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Being a caregiver isn't easy, but is technology the answer?

Being a caregiver can often feel like another full-time job. It is usually an unexpected duty that takes up most of your time and can leave you feeling incredibly stressed.

Of course, this does not overshadow the love you have for your elder who needs care, whether it is a parent or a grandparent. But there is no question that being a caregiver can be both exhausting and challenging.

Why is it so difficult to be a caregiver?

Becoming a caregiver can be overwhelming for several reasons, including:

  • Many caregivers feel like they do not have control over their own life
  • Meeting another's needs can prevent them from meeting their own needs
  • There is often a lot of information to keep track of for their loved one, including medical or financial information
  • It is not easy to see a loved one struggling with deteriorating health

All of this on top of providing care can cause considerable physical, mental and emotional stress. And that can quickly cause caregivers to experience burnout.

 

Caregiver burnout is all too common

Burnout can take many forms, including:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Physical health problems, such as high blood pressure
  • Feeling tired, even after sleeping or resting

The Mayo Clinic advises individuals to seek help and perhaps even connect with other caregivers. This might help caregivers relieve some of their stress and regain focus, but it might not make their job any easier. 

However, technology could facilitate a caregiver's job

It is a reality for many individuals that they do not—or cannot—live with their loved one who needs care. And this can make being a caregiver even more challenging and stressful than it already is.

Technology might be the answer to help make remote caregiving an easier option.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reported that specific apps or software can help caregivers monitor their loved one, even when they cannot be there with them. For example, there are sensors that tell the caregiver who is at the door, or when their loved one is out of bed. GPS monitors can also help caregivers know where their loved one is, especially if they are prone to wander.

Of course, elderly loved ones might not take kindly to technological monitoring. It would be essential to explain the benefits the technology could provide and obtain their consent. But in the long run, it could help make a caregiver's responsibilities significantly easier.

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