IRT Spins Out Innovation Challenge Company ExSitu To Empower Older Persons To Communicate Their Wishes

5 years ago
innovAGEING > Case Studies > IRT Spins Out Innovation Challenge Company ExSitu To Empower Older Persons To Communicate Their Wishes

To plan or not to plan

Ageing and death are things most Australians don’t plan, talk about or focus on. This means that for most people, there are no clear guidelines to support a personalised approach to ageing and their end of life experience.

But planning how we want to live our senior years can help us age well, and provide a way to effectively communicate our wishes to loved ones in the event our verbal skills are compromised by illness or we require end of life care.

While the general assumption is people don’t plan for ageing because they are reluctant to accept the inevitable, most people welcome the opportunity—they just lack access to comfortable, supportive and understanding tools to do so.


Filling the gap

The mission of ExSitu is to improve quality of life by empowering people invested in care to understand each individual’s core values regardless of their capacity to express them.

ExSitu has developed a set of online tools that support and protect an individual’s identity and values. It includes a conversational tool that builds an Advanced Care Directive and other protective documentation. The tool helps providers have those difficult conversations to navigate and get to the heart of their client’s hierarchy of values. It’s a tool that gives people a voice and helps negotiate their ageing pathways, even if they can no longer speak for themselves. It helps ensure their core values will be heard and treated as a priority by care providers and those that surround them.


More than a Q&A

ExSitu’s platform is more than just a digitised Q&A form. It utilises sophisticated programming to make difficult conversations easy and enjoyable, and combines psychological techniques such as card sorting, with gamification.

The ExSitu solution enables people and their carers to gain insights into activities and interests that may not have otherwise been mentioned or considered. It encourages people to explore what is important to their life, and can expose new interests that can improve mental and spiritual wellbeing, as well as increased social participation.

ExSitu developed this approach based on hundreds of interviews and utilising their clinical and customer knowledge to create a user friendly process which ensures older people are empowered to communicate their wishes accurately, and in an informed way.


Positive uptake

ExSitu is now an incorporated entity and both older Australians and providers are engaging its services to empower individuals to codesign care and give the same attention to ageing and dying that they would give other life events such as marriage, childbirth and retirement.

One example is a home care provider using our services was able to identify different ways for the people using their service to access products and services with their unspent CDC funding to increase their quality of life.

This information can inspire and inform new provider activities and solutions that offer more efficient and sustainable impact.


For more information, please visit


*Caption for pic: Co-founders ExSitu April Creed and Rebecca Glover with mentor Rebecca Lyons at the UOW iAccelerate Open Day.