In early 2021, my husband’s job moved us out of state for the next few years. Although the change is exciting, I came face to face with many of the logistical challenges that caregivers across the country face with providing remote caregiving support to their loved ones. My parents are 58 and 65 and are slowly (thankfully both are healthy, active, and in good shape) creeping into the average demographic of those who receive care. Right now, I’m not concerned about that as much as I feel the growing weight of living 1500 miles away from home, with grandparents needing caregiving. Right now, my mom, who works a full-time job, also cares for my 83 and 88-year-old grandparents.
Although my grandparents are far past the point in their lives where they want to or could reasonably use a smartphone (flip phones are even a challenge. They never did quite pick up texting), my mother’s caregiving journey with them has reinforced the need for easier and more streamlined caregiving resources for at-home care recipients who do not use in-home aids.
Right now, we rely on group texts, screenshots, and my mom staying the night with my grandparents two or three nights a week. We chat weekly on the phone and she shares periodic updates with my sister and me, as well as her sister across the country. However, despite the communication across family lines, the caregiving journey can still be isolating, and it’s important to find solutions to aid in the care process.
Resources and Support
Over 20% of Americans are caregivers. In addition, 61% of these caregivers still work full-time jobs, meaning a large portion of unpaid family caregivers are often overworked and potentially under-supported. These caregivers, working both full-time professionally and personally, can run into burnout and isolation without support resources.
Thankfully, in recent years, many resources have been made available to caregivers, from government-funded programs to nonprofit organizations.
The National Alliance for Caregiving has listed some support resources for caregivers at any stage of their caregiving journey, and has support sites linked for Family Caregivers, Alzheimer’s Caregivers, and Cancer Caregivers, to name a few.
We Can Help
Caregivers can use online resources to ease navigating caregiving, as well as delegate caregiving responsibilities to other family members.
We’ve created the Avanlee app with family caregivers in mind. You can see your loved one’s health biometrics on your app homepage and easily stay on top of their information such as heart rate, steps, sleep, and mood.
You can add as many care providers and family members into the app as you need, and can even delegate events and appointments to specific family members. Everyone assigned to the event or appointment will see a notification on their phone when the reminder is created, as well as again when the event is supposed to start.
Additionally, you can manage medication reminders for your loved ones, as well as stay on top of medication adherence. You can check the app at any point during the day to verify if your care receiver has taken their medications, how their day is going, and even reach out to see if they need any assistance.
It gets better.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution for family caregivers, and often families are forced to make complicated decisions about what the best next steps for their loved ones are. Oftentimes these decisions involve personal, financial, or other sacrifices in order to provide the best care for an aging family member. In the case of my parents and grandparents, my dad is retired and has taken on cooking, cleaning, and managing my parents’ home life.
My mom works full time, splits her time between my parents’ home and grandparents, and spends time with them after work. Neither my sister nor I live close enough to help, and my aunt lives across the country, so it’s all kind of on my mom and dad to handle. Every family has different needs, and every family will have a different care configuration that works best for them. No matter what you and your family decide for your loved ones, know that Avanlee is there to help simplify some of the logistics of caregiving. We’re here to help.