The AARP has taken a lead in recognizing the needs of family caregivers, as many of their members face the challenges of being either a senior in need of care, or an older American providing care to an ailing loved one. As a means of shedding additional light on the dire needs of family caregivers, the AARP Public Policy Institute recently released a report entitled, “A Call to Action: What Experts Say Needs to Be Done to Meet the Challenges of Family Caregiving.”
In the report, four key topics are highlighted as in need of improvement. These include:
1. Additional financial relief for family caregivers
2. Increased public awareness
3. Increased support of family caregivers in policy initiatives
4. Improved communication between family caregivers and professional care providers
How Homecare Software & Homecare Systems Can Help
Within the detailed report, distinguished elder care authors share struggles that were revealed as concerns in their own caregiving experiences and during the course of research for their bodies of work. These authors shared that caregivers needed time away from caregiving environments for personal respite, a higher level of communication with outside care providers and that family caregivers should be included as partners in care. However, finding ways to make changes like these happen can be difficult.
In reviewing the report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, it becomes clear that a robust homecare software or homecare system, such as the one available from ClearCare, may offer a starting point to improve communication between family caregivers and professional care providers. Here’s how:
1. Homecare software requires homecare providers to document their work: The right homecare system, like ClearCare, requires homecare agencies to provide an increased level of transparency for family caregivers. Task alerts in a homecare software ensure that meals and medications aren’t overlooked. Meanwhile a homecare system like ClearCare also requires explanations for a missed tasks, ensuring that family caregivers don’t feel uninformed when a care plan changes.
2. Homecare systems allow for real-time communication:
Neither homecare agency administrators nor family caregivers have time to be on the phone for constant status updates of an elderly loved one. However, a robust homecare software or homecare system, such as ClearCare, allows family caregivers to log-in from a secure portal and check on task updates and status notes in an instant.
3. Homecare software records can be accessed by healthcare professionals:
Family caregivers are often coordinating with a homecare provider, physicians, case managers and more. The right homecare system will allow these care providers to be equipped with their own secure log-in to a homecare software, like ClearCare, where other members of the care team can review client information without having to demand the time of a family caregiver to relay any changes in mood, eating habits, etc. from homecare providers.
Family caregivers have become, and will likely remain, the backbone of long-term in-home elder care. And technology, like a homecare system from ClearCare, may be an affordable, easily accessible solution for improving communication and empowering family caregivers working with a care team of any size.