Why and How Logan Wells of CareZare Decided To Change Our World With Penny Bauder

I hear a lot about how younger people often feel unfulfilled with what they are doing and do not know what to do with their lives, but I don’t feel that. Helping people and having a positive impact makes you feel whole and I am happy it is what I’m doing. As part of my […]

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I hear a lot about how younger people often feel unfulfilled with what they are doing and do not know what to do with their lives, but I don’t feel that. Helping people and having a positive impact makes you feel whole and I am happy it is what I’m doing.

As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Logan Wells.

After his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, Logan struggled to find a way to help his family care for her. Then during sophomore year in high school, Logan had the idea of making an app where everyone involved in the caregiving process could keep track of and view updates about how his grandma was doing on their phones. After successfully making a version that helped his family, he decided to pursue making the app available to all caregivers, naming it CareZare. Now he is twenty years old and continues to work on the app to ensure it can help as many people as possible.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?

Growing up there was always an emphasis on doing activities with my family and working together for our common good. I have an identical twin and am older than him by two minutes (don’t let him forget it!) and an older sister who is graduating from college this year. My mom, who works at the middle school my siblings and I went to, and my dad have always been supportive about us following our passions, whether it be sports, debate, programming, or anything else. I am very thankful I grew up in such a positive environment and I would not be where I am today without my family.

You are currently leading a social impact organization. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

The goal of CareZare is to lower the burden on caregivers while improving the quality of life of those they care for. CareZare is an app that allows caregivers to invite everyone involved in the caregiving process to access information about the person who is being taken care of, who we call the Care Star, in one place. It lets caregivers log journal entries, keep track of routine tasks, stay up to date on calendar events, and access other important information through their phone.

Family caregiving is a part- or full-time unpaid job for tens of millions of people in the United States and hundreds of million across the world. Right now the burden of caregiving often lies on one individual and our goal is to shift caregiving to a team based approach by making it easier to bring other family members into the process and improve communication between them.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

Our house is only five minutes away from where my grandparents lived while I was growing up, so they were a big part of my life. After school on Thursdays my siblings and I would go to their house to have ice cream sundaes and play board games. My grandpa passed away from cancer when I was in third grade and my grandma got diagnosed with dementia a few years later, which was devastating. So when my family started coordinating caregivers and taking care of my grandma, our stress started to build and I knew I wanted to help my relatives however I could. At the time I was still ignorant of just how many caregivers there were who suffered the same issues as my family, so over time my passion shifted from helping my family to helping all family caregivers.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

Seeing the negative effects caregiving had on my family motivated me to action. There was a long time where I wanted to help my family, both to keep my grandmother safe and to decrease stress on my parents, but I did not know how. One particular point of stress was keeping track of information — at the time we were using post-it notes, handwritten journals, and a physical calendar, so it was hard for everyone to stay on the same page. Then when the idea popped in my head that maybe this information could be put on your phone instead, I was thankful to finally have some way I could help my family and I started working on the project.

Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

The internet was a lifesaver for me to learn how to build an app — it made a challenging endeavor much more manageable due to the sheer amount of information available to me. No matter the subject, the internet lets you access resources from some of the most qualified individuals on the planet. This type of access is unprecedented in history and I am thankful and lucky to have grown up with it at my disposal.

Another important part was breaking down the project into manageable parts. Initially my goal was only to make a basic app to help my family store information about my grandma so it did not seem insurmountable. However if my younger self knew the current goals for the app it would be much more daunting — so with that I think focusing on the closer goals and understanding not to get too ahead of myself prevented me from getting too overwhelmed.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

In the fall my sister got a text from one of her friends that he saw a news article about my app highlighted at the top of a popular social media site. Suddenly our website was getting thousands of hits overnight and led to thousands of people signing up to use the app. It was a very exciting couple of weeks and having so many more users allowed us to get a lot of feedback we used to further improve the app. The amount of sign ups we got actually ended up overloading our system a little bit, so one of our priorities has been scaling the app so we could help even more caregivers! There were also a lot of caregivers who sent personal emails about their caregiving experience and how our app could really change the game for them.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

I grew up accustomed to technology that was only dreamed about decades earlier, and being surrounded by that tech at such a young age made me take for granted how new these inventions were. So after I made the first barebones app for my family and my grandmother’s caregivers to test, I forgot that maybe some of our older caregivers, who were in their 70s, had never used a touchscreen phone before! I was being a complete dork and that is when the realization hit that instead of focusing on adding every feature that might be helpful what mattered more was making a simple app that could easily be picked up by anyone.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

I would not be near when I am now without the guidance from my parents and support from my family. They were the ones who pushed me to follow my passions in the first place and were OK with being my guinea pig when the app idea first came up.

