Although 71 per cent of caregivers are interested in using technology to support their caregiving tasks, only seven per cent are using care-related technology, according to AARP’s 2016 Caregiving and Technology study.
Fifty-eight per cent of the caregivers surveyed in a 2018 survey by the Change Foundation said they used the internet for gathering additional information on how to properly care for their loved one. Only 28 per cent turned to formal care providers.
As with anything online, several services and supports exist for caregivers. A helpful researching tip is to see if the resource was developed with participation from a major university or hospital. This may mean the technology includes more scientific research and best practices than one developed by a software company alone. You can usually find this information in the “About Us” section on the website you’re researching.
Sometimes, it is nice to hear other voices and know you are not alone. And guess what? Family Caregivers of BC will be launching their own podcast in the next couple of months. Until then, you can tune into Caregiver SOS, a weekly podcast that delves into a wide variety of caregiving issues. This hour-long show provides essential caregiver information presented by gerontologist Carol Zernial and author Dr. James Huysman, PsyD. Topics range from end-of-life communication to new healthcare technology and can be found at https://soundcloud.com/caregiversos
FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR CAREGIVERS
Facebook abounds with groups for caregivers. Many are specialized by the disease or disorder of the person receiving care or by the roles of caregivers. Caregivers Hub Support Group is open to both family, friend and professional caregivers. It is both administered and moderated, though the “rules” are not visible to non-members.
SUPPORT TO GET (AND STAY) ORGANIZED WHILE ALSO ASKING FOR HELP
Carezone is a free app. You can keep all the care recipient’s pertinent information on the secured app and invite family and friends to view and participate in his or her care. It has a place for notes and observations, a task list, medication logging, a place to upload photos, and you can even send a voice message to up to 100 recipients. The app is available for iPhone and Android systems.
Caring Village can be accessed from a computer or from a mobile device, though it does require you create a “home base” for the village on a computer before using the mobile app. Others can use the app to easily
join your care village. The app’s “virtual caregiving village” allows families to communicate using the secure in-app messaging feature and access everything they need in one place, including a shared calendar and the ability to upload important documents such as medication lists, legal, medical and financial documents.
The to-do lists allow you to see what needs to be done, assign tasks or request help from your volunteers. A wellness journal – updated by anyone who interacts with the care recipient – helps you easily share and keep track of how they are feeling.
Lotsa Helping Hands is an interesting concept where you can post requests for support – things like meals for the family, rides to medical appointments, or just stopping by to visit. Members of your community can quickly find ways to help, and it will send reminders and help coordinate logistics automatically, so nothing falls through the cracks.
You can find more about technology and caregiving by checking out FCBC’s website under our FCBC’s Top Tips for Caregivers.