Sign In This Curious Life

Sign in

Homebound. MyFolks’ supports when distance divides.
Photo by Ave Calvar in collaboration with Unsplash

December 2023 – George Lee

Theme: Home

MyFolks' supports when distance divides.

Louise Thompson’s journey into entrepreneurship embodies the core of a thriving startup – a captivating personal tale fueled by unwavering grit, courage, and a deep drive to bring a meaningful idea to life. MyFolks, is an ingenious service aimed at enabling more vulnerable older parents to stay in their own home. Rooted in a personal narrative, Louise talks to This Curious Life. 

A MyFolkers helping out

MyFolks is a solution that benefits older and more vulnerable parents in need of care as well as benefiting their adult children who often live many miles away. For the parents, MyFolks offers a sense of independence and comfort by enabling them to remain in their homes while receiving the necessary help and support. Simultaneously, for adult children, both those close and those living far away, MyFolks provides peace of mind, allowing them to manage their parents’ well-being remotely. This innovative service bridges the distance gap, creating reassurance and connectivity among families separated by geographical boundaries. 

Enabling people to remain in familiar surroundings is not just beneficial; it's crucial for societal welfare.

Central to MyFolks‘ ethos is the belief in the significance of allowing individuals to age within the familiarity of their homes. “Staying in one’s own home holds immense value,” Louise emphasises. “Adaptable homes that evolve with ageing, preserving comfort and ease, play a pivotal role in enhancing wellbeing. The World Health Organization has flagged isolation as a severe public health concern. Preventing such isolation by enabling people to remain in familiar surroundings is not just beneficial; it’s crucial for societal welfare.” 

Louise and her dad Alex

Louise and her dad, Alex Thompson

The genesis of MyFolks sprang from Louise’s personal struggle. Living miles away from her parents, residing in the North East while she lived in Sussex and worked in Hampshire — “my triangle of hell” Louise called it — presented a daunting challenge. Her parents lived at home with a good community, and a warden who looked after the external areas. However, as their health declined due to dementia, they began seeking reassurance in calls for help. 

“They’d call, with issues like an empty fridge on a Sunday or a TV that wasn’t working,” Louise recounts. “But beneath those requests lay their real need for reassurance. Despite a high-pressure corporate job, family commitments, and the stress of balancing it all, I attempted to rush to their aid each time. The distance, nearly 325 miles, often collided with work commitments.” 

“My parents wanted to stay in their home,” Louise emphasises. “Separating them would have been tragic; they’d been together since they were 19. Their desire for independence kept me going up there. They needed reassurance more than mere fixing of household issues.” But the stress was starting to effect Louise “I nearly lost my driving license due to the stress of constantly rushing to attend to my parents,” Louise confides.  

The breaking point arrived during one exhausting visit. “Sleeping on their floor in a cramped one-bedroom flat, I realised I couldn’t continue this way,” Louise shares. “I needed a solution—a ‘me’ in the North East who could support them. That’s when the concept of an app, like ordering food or an Uber, offering immediate, local, and vetted help for parents started to develop in my mind.” 

"MyFolks allowed me to extend the level of care and commitment I desired for my parents to everyone."

And so, the concept of MyFolks was born—an innovative platform enabling immediate assistance similar to ordering food or booking a ride through an app. But this wasn’t merely about fixing household issues; it was about human connections and providing the much-needed reassurance for people like Louise’s parents. 

“MyFolks allowed me to extend the level of care and commitment I desired for my parents to everyone,” Louise passionately asserts. The service prioritises a personalised approach, comprehensively understanding the unique needs and interests of individuals through a local and supportive community. 

The transition from a personal concept to a viable business wasn’t without hurdles—securing funding and devising a sustainable business model posed significant challenges. The untimely loss of Louise’s father coupled with the onset of the pandemic momentarily delayed the service’s launch. However, these setbacks only fueled Louise’s determination. 

