"as of 2015, there will be more people alive over 65 than under 15 for the first time. “And it’s going to remain that way."
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A call to action -- educate caregivers about tech they can use
Submitted by Laurie Orlov on Wed, 01/26/2011 - 09:33
National Alliance for Caregiving's study -- very revealing. In January, NAC published a report sponsored by United Healthcare which surveyed how caregivers view technology.* The 1000 online responders were all caregivers (providing at least five hours per week of unpaid care) and already were users of some sort of tech, as little as doing online searches for information. The report views these as 'technology-using caregivers', a somewhat alarming label in the context of their responses:
What's it mean -- better marketing to dispel misinformation about barriers. In a study in which the responders are all online, it was discouraging that they showed such lack of awareness about the existance of technologies that could provide benefit at reasonable cost (or no cost). It was unfortunate that their trusted sources of information offer so little guidance about useful technology. So when vendors attend caregiving conferences like Fearless Caregiver, for example, or the Alzheimer's Association, why not band together with other attending vendors to create a simple brochure about what you all bring to the table -- collectively. Hold onto that brochure, produce multiple versions of it and bring it to conferences that feature health professionals (HIMSS), geriatric care managers (NAPGCM), and the American Telemedicine Association. There is too much already out there to help caregivers for them to be deterred by ignorance of their most trusted resources or perceived barriers that don't exist. This must certainly represent an opportunity for AgeTek vendors, already talking about combining resources to better market on their members' behalf.
* Full disclosure: I was one of multiple outside consultants who offered feedback on the study as it was being formulated.