Skip to main content

Pew Reports on Family Caregivers Being Online


Collaborating with caregivers is often an essential part of a geriatrician's work, so I was thrilled to see that this month the Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a report on "Family Caregivers Online".

The report is based on a Pew telephone survey of 3001 adults, conducted in August-September of 2010. Among the respondents, 24% were providing care for another adult. The introduction to the report states that:

"Eight in ten caregivers (79%) have access to the internet. Of those, 88% look online for health information, outpacing other internet users on every health topic included in our survey, from looking up certain treatments to hospital ratings to end-of-life decisions."

The survey also found that caregivers were particularly likely to engage in social activities online, such as using social networking sites, or even writing reviews of clinicians and medical facilities.

My guess is that this information will not come as a surprise to most of us, given that we are all seeing patients and families come in with information gleaned from the web. Furthermore, given the warp speed with which Facebook and other forms of social media are engulfing Americans, it's likely that a survey done today would find even more e-caregiver engagement than there was two years ago.

Still, it's exciting that Pew has published a report highlighting family caregivers, and their use of internet resources to find information and support. Family members and other informal caregivers have often been referred to as the "bedrock" or "backbone" of long-term care, yet as we know our society doesn't currently provide them with nearly enough support to do the work they do. Hopefully this report will help spur even more interest in using internet tools to support caregivers. 

by: Leslie Kernisan

Comments

Anonymous said…
As family caregivers continues to use & depend on the web for health, medical, wellness information, they also need to verify & communicate with their healthcare providers - physicians, pharmacist, nurses prior to implementing any action esp as pertains to medications & diagnosing themselves or their loved ones. CareNovate, LLC is addressing this particular issue by educating & empowering caregivers to use online resources appropriately. Join us on August 14th 8pm CDT for a Twitter Chat for Caregivers & Healthcare professionals discussing "Swimming in the Maze! Online Health info, Apps & Saving on Prescriptions."
Virtual Event http://www.tweetchat.com/room/carerx.
Follow us @carenovate @goldina2. Use Hashtag #carerx.
Please RSVP here http://www.smore.com/mnnr-save-the-date-august-14th-8pm-cdt?ref=my & post in the comment section if you any specific questions: Join us here http://www.tweetchat.com/room/carerx.
Michael Jones said…
I salute every caregivers out there because even after hours of care their love for their patients cannot be compared to anything, it is unmeasurable.
^Thank you Michael Jones! As caregivers, we really need to be patient and give our patients the attention and comfort they need.

Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation: Google’s Translation of Palliative Care to ‘Do-Nothing Care’

by: Cynthia X. Pan, MD, FACP, AGSF (@Cxpan5X)

My colleagues often ask me: “Why are Chinese patients so resistant to hospice and palliative care?” “Why are they so unrealistic?” “Don’t they understand that death is part of life?” “Is it true that with Chinese patients you cannot discuss advance directives?”

As a Chinese speaking geriatrician and palliative care physician practicing in Flushing, NY, I have cared for countless Chinese patients with serious illnesses or at end of life.  Invariably, when Chinese patients or families see me, they ask me if I speak Chinese. When I reply “I do” in Mandarin, the relief and instant trust I see on their faces make my day meaningful and worthwhile.

At my hospital, the patient population is about 30% Asian, with the majority of these being Chinese. Most of these patients require language interpretation.  It becomes an interesting challenge and opportunity, as we often need to discuss advance directives, goals of care, and end of life care options…

Elderhood