Fred with Myfolkser Jodie

Fred with Myfolkser Jodie

Upon finally establishing MyFolks, collaboration with organisations like Capita provided unexpected support. “As a female entrepreneur navigating the demands of caregiving, work, and societal expectations, I bring a unique perspective,” Louise acknowledges. “Companies are increasingly recognising the immense pressures faced by women in caregiving roles.” 

Louise Thompson reflects on her collaboration with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) and acknowledges the invaluable benefits gained from working closely with the IOCT division. The partnership not only provided indispensable advice but also resulted in a comprehensive report that played a pivotal role in refining her business model. The collaboration also included input from our Voice® community who posed thought-provoking questions, profoundly influencing the development of MyFolks. 

During this collaborative process, an unexpected revelation surfaced – heightened concerns from the Voice community regarding data privacy was seen as a key barrier much more so than the idea of strangers entering their homes. This realisation intrigued Louise, resonating deeply with her parents’ fears and emphasising the community’s apprehension toward data security. To address these concerns, ensuring utmost data privacy within MyFolks became a non-negotiable commitment, alleviating worries about data exploitation or unauthorised use. 

While prioritising stringent data security measures, Louise expressed a desire to ethically utilise data to refine service offerings and identify trends within the caregiving landscape. However, she remains resolute in her commitment to never compromise on data privacy, an ethos deeply ingrained in the fabric of MyFolks’ operations. 

MyFolks App

MyFolks App

Moreover, we when talked Louise emphasised the importance of fair treatment of the individuals providing assistance through MyFolks, known as MyFolksers. This was a key concern identified within the Voice network. Louise ensures that MyFolksers have the autonomy to set their availability, creating a work environment that respects their preferences and schedules. They aren’t subject to exploitative arrangements such as zero-hour contracts. This principled approach reflects Louise’s dedication to nurturing self-esteem, purpose, and satisfaction among those involved in providing care through MyFolks. 

Louise's vision for MyFolks extends far beyond a service; it's about empowering individuals, caregivers, and the community.

Collaboration with the IOCT at NICA not only offered invaluable guidance but so much more. “The warmth and genuine support from the IOCT team were invaluable beyond practical advice,” Louise emphasises. 

Currently, MyFolks is embracing the exciting challenge of showcasing its promise within the North East. Louise’s vision extends far beyond regional boundaries, aiming to propel MyFolks into a nationwide and global expansion.  

Louise’s vision for MyFolks extends far beyond a service; it’s about empowering individuals, caregivers, and the community. Through a blend of technology, compassionate care, and community engagement, MyFolks aims to redefine caregiving and social support, one personalized connection at a time. 

The journey of MyFolks epitomises resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment. Louise Thompson’s dedication to addressing a pressing societal need showcases the power of personal narratives in revolutionising industries and fostering meaningful change. 

More Information

About Louise Thompson & our IOCT programme

Louise Thompson

Louise Thompson is the founder of Myfolks, a digital platform that integrates technology and community to provide a compassionate concierge service for older vulnerable people. 

Louise is a seasoned corporate professional with a track record of over 25 years in the legal and commercial realms of blue-chip technology companies such as EDS, BT and SAP.  Louise’s leadership journey has seen her rise from spearheading commercial teams to contributing as a key member of executive leadership teams.  Her impact extends beyond the boardroom, as she has shared insights as an invited speaker, author of several publications and a TEDx talk on automation and AI in 2019.  She debated the ethics of automation at the World Commerce & Contracting European Conference in Krakow in 2018.  She has a law degree, MSc, is a qualified company director and a CEDR accredited mediator. 

Although time is limited, she is a volunteer member BSI Committee Art/1 AI and hospital governor.  She is married to Paul, is a Nana to Millie and lives in Sussex in the UK. She tries to stay fit, aiming to match healthspan to lifespan as far as possible. 

You can find out more about MyFolks at or 

The IOCT™ team work with companies to tap into emerging technologies that benefit the longevity of the population.

You can find more about working with the IOCT programme at NICA here.

Or contact IOCT’s Relationship Manager, Claire by email at:

You can find out more about how to join our Voice® community here  


Make sure you never miss a story. Join This Curious Life’s newsletter here.