I was recently contacted by the owners of ecaring.com which is a site to help manage the care of loved ones. Here is an article written by the CEO of the site.
How to Deal with Home Healthcare For Your Loved One:
Introducing CareGiving 2.0
Robert M. Herzog
Millions of American families are faced with the sudden reality of caring for an elderly parent. Unfortunately, nobody is ever prepared for the difficult transition to securing home health care for a loved one. The process is emotionally draining, logistically complex, and financially daunting. What's worse is to find yourself turning over the keys for Mom or Dad's house to a stranger while you stand aside and hope for the best. It’s frustrating to really have no way to know what's going on. We face so many questions:
- How do I navigate both the private and government-run healthcare abyss?
- How will I make life or death decisions on behalf of my elderly parent if they are unable to make those decisions on their own?
- Where are Mom and Dad going to live?
- Who is going to care for them around the clock?
- How do I cope with the guilt that comes with making decisions that I know are against their wishes but are in their best interest?
This article will provide useful ideas for caregivers who are suddenly faced with having to care for an elderly parent or loved one. I understand first-hand the drastic emotional and financial toll of caretaking. My goal is to offer advice based on my experiences in the hope that I can help others navigate the complex world of elder care. My experiences were emotional, painful, and frustrating. In response, I have devoted myself to changing and simplifying the American home healthcare system in order to improve quality of life, lower healthcare costs, and reduce the burdens that can so terribly affect caregivers.
My mother worked until she was 79 years old. She had a few good retirement years, then her health quickly began to decline. Suddenly our life was in a tailspin: constant hospital visits, home assessments, agencies, home aides, visiting nurses, Medicare, rehab, massive insurance claims -- the whole catastrophe. For several years, my brother, my wife and I spent hours tending to my mother’s daily needs, yet always felt like we were not on top of the situation. I would have loved to know what care she was receiving when I was not around, or when trends developed that showed potential problems emerging, and of course to be notified immediately of significant changes or problems that required swift attention. .
While I wanted to keep control of the situation and get timely information that would be useful in so many tough choices, no system existed for keeping track of her home healthcare. It was an endlessly frustrating and awful time.
After my mother passed away, I thought about all the lessons I learned through our families’ home care experience. Then, I started seeing friends going through what I went through. It was then I decided that we needed and deserved something better-- a real-time way to monitor and manage home health care that would make it as good as it could be, that would help keep people living at home longer, in greater comfort and dignity, avoid preventable problems, and connected to the people who loved them.
We knew what we wanted: a system that could provide up-to-date information about all the factors that are crucial to really understanding what was going on in the home while making sure the care provided was the care that was needed (and that was being paid for!). The home health aides we had worked with were all dedicated people, but many had limited experience with computers and English was often a second language for them. So we had to make sure that the tools we provided them were ones they could use.
After extensive consultation with industry experts and healthcare providers, our team created easy-to-use web based care management software that allows any family member to monitor what is going on at home from either their computer or phone in real time, anywhere in the world.
We called it eCaring.
eCaring enables home care workers, caregivers, and seniors themselves to enter comprehensive information about the care, conditions, status, and activity of a home care recipient, regardless of computer skills or English literacy. It is the only system available that takes advantage of the Internet by generating a digital record of home health care from inside the home. eCaring tracks activities such as eating, sleeping, mental state, bathroom habits, leisure activities, and just about anything you can think of to suit your personal home care situation.
What makes eCaring’s paperless software unique is its user-friendly nature for all those involved with caregiving, including, most importantly, the home caregiver. Besides its monitoring aspects, eCaring’s digital records are shareable, allowing doctors and care providers to view a patient’s status in real-time and look for health patterns by hour, days, weeks or months. This information is a tremendous asset to all those responsible for providing home care, from family members to geriatric care managers to agencies to all care providers.
Furthermore, eCaring's CareAlert system will provide peace of mind by helping keep small problems from becoming big ones. CareAlerts notifies you and the appropriate person right away when a situation develops that requires attention. Potentially dangerous situations such as a fall, refusing medications or food, and not sleeping can be responded to immediately. We are helping keep people at home longer and avoiding expensive and traumatizing hospital visits or a move to institutional care.
Does it work? We've trained aides to use eCaring, and they loved it. Working with a computer system enhanced their self-esteem and gave them a meaningful voice in care management – a role which under the current system, they don't otherwise have despite their first-hand experience.
Because we can relate to what you are going through, we are offering families the opportunity to test out eCaring for a limited time during the introductory phase of our new system. Our analysis indicates it saves money, keeps patients in their home longer and saves you from much of the anxiety associated with these urgent life changes. My hope is that you take advantage of this system and try it out, at www.ecaring.com.
We are here to help and welcome your feedback. Check eCaring out and let us know what you think. firstname.lastname@example.org