Caring for a friend or loved one with an illness or disability has unique challenges. During the Covid-19 pandemic, unpaid or informal caregiving placed even greater emotional, physical, and financial stress on caregivers.
Standard face-to-face practices and caregiving tools that were standardized pre-pandemic saw reductions or even stopped completely in early 2020 in the US. Many of these limitations remain today. Caregivers and loved ones now face a question: what tools and methods we turn to for help as COVID-19 continues to impact lives, especially as many previous tools are now limited?
At Caregiven we understand this unknown and aim to be part of solutions that support informal, typically unpaid caregivers with tools for information, organization and communications, preparation, medication tracking, and advice on important topics related to caregiving.
COVID-19 highlighted some of the key challenges faced by people who provide care for others. With one in five (20%) Americans caring for a family member, this is an economic and public health issue. Sometimes it feels that there is a lack of tangible support for unpaid family caregivers, so we start our consideration of the people just like us with this question:
“How can we better support caregivers?”
To help answer this question that we are hearing a lot of today, Caregiven pulled together some of our go-to support tools, research, and partners. There are quite a few tools that existed pre-COVID while new solutions grew out of insurance, health, and tech-sector innovation in response to the global pandemic.
Choosing Good Tools as a Caregiver
There are 20,000 mental health apps on the Android and Apple stores and most caregivers lack the time to research and evaluate so many options. The good news with this abundance is that research and innovation can "highlight the potential of apps to serve as a cost‐effective, easily accessible, and low-intensity intervention," as one study stated.
We’ve streamlined a list below to help with your research.
For the physical, emotional, and mental health of caregivers and loved ones, employing a basic strategy for the use of multiple apps at the same time can provide in-home elevation of wellness, tasks, and the caregiving process. Think of these apps and digital tools as part of a larger toolkit.
While we have a few proven tools to suggest, doing your own research from our foundation is helpful because each caregiving situation is different. When exploring tools more specific to your situation, ask a few key questions:
Does the app/tool use an evidence base to support the claim?
Is the tool built from a research-supported framework?
The Caregiven mobile app has been designed for what we wished we had as caregivers. You can set up a Care Circle support, gain insights to next steps, upload or manually enter advance directives, contacts, insurance, and medication information, and medical files. There’s also a secure, shareable calendar and a to-do section so you can share info and share tasks with others on your care team. Upload important care documents to organize appointment information.
Medisafe helps patients and caregivers efficiently manage the complications that arise with medications taken on schedules. Their company builds “easy-to-use, personalized technology that helps people better manage their medications, and offers healthcare companies meaningful insight into their daily behavior.”
The app is free and available on the App Store and Google Play.
Silver Bills is a “concierge bill management tool” that finds caregivers and loved ones a partner to work with as an account manager and dedicated point of contact. Users simply decide which bills they want to be paid and the company gets the work done. You can get pricing information here.
How Are YOU Today Tools
As caregivers, learning how to manage our time feels heroic and sometimes unattainable. To manage, we can become almost transactional with our time and emotions. Making time to take care of ourselves might feel too big to squish into an overfull schedule, but even tiny routines can help. You, the caregiver, and your well-being directly translate to that of a loved one.
Brought to you by monks whose voices could melt granite, Headspace is the best meditation helper for those new to such a practice. Their offerings have expanded to several popular Netflix documentary shows and guides as well.
Want to combine yoga with meditation? Great choice because you can take as little as ten minutes and reset your frazzled brain. Down Dog brings yoga, barre, prenatal yoga, and meditation directly to you. With over 60,000 different configurations, Down Dog gives you the power to build a yoga practice you love!
Vibrations help reduce stress by stimulating the body's nervous system to produce a calmer state - aiding against stress, anxiety, and PTSD. The team at The TouchPoint Solution created a non-invasive wearable tech tied to a mobile app.
Convoyer was founded by three Marine Officers who served as Convoy Commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans know how to serve others and Convoyer takes that concept to your doorstep by connecting those who need help with military veterans. These vets assist with local appointments, travel companionship, vacation preparation, and other requested ways to be of service. Military Veterans are tried and true citizens who possess
the initiative, professionalism, and decision-making skills necessary to handle obstacles that may arise during your trip or local engagement.
As much as we’d like to, as caregivers, we often can’t do all the work ourselves. But finding someone to trust with the well-being of a loved one is stressful. SafetyPIN Technologies take the guesswork out of that evaluation process and run background checks on providers of elder care, home health care, and companions.
Some adults lose mobility due to conditions like stroke, severe arthritis, or injuries from falls. COVID and or mobility concerns don’t mean the end of learning from and or enjoying the gifts of travel.
Wowzitude's Travel Club is designed for curious-minded people or travelers who get to participate in LIVE, guided activities around the world, from the comfort and safety of their residences.
Each week Wowzitude schedules FREE one-hour live-streamed tours, featuring 2-way conversations, from among 52 destinations for you to experience.