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College Students Compete in Hackathon to Develop Technology for Family Caregivers

artwork courtesy of The Lindsay Institute

AARP Virginia State Director Bill Kallio to Judge “Caring for the Caregiver Hack” Contest

RICHMOND _ Student computer programmers and software developers from across the state will compete this weekend to design technology to help family caregivers.


AARP Virginia State Director Bill Kallio will judge the The Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving’s inaugural “Caring for the Caregiver Hack.” The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22 at Troutman Sanders LLP, 1001 Haxall Point, Richmond VA 23219.

Student teams from the following Virginia colleges and universities will work collaboratively, matched with a family caregiver, to develop tools that help caregivers stay healthy: College of William and Mary, George Mason University, James Madison University, Lynchburg College, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech. A Grand Prize Winner ($5,000) will be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges and a People’s Choice Winner ($1,000) will be chosen by the audience.


The Lindsay Institute’s Caring for the Caregiver Hack provides students at Virginia colleges and universities a fun and engaging opportunity to create technological tools, with a special focus on improving their physical or emotional health. Follow the Lindsay Institute on Twitter @caregiving_inno. The hashtag for the event is:  #Caring4CaregiverHack.       


A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects—though many events are more general "focused innovation efforts" that include non-coders and community members creating new technology for social good.


During the hackathon, the students will form multi-disciplinary teams (Nursing/Medical, Marketing, Engineering, Gerontology, IT, Business, Psychology, etc.) that will be under the leadership of a mentor from each school. Participants will be provided with a thought-provoking, engaging and educational challenge, with multi-media presentations and notable speakers providing the next generation with education on the realities that caregivers face both prior to the challenge and at the event. The teams will work collaboratively over a 24-hour period, matched-up with family caregivers, to create realistic and usable technological tools that will positively impact caregiver health and wellness. At the conclusion of the 24-hour “development”, teams will present their ideas/products to an elite panel of judges who will award a Grand Prize Winner ($5,000 cash prize). A People’s Choice Winner ($1,000 cash prize) will also be chosen by attendees of the event.


1.4 million family caregivers in Virginia provide an average of 20-40 hours per week of care. The burden on these caregivers is significant and their own physical and emotional health often deteriorates dramatically as they provide care for their loved one.


The Lindsay Institute is an initiative of SeniorNavigator, a statewide public/private partnership non-profit that helps Virginia’s seniors, caregivers and families find vital information and community programs so they can live with independence, dignity and hope.


The goal of the Lindsay Institute is to improve the health of caregivers. With the number of Virginians aged 65+ doubling by the year 2030 to 1.8 million and there already being over 1 million caregivers across the state providing 88% of all eldercare, we’re working to keep caregivers from neglecting their own health while they care for a loved one.


AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at


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