts and take actions.

I assume that the real challenge is in the human/social engineering and iterative learning on what works to keep engagement up and the service useful. I would appreciate discussions on this.

The ultimate goal of the project is to enable the home to hospice pathway and skip institutional senior care. From what I know of HoloChain ( still a long ways to go in being able to explain it to others), it seems like the perfect foundation for this need.

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Thanks, @ravinbala. The more I understand about the architecture of Holochain, the more confident I have become in its ability to host a solution for fixing a problem. I do not see Holochain (or any technology) in itself as the solution. For me, it’s part of a wider ontology (without which the solution could not work). I would encourage you to get your head around the architecture to think out how it underpins the solution and how to use what has already been done or thought about. I agree with the question of what works? I teach that subject at Hult International Business School, starting with the problem, pain (caused by the problem), the good idea (solution) and the measurable and verifiable value impact of the benefits. It’s tough to predict if something with work without those metrics, other than building it first and seeing if you can find a problem that people care enough about to prioritise effort, money, time, and reputation to find out. This is a link to some free stuff on the value aspect. https://digital-value-capture.teachable.com/ pip pip. Stephen. PS. If you cant measure value, then you can’t capture it and, if you cant capture value, then you can not use it to achieve the intended purpose. The problem with most value chains and exchanges is that they are really talking about benefits and not the measurable value impact of the benefits.

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Perhaps doing a 5 whys analysis on this and posting your results would be a good starting point so we can gain greater insight into your vision for this @ravinbala.

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