What If Apps Included Check-Ins About Us?

Denise

What If Apps Included Check-Ins About Us?

Denise

During two separate phone calls yesterday, I spent time explaining that reaching family caregivers isn't the same as reaching older adults and our carees. I've written about this topic before and always am somewhat frustrated and flabbergasted that we have to distinguish the family caregiver from the caree. We're two separate people. Really. (Read What They New Isn't What I Need.)

The caregiving  marketplace now includes several apps and websites we can use to organize caregiving information and tasks. We certainly need efficient and effective ways to gather and store key information about our carees. We also do need to share that information with others -- like health care professionals and family members who may help (qualified because not all family members help).

What if these tools also included a way for us to indicate how we're doing? What if an app that shared tasks and information about our caree also allowed us to share how we're doing? Certainly, on some days, how our caree is doing is how we're doing. On other days, what we experience is much different than what our caree experiences.

Because we are not the caree and the caree is not us, why can't we have status updates about our well-being? If we have family members who help, wouldn't it be helpful to them to understand how we're doing? If we're struggling, wouddn't it be helpful for them to know so they can prevent the struggle from becoming a crisis?

Even if we only use tools to track information, rather than share it, it could be helpful for us to track how we're doing. We may be too close to our own struggle to understand its severity. A tool which gives us a perspective could help us see when we need more help or support or down time. We often keep going and going. What if a tool helped us see we earned a breather? What if the tool could tell us we're about to hit rough waters and to take precautions so we don't sink?

A caregiving situation impacts two people. Our tools need to reflect that two individuals sharing an experience may have very different experiences.

What do you think?

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