Serving as an informal caregiver for an aging relative is rewarding, but it can also be mentally and physically exhausting. Scores of dedicated family caregivers battle fatigue and stress while trying to juggle their caregiving duties with other household responsibilities. Throw in a game changer like the coronavirus pandemic, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for caregiver burnout.

Fortunately, many informal caregivers are finding some much-needed relief during the COVID-19 crisis thanks to modern technology. What follows are some of the ways they are doing so.

Additional COVID-19 Challenges for Caregivers

Most states have now issued stay-at-home directives and travel restrictions that make getting around much more difficult for everyone, including caregivers. Some of the more pressing challenges informal caregivers now face when looking after loved ones include:

  • Transporting them to medical appointments
  • Following social distancing guidelines
  • Supplying them with meals and groceries
  • Preventing them from getting lonely and depressed
  • Not exposing them to coronavirus
  • Finding them personal protective equipment (PPE)

These obstacles can sometimes make it nearly impossible to provide a senior with the daily living assistance they need. And, the longer these issues persist, the greater the likelihood becomes for their loved one’s freedom and independence to be placed at risk.

Family Caregivers Are Using these Technologies

To level the playing field, many family caregivers are now turning to modern technologies so they can continue providing uninterrupted care to their homebound loved ones, such as:

Video Chats

Seniors who are forced to self-isolate during an event like the COVID-19 pandemic oftentimes battle loneliness, anxiety and depression. To stay connected, caregivers are now using video chat services like Skype or FaceTime to speak with their loved ones face-to-face. Notably beneficial for long-distance caregivers, these video chat sessions are a great morale booster for both parties.

Online Grocery Shopping

Many larger grocery store chains had started online grocery shopping and home deliveries well before the coronavirus outbreak. Now these convenient online grocery services are proving to be a blessing for homebound seniors who are still able to cook, and for those who take care of them.

Medication Management

Another responsibility that many informal caregivers are faced with is overseeing their loved one’s medication compliance and medication refills. Thanks to the Internet, medication management is only a click away with online, full-service pharmacies like PillPack.

Once they have permission from the patient, for a small monthly fee PillPack and similar online pharmacy service providers can manage all aspects of a senior’s monthly medication requirements, including billing, prescription refills and to-the-door, unit-dose deliveries.

Virtual Medical Appointments

Because going to any medical facility is more risky right now, many healthcare providers have turned to virtual Telemedicine or TeleHealth services so that doctors and other medical professionals can speak face-to-face with patients outside an office setting.

These virtual appointments are conducted by using the microphone and camera on a patient’s computer or smartphone, and many health insurance providers, including Medicare, are now providing coverage for virtual appointments.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

Another technology that’s proving to be invaluable during the coronavirus outbreak is Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). A PERS is a medical alert system that connects an elderly individual to a 24-hour response center with the push of a button.

Trained staff located at the response center can then quickly evaluate the situation and take appropriate action, including notifying family members. Some of the highest-rated medical alert systems include Medical Guardian, Lively Mobile Plus and LifeStation.

We’re an Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home

If you can’t physically be there in your aging loved one’s home right now, another option you have is contacting Seniors Prefer Homecare. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our highly trained, compassionate caregivers can serve as an extended family in your senior’s home so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our agency’s goal is maintaining your senior’s quality of life so they can age gracefully with dignity and independence.

Our “cream of the crop” in-home services include companionship care, personal care, live-in care and 24-hour care. We also have full-time RNs and social workers on staff who are he