Council on Aging (COA) Senior Innovation Designer Jai’La Nored received the 2023 VUCA Leadership Award from the Leadership Council for Nonprofits in March. The award recognizes an early-career leader in the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit sector who is positively impacting their organization and the community through demonstrated vision, understanding, clarity and agility in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world.
In her role as senior innovation designer at COA, Nored has managed development — in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati’s Live Well Collaborative — of two game-changing, original technologies that have the potential to be scaled and adopted for statewide or national use to make a notable difference to older adults and caregivers who require the support of help at home but aren’t able to secure it due to a nationwide aide shortage.
The AddnAide app was developed to help lessen the impact of a nationwide shortage of home health aides, which is also affecting southwestern Ohio. Older adults often rely on aides to provide critical care needed to remain in their homes. AddnAide broadens the potential pool of aides (beyond those who work for traditional agencies), by matching, via the app, older adults who need aide services with someone interested in working as their aide.
More than one in five Americans is a family caregiver, often called upon to perform critical caregiving tasks without training. EVRTalk is a virtual reality (VR) experience designed to help family caregivers feel more comfortable in that role. It presents caregiving realities from both the caregiver’s and the care recipient’s points of view, helping to encourage empathy and understanding of what older adults may experience when being cared for. Participants wear a VR headset and are immersed into a complete environment equipped with digital conversations and graphics.
Jai’La has also led the development and implementation of COA’s employee intranet and other projects that have touched all COA’s programs in some way. She has become a sought-after resource within COA when a creative solution is required to fix a problem or launch a new service.
Outside of her work at COA, Jai’La is actively engaged in volunteer leadership roles where she organizes and advocates on behalf of those whose needs aren’t being met and at-risk individuals and communities, including with Xavier University, Community Matters, Rosemary’s Babies Co., and Girls with Grit.