The role of family caregivers has evolved and taken on deeper meaning during the pandemic. It’s always been a tough job, and caregiver fatigue is real. Whether you’re taking care of kids at home during the day while working, or making sure your aging parents have what they need (and sometimes, people are doing both) it’s a lot to handle.
With over 10 million millennials joining their Generation X counterparts as primary caregivers, there are a growing number of younger people balancing work, children, and social opportunities with caregiving for aging parents.
Who are Caregivers?
According to caregiver.org, a family caregiver (also called an informal caregiver) is “any relative, partner, friend or neighbor who has a significant personal relationship with, and provides a broad range of assistance for, an older person or an adult with a chronic or disabling condition.“
Family caregivers may live with or separately from those they care for. Many unpaid hours—around 20 per week on average—are spent by these family caregivers, regardless of age or gender. In fact, while women are still more likely to be informal caregivers, men make up 47% of millennial caregivers.
What Does a Family Caregiver Do?
As the Boomer generation becomes seniors, children of aging parents are stepping in to help with basic daily tasks and provide ongoing support.
A few of the things a family caregiver might do in any given week include:
- Helping with technology
- Grocery shopping or other errands
- Reminding mom and dad to take their daily medications
- Keeping track of doctor appointments, and going to appointments
- Cooking meals and cleaning
- Help with nursing tasks like eating and bathing
- Providing companionship
Becoming a caregiver is not without cost. People may need to step back at work, or step out altogether depending on the need. There may be a need to move to a new city or state. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), offers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for family caregivers in a handful of states. This is fine for a short-term need, but what about longer term, daily care?
While there are a number of support systems in place at the federal, state, and local level, finding help can be nearly as challenging as being a caregiver itself! And, almost no support provides for the fact that payment does not equal a typical salary and cannot sustain someone who has student loan debt or other personal or family needs.
With six in 10 Americans living with at least one chronic disease and a growing population of older adults (it is estimated the number of Americans age 65 and older will nearly double by 2060) it’s more important than ever that both aging people, and their caregivers, have the help they need.
Technology for Family Caregivers
Connected care solutions play a pivotal role in shaping how people can be cared for safely and independently at home. Technology can help with some of the essential functions that caregivers feel they must provide—an automated reminder to take medications, for instance—and release caregivers to focus on their kids and jobs instead.
“I am SO thankful for Electronic Caregiver,” says one of our users. “My 91-year-old father does not need constant care, but after 2 mini-strokes and some heart problems, we are concerned about him. This past week, we took my father with us to Phoenix, AZ. I did not even think about the Electronic Caregiver until I received a phone call that there had not been movement in my father’s room. It is such a comfort knowing there is that added layer of care for my father.”
This is the peace of mind we want to provide. Additionally, virtual visits, transitional care management, chronic care management, and remote patient monitoring (RPM) allow for more seamless communication between parents, caregivers, and health care professionals. A busy millennial may be stuck in a meeting, but able to check in on mom or dad’s vitals online quickly is simple and a direct way to know just what’s going on at any time.
Coordination of Care
Technology can provide constant connection and information, so that even if a caregiver can’t live with an aging parent, they can stay on top of what’s happening. Customers who purchase the Premier Series 1 or 2 or a Pro Health package have access to our Family Care App. The App is available to both Android and iOS users. The Family Care App helps coordinate care and client support with authorized friends and family.
Most of the staff who work at Electronic Caregiver have either been caregivers themselves, have lost loved ones who needed this type of system, or are currently on the journey. It’s the why we do what we do, and we do it for you and yours the way we would want it done for our own families. We know your life is tough right now, we want to help.
Call us today at 833-324-5433 or read our FAQ to learn more on this website about our emergency response systems, monitoring systems, and remote patient monitoring.