Tools of the Caregiver: How Technology is Supporting Family Caregivers
Technology is Changing Our Approach to Eldercare
It may take a village to raise a child, but as we are living longer, it may also take a village to care for aging parents. One of the effects that technology has had on our society is to dramatically increase the size of our village and emphasize that people are not alone in meeting the challenges of longevity. Families nationally and globally are able to connect with other families facing some of the same challenges. There are support groups, blogs, apps and websites dedicated to equipping adult children and seniors with good information, encouragement, and support. Websites like The Alzheimer’s Association, and the Alzheimer’s Reading Room are helping to care for the caregivers of loved ones with dementia. Check out our video for ideas of other blogs for families caring for an aging loved one.
Technology is Organizing Families
Advancements in technology have changed the tools that families have to address eldercare. One of the biggest ways that it does this is by organizing people and information. Apps such as Unfrazzle are being used to capture eldercare appointments and to-do’s and coordinate the caregiving efforts of multiple family caregivers. Cloud storage and organization solutions, such as Dropbox, About One, or EverNote can make tracking and sharing important health records, legal documents, or doctor appointment notes with other family members involved easier and more secure.
Technology is Connecting Families
While it can be emotionally challenging to be a long-distance caregiver, technology is helping caregivers navigate some of the challenges of living so far away from an aging parent or loved one. Video call tools like Skype or GoToMeeting understand that a huge percentage of communication is nonverbal. You can better keep tabs on a loved ones’ environment and well-being when you can see them face to face and not just talk to them over the phone. Family meetings can be joined by long-distance members through video calls as well, making support and communication more accessible. Important doctor appointments can be recorded and emailed from a smartphone within seconds.
Technology is Helping Families Find Services
As the needs of a loved one change, finding appropriate services and eldercare professionals can be done quickly with online research. Even from a distance family members can assist with research. With websites like, www.Eldercare.gov, www.CareManager.org, or www.naela.org finding services, a geriatric care manager, or elder law attorney has never been faster. Even family members that live far away can assist from a distance by researching local appropriate options.
Published on May 29, 2013.