Every November brings a sense of gratitude. We reflect on and appreciate the people who make a profound difference in our lives. With more than 50 million family caregivers1 across the country, we are acutely aware of—and grateful for—the invaluable role they play in supporting their loved ones, whether parents, children, siblings, or close friends. Their extraordinary contributions are vital to those they care for and the fabric of our communities.
Easing Caregiving Challenges with Virtual Care
Caregivers work diligently behind the scenes, devoting their time, energy, and love to provide personal, medical, and other life management support. Virtual care technology eases many of the challenges caregivers face. It provides convenient access to leading medical expertise in just hours or days. Virtual care benefits caregivers and care recipients alike, with its:
- Flexible consultation scheduling. Caregivers are the ultimate multitaskers, often balancing their caregiving responsibilities with work and other personal commitments. Virtual care provides schedule flexibility, allowing caregivers and care recipients to identify times that work best, including evening and weekend availability.
- Convenient access from home. Arranging transportation to and from appointments for loved ones is challenging. This is especially true when a care recipient has mobility limits or complex medical needs that can complicate a commute. With virtual care, caregivers and care recipients can meet with renowned physicians across all specialties from the comfort of their home. Meeting with healthcare providers virtually also alleviates the physical demands imposed on caregivers. Additionally, it can also help ease the emotional toll of witnessing their loved one’s health challenges.
- Education and guidance to support decision making. Participating in virtual care consultations, which typically last upwards of an hour, allows caregivers to get information, education, and guidance to best support their loved one. This newfound knowledge and support instill confidence and build caregiver self-efficacy, allowing both the caregiver and the care recipient to know they are making the best possible decisions, and provides a clear path forward in the care journey.
- Additional caregivers and family participation. Family members and other secondary caregivers, no matter where they live, can participate in virtual care consultations with their loved ones supporting care continuity and care coordination efforts. Including others in virtual care consultations can also provide respite to primary caregivers and also aid in identifying ways others can lend support to care recipients.
Supporting Care Recipients
For caregivers, virtual care’s fast access to medical expertise can answer pressing questions and ensure the health, wellbeing, and safety of their loved one. Virtual care provides a glimpse into a care recipients home and can address questions related to:
- Medication reconciliation. During virtual consultations, caregivers can read medication labels, ask questions, and ensure that care recipients receive the medication they need and avoid medication errors.
- Dietary needs. Caregivers are often responsible for planning and preparing meals tailored to their loved one’s dietary needs. Sharing ingredients and recipes can help physicians provide guidance for proper nutrition.
- Health monitoring. For those with chronic conditions that require long-term follow-up, virtual care offers an opportunity to quickly connect with physicians to share health updates, ask questions, and determine the appropriate next steps for care.
- Safety checks. Video consultations provide a view of the care recipient’s living space, supporting opportunities to identify and mitigate any potential hazards.
Prioritizing Caregiver Wellbeing
Caregiving exerts considerable physical and mental strain on caregivers. With virtual care, caregivers can prioritize their own health and wellbeing. Caregivers get fast access to the medical expertise they need, when they need it. With ongoing guidance and support, they are empowered to take steps to maintain their health. This allows them to continue to deliver essential support to their loved ones.
Grateful for Caregivers
To all the caregivers, thank you. Thank you for the love and sacrifice you make to provide the crucial care and assistance your loved ones need.
Employers looking to support their employees with caregiving responsibilities should consider virtual care. Virtual care helps ease the responsibilities associated with caregiving and places a strong focus on caregiver wellbeing and health concerns. Learn more about how Summus can support your organization’s caregivers and their loved ones.