The Purple Sherpa
There's precious little information to help the Alzheimer's caregiver survive the journey they face with their loved-one. Meet Julie Fleming: attorney, author, speaker, business consultant, and primary caregiver for her father. He's also a lawyer who, in 2011, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and vascular dementia. An only child, Julie admits that she learned more than she ever wanted to know about the medical, legal, and financial aspects of caring for a parent with Alzheimer's Disease. Julie was the first of her friends to face a parent's Alzheimer's diagnosis. After tremendous amounts of research, combined with trial & error, she's now sharing what she's learned--and more--in hopes of saving others from unnecessary challenges and stumbling blocks.
The problem: caregivers are always told they need to care for themselves first--but there's never any explanation of how to do that. Julie's goal was to create a non-profit brand supporting the primary caregiver who soldiers on against great odds. The brand needed to be clear, respectful, welcoming, judgement-free, informative and supportive. Purple is the recognized color for Alzheimer's. As Julie Fleming says, "Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is like being told you're going to climb Everest without any equipment, oxygen or training." Nonetheless, the caregiver gets there, and does it carrying a loved one.
The Purple Sherpa. Shouldering the weight of caring.
How to be a hub of information for a core customer already dealing with overwhelm. The goal was to make the site welcoming, positive and easy to navigate. Users are being pulled in myriad directions and have little time or bandwidth to slog through dense and complicated design. What's a helpful book? Where's a nearby support group? Is there a video on managing finances? What stories can I learn from? It's all in bite-sized chunks. It's all offered with a tone of care and empathy.
"There is no support group at 2am." Wow. Just let the woman who started it all say it in her own words. Nothing we could script would be more powerful, relatable and compelling than Julie's voice telling Julie's story. She understands in the way only someone who's been through it for over 7 years can. She is truly a special person.
Two jobs. Two sets of cards. For the board members, the business card has a front side you might expect--logo and important details. But the back of the card, it tells the human story. It features a photo of each board member with loved one for whom they're caring. The foundation's general card is a vertical that brings the idea of climbing that mountain.