Technology and Senior Caregiving

Not surprisingly, tech-savvy web users are increasingly turning to the Internet for information and tools to help facilitate their family caregiving needs.

e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century, released in January 2011 by the National Alliance for Caregiving and UnitedHealthcare, found more than two-thirds of family caregivers who already use some form of technology would find web-based senior care tools to be of great benefit.

The study revealed the applications with the greatest perceived potential and helpfulness included web-based systems for caregiver coordination, caregiving decision support and caregiver training simualtion.

According to UnitedHealthcare, “Caregivers were most receptive to technologies that help them deliver, monitor, track or coordinate their loved one‟s health care.” Most would welcome technology that would better allow them to care for their seniors at home.

The most requested services with the lowest perceived barriers include:

  • Personal Health Record Tracking: Caregivers reported that a website or computer software that could help them keep track of their care recipient‟s personal health records, including his or her history, symptoms, medications and test results, would be helpful to them.
  • Caregiving Coordination System: Caregivers indicated that a shared electronic log for their loved one’s doctor appointments and other caregiving needs would be helpful. With this tool, caregivers could request support in their duties, and friends and family members could sign up to help on certain dates and times.
  • Medication Support System: A device that reminds the patient about his or her prescription medications and dispenses pills when they should be taken. This device would also provide directions on how to take each pill and alert the caregiver when the dosages were not removed from the device within a certain time period.

“Caregivers know that technology can be used to help them understand their loved one‟s conditions and find resources and even support,” said Gail Hunt, CEO and president of the National Alliance for Caregiving.

And although more than three quarters of those surveyed said that they are most likely to trust a medical website, like WebMD or MayoClinic.com, for recommendations on caregiving technology, caregiving websites and caregiver forums on the Internet were also listed as credible information sources. You can read more about Caregiverlist’s mission to provide trusted caregiver support here.

, , , ,

Loading

Log in