Family caregivers for seniors have a lot on their plates. From helping their loved one with daily activities and chores to managing medications, doctor’s appointments, and other tasks, caretaking is a full-time job. One way caregivers can ease their burden is by utilizing caregiving tools to help manage their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.
Family caregivers often experience physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion as the result of their duties. As a result, burnout is common. Fortunately, technology is making it easier to support a loved one, whether they live independently, in an assisted living community, or with a family member.
The Effects of Caregiver Burnout
For many family caregivers, burnout is a very real risk. Although caretakers provide a critical service ensuring the well-being of seniors and keeping them out of hospitals or nursing homes, they also have many responsibilities and demands.
These responsibilities take a significant toll on caregivers. A joint survey from AARP and the National Alliance of Caregiving found that about a third of caregivers describe themselves as “highly stressed,” and only about 40% describe their own health as “very good.” Other research has found that many caregivers have a lower immune response compared to others, leaving them more vulnerable to illnesses. They also tend to have higher blood pressure and greater levels of stress hormones.
People caring for their loved ones without the right caregiving tools are also at risk for mental health issues. An American Psychological Association survey found that about 40% of caregivers are dealing with depression, as well as other psychological issues including resentment, bitterness, and even anger.
Clearly, caregivers need help. And while technology and caregiving tools cannot fix everything, they can help lighten the load.
What Families Want from Caregiving Tools
A survey by the The National Alliance of Caregiving asked caregivers to identify the tools and technology that would most help them avoid burnout. Of the 12 different options presented, three most impactful included:
- Health record tracking — a tool that could help track their loved one’s vital information, symptoms, test results, and other data.
- Care coordination systems — an option to keep track of appointments, coordinate schedules for visits or shared caretaker responsibilities, and support communication among the caregiving circle.
- Medication management — A tool to provide medication reminders, keep track of noncompliance (missed doses, etc.) and provide information about medication, such as potential side effects or interactions.
Although the NAC survey presented these caregiving tools separately – and respondents did not indicate any hesitation to using multiple tools — putting all three functions into a single device is an ideal solution to streamline caretaking and make it less stressful.
HandsFree Health’s family of devices does just this. The WellBe Smart Speaker and Smartwatch combine all of these features (and more) into easy to use devices that can be managed using a mobile app with all features. The WellBe Pendant adds additional peace of mind, offering your loved one a discreet way to get help when and where they need it.
How WellBe Devices Streamline Caregiving
When it comes to managing the details of your loved one’s care, HandsFree Health’s collection of WellBe devices checks all the boxes for what families need.
The WellBe Smart Speaker is a voice-activated virtual personal assistant that can deliver medication, send doctor appointment reminders, provide important health information, and make calls. All a user needs to do is say “Ok WellBe …” and make a request. The device can call a loved one, share the news or weather, or even detail their daily schedule. The secure, HIPAA-compliant device remotely connects to Wifi, and the companion app allows users to input information and get important notifications — like updates on missed medication doses.
The WellBe Smartwatch puts many of the features of the Smart Speaker into a wearable device that also includes the option for emergency medical alerts. The water-resistant device also serves as a pedometer and heart rate monitor, automatically recording information in the companion app to share with caregivers and medical providers.
The newest addition to the WellBe lineup is the WellBe Pendant, the smallest, lightest 4G emergency alert device available. In addition to automatically connecting to emergency services when activated, the GPS-enabled pendant also includes fall detection.
Included with every WellBe device is the WellBe HandsFree+ App, which brings many of its best features to your smart device. Available on both iOS and Android platforms, the HandsFree+ app connects to medical devices from more than 400 manufacturers to record vital health data, assist caregivers in managing appointments and medications, and help caregiving circles split daily duties. The app also allows users to look up health information, making it easy to stay organized and on track with your loved one’s care. All of this is included free with the purchase of any WellBe device.
Whether you use all of the WellBe family of devices or just one, you gain peace of mind — and technological assistance to help reduce your risk of burnout.
Get More Caregiving Help from HandsFreeHealth
If you are ready, click here to shop for the WellBe caregiving tool that best suits your needs.
You can also find more caregiving tips and insights, and access helpful resources to make your life easier by downloading our complimentary guide “Caring for an Aging Parent 101.” In these pages, you’ll get the compassionate advice you need as you navigate your caregiving journey. Get your free copy today.