Even though we were free to choose our interests, our parents’ caveat is we had to try our best. This mindset was crucial because I definitely had trouble picking up programming initially so I had to maintain discipline and push myself to finish whatever part of the app I was working on.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

My mom is one of the most important people to me who was helped by the app. She’s the one who spearheaded our caregiving process while working a full time job as a teacher and dealing with three teenagers in the house. Every day I am grateful for my family.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

1. Offering to make dinner for a family caregiver you know could go a long way. Obviously curing all diseases would prevent caregiving from happening in the first place, but since that may be a tall order (for now), our focus is on making caregiving less isolating. Turning caregiving into a team effort or a community effort decreases the pressure for the sole caregiver and increases the level of care for their loved one.

2. Volunteering at a nursing home or assisted living facility to hang out with the elderly. Growing old shouldn’t be a sentence to aloneness, but a celebration filled with cheer. There are wonderful charities you can volunteer at and make a difference tomorrow if you’d like. We want the aging and caring process to be as positive as possible for everyone involved.

3. Check in with the older members of your family. There are so many distractions fighting for your attention every day, and it is easy to forget or put off speaking with those your love. I’m sure it will make their day, and maybe even yours!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. The importance of a routine

When I started working on the app I consistently put effort in every day to learn how to code. That motivation to work a couple hours a day after school faded quickly though and I was lazy about choosing when I would work on the app. What ended up making the biggest difference to me, thanks a lot to my dad teaching me organizational scales, was choosing a chunk of time every day where I would exclusively work on the project. There was no more pushing it back to when it felt right, and preventing myself from giving excuses in the first place allowed me to keep putting the work in. There were still stretches of time where I would fall into a work slump but each time I set up another consistent work routine the app improved much faster and I was able to help my family better.

The importance of routine was felt stronger than ever during the quarantine. Initially my work schedule relaxed so I did not spend as much time as I wanted to on the app, but thankfully I have established an updated routine.

2. Improving your wellbeing improves the project

Definitely related to the last point, a consistent sleep schedule, eating healthy foods, and exercising greatly improved my ability to concentrate on the app while improving my wellbeing in general. There was a six month stretch in high school where I successfully abstained from sugar, consistently woke up at 5 to exercise, and even meditated twice a day. I have never been able to replicate that and I’m convinced it was my peak in life!

3. Find a mentor

My parents have been my main mentors during the project and like I said earlier I would not be close to where I am now without their help. In particular where they helped was improving my organizational skills so I could keep track of what I was doing and what needed to be done. Finding a mentor, whether it be a parent, teacher, or reaching out to someone who works in an industry your project is related to, will make what is a daunting task much manageable, especially if your mentor has experience with what you are working on.

4. The internet has everything

There are forums and communities for every interest you can think of, full of passionate individuals who are happy to help a newcomer to the field or give feedback on a project. No matter if you learn best through detailed guides or helpful videos, you can find it on the internet. The internet also made a lot of experts much easier to contact. Most industry professionals have social media or web pages where you can find their email, so it can take less than ten minutes to look up and reach out to some of the smartest people in the world.

5. Get as much feedback as possible

Oftentimes at the beginning I got ahead of myself thinking about features I thought would best help caregivers instead of getting more feedback from my mom and other caregivers. As time went on I made sure to get feedback from friends and family, professional caregivers, and even met with assisted living facility CEOs and workers. It was scary reaching out at the beginning, but a lot of professionals are happy with helping a young person’s project. The worst thing they can do is ignore you, and if you are working on a project that would help them, it is their loss for not responding!

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Well my motivation to make a positive impact started with my family and I think it is important for the project you work on to be personal, then you can see how it is improving the day to day lives of those you want to help. Getting daily feedback from my family and caregivers about what ways I was helping and how I could improve the app was a great feeling that encouraged me to keep working, and strangers reaching out to me about how the app benefited their lives turned the great feeling into an extraordinary one.

I hear a lot about how younger people often feel unfulfilled with what they are doing and do not know what to do with their lives, but I don’t feel that. Helping people and having a positive impact makes you feel whole and I am happy it is what I’m doing.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have dinner with my grandmother, before she got dementia, or my grandfather before he died. I have such positive memories of hanging out at their house, eating ice cream, and playing board games. My grandpa never let me win at chess, and we played for years! I am so thankful to have had them in my life and I would like to thank them.

How can our readers follow you online?

The best way to stay up to date with CareZare is through our email newsletter which you can find on our site,!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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