CareWheels was founded in 2001, with research grant funding from the Intel Research Council and additional grants from the National Institutes of Health, to develop technologies to navigate the emergent Age Wave. We have participated in the founding of the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology and the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies.

Vision: greater Independence through Interdependence

Empower Elders with Gerontechnology to build strong Intentional Communities, where people are connected to give and receive care. This model of mutual care is called Interdependent Care, or more simply, I-Care.


CareWheels is an Oregon §501(c)(3) nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, founded in 2001 to:

  • Perform scientific research to develop Gerontechnologies: Internet-enabled Assistive Technologies, to provide TeleCare Services for people of all ages living with disabilities.
  • Educate people living with disabilities about the use of these innovative technologies to support their independent living and improve their quality of life.
  • Promote social welfare by providing innovative TeleCare Services to people of all ages with disabilities and particularly the growing population of frail elders.

The CareWheels Mandala – a Cross-Cultural Pattern

The CareWheels logo is a computer-generated fractal mandala, whose beauty, complexity and symmetry emerge from an iterative process, making it an ideal representation of the CareWheels Vision:


The Sanskrit word mandala means circle. Mandalas may be found in the stained glass windows of Christian cathedrals, ceilings of Muslim mosques and Buddhist shrines, Hindu yantras used in meditation and the Taoist yin-yang symbol representing the interdependence of opposites. Tibetan monks and Navajo Indians create sand mandalas, also referred to as medicine wheels. The mandala archetype represents self-healing of the person and community.

In his writings on mandala symbolism, Carl Jung referred to the mandala as the archetype of wholeness and psychological expression of the totality of the self. Jung found the mandala in many cultures and mythologies spanning the globe throughout the history of Humankind: an integral part of our collective unconscious that is shared by every person that has ever lived. In the mandala, all opposites come together and are united. This union of opposites is the very process by which we become whole, through which we find peace. 

Allegory of the Long Spoons

A Sage, Rabbi Haim, traveled from town to town delivering sermons that stressed the importance of compassion and respect for one's fellows. He told of a dream where he found himself in hell and described the horrifying vision:

Row after row of tables were laden with platters of sumptuous food, yet the people seated around the tables were pale and emaciated, moaning in hunger. As he came closer, he understood their terrible plight. Every person held a four foot long spoon, full of delicious food, but their arms could not bend to bring it to their own mouths. So they suffered in vain.

Next the Sage's dream found him in heaven where, to his surprise, he saw the same setting he had witnessed in hell: row after row of tables laden with delicious food. But in contrast to hell, the people here in heaven were sitting contentedly, feeding each other across the tables with their four foot long spoons, enjoying their sumptuous meal in good company. Suddenly he understood: heaven and hell offer the same conditions. The critical difference is the way people treat each other. The practical difference is The Golden Rule.

The low-hanging fruit of I-Care are within our reach today to serve the emergent Age Wave. The table is set, the ingredients are here. When we choose to use what we have we will have what we need.


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