The Internet of Home Care

Posted on 11. May, 2015 by in Blog, Uncategorized

As the baby boomers age more and more adult caregivers are seeking answers from the Internet instead of consulting healthcare professionals. According to Pew Research Center, in a study regarding family caregivers, 39 percent of adults use technology to help them provide care for loved ones.

What could be pushing adult caregivers toward the World Wide Web and away from registered physicians? Although family caregivers make up a wide demographic, Pew has found that a majority of caregivers fall between the ages of 30-64 years of age – a range that is still immersed in the workforce. Adult caregivers already juggle full time jobs, dependents, housework and a social life making the additional title of caregiver nearly impossible. Accessing the Internet gives caregivers the capability to gather information on complex topics in order to make important decisions regarding the health and wellness of elderly dependents.  Four out of ten adults in the U.S are caring for an adult or child with significant health issues. This is up from 30 percent in 2010.

What kinds of answers are over-stretched caregivers searching for? According to Pew Research Center, caregivers are more likely to web search the following:

  • Health information regarding medical problems, treatments, and drugs
  • Information to diagnose a potential or suspected condition
  • Reviews on drugs and other treatments
  • Ways to track weight, diet, or exercise routines
  • First hand experiences regarding a specific treatment or health condition
  • Information about handling caregiver stress and challenges

When caregivers were asked how the Internet impacts them, 59 percent said that online resources have helped their ability to provide care and support. Interestingly 79 percent of caregivers who seek information from the Internet start at search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Only 14 percent admitted to starting their search at sites like WebMD which are more specific to healthcare.

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