Did you know there are more than 44 million unpaid caregivers in the US? Almost all of know someone (or are that someone) who works tirelessly to help a loved one suffering from illness or injury to live their lives with dignity. That’s why I was incredibly moved by a series of films that tell the stories of these unsung heroes and those they care for each and every day. They were made by Gillette and highlight their new TREO razor, the first razor designed for caregivers to use on those they assist. Read my conversation below with Julia LaFeldt, one of the filmmakers, to learn more about these stories and how the TREO is helping so many put their best face forward….
Katie Couric: The videos you’ve created show the powerful impact that the Gillette TREO razor can have for caregivers and their loved ones. Can you share with us a little bit about experience in helping to tell their stories? What still resonates with you?
Julia LaFeldt: It’s an honor for us to be able to share the stories of people like Dorothy & Anthony, Jim & Carol and Dan & Michael – six amazing people who have been a part of the Gillette TREO family for a while now. What stands out about each of their stories is how unique they are – yet they all have a need for a product like Gillette TREO which really shows the diversity of the caregiving community.
Katie: There seems to be a common theme of resilience and an appreciation of life in the face of all of its uncertainties that runs through the films…what was your impression?
Julia: In our minds, all of the caregivers that we’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know are heroes. From helping with activities of daily living like shaving to juggling caring for their loved ones with other responsibilities like jobs and raising a family, we’ve been truly inspired by every caregiver’s resilience and commitment to their loved one. If the Gillette TREO can make their day just a bit easier, we’re glad to be able to help.
Katie: It was pretty amazing to me that there have been about 4,000 razors designed for personal shaving, but none that had specifically designed for caregivers to shave someone else until now with the Gillette TREO…can you tell us a little bit about how it came to be?
Julia: The inspiration for the Gillette TREO razor came from real world conversations about caregiving. People were talking about their experiences taking care of their fathers and husbands, and within this conversation they were discussing what it’s like to shave someone else – how difficult it can be to get their loved one into the bathroom for a shave if they are wheelchair-bound, for example, or how intimidating it can be to shave another person, especially if you’ve never shaved your face yourself. These conversations led the team at Gillette to ask ourselves what would a razor designed to shave someone else look like? How can we enable caregivers to provide a safe, comfortable and convenient shave for their loved ones? The Gillette TREO razor was the answer.
Katie: What makes the Gillette TREO razor different from those 4,000 other razors?
Julia: When we designed the Gillette TREO razor, we wanted to enable caregivers to provide a safe, comfortable and convenient shave for their loved ones. There are three things that make TREO different from other razors:
- The Gillette blade includes a safety comb designed to prevent nicks and cuts, which can be especially helpful for those providing care for people on medications such as blood thinners. The comb’s innovative open design also prevents hair from clogging, so you don’t need to rinse the razor while using it.
- The unique ergonomic handle design and pivot was specifically designed to provide comfort and control for caregivers and those being cared for, allowing the caregiver to hold the razor like a painter would hold their paintbrush.
- The special non-foaming built-in shave gel hydrates the hair and lubricates the skin for a comfortable, mess-free shave. Combined with the anti-clogging features of the blade, this means that there’s less of a need to rinse and no need for the shave to take place at a sink. The gel also doubles as an aftershave.
Katie: There are approximately 44 million caregivers in the U.S. alone…what has been the response that you’ve received from them about the TREO?
Julia: We’ve been humbled by the amazing response from caregivers about the Gillette TREO razor – we’ve heard from mothers taking care of their sons, fathers taking care of their daughters, sons taking care of their fathers, and wives taking care of their husbands about how grateful they are for a product like this that’s been designed with their specific needs in mind. We’ve learned that caregivers like using TREO on both men and women, young and old, for those living with conditions ranging from Autism to Alzheimer’s and more. People have gone out of their way to show their appreciation and it’s those simple acts that make us proud to offer TREO as an assisted shaving solution, and make a small but meaningful difference in the daily lives of an underserved population – America’s caregivers.
Katie: That’s certainly wonderful feedback to receive! What do you hope for these beautiful films to inspire in others? What can we all learn from the stories you’ve so artfully brought to life?
Julia: We hope these films inspire viewers to think about the people in their life who may be in similar situations – if you’re not a caregiver, chances are you know someone who is, and they are probably an unsung hero who deserves a hug and a ‘thank you’ for the tireless work they put into caring for their loved one! And if that caregiver is in need of a simpler and more convenient shaving solution for their loved ones, we hope they visit gillette.com/treo and give the Gillette TREO razor a try – and let us know what they think!
Katie: Thank you so much, Julia!
**This article was featured in Wake-Up Call. Subscribe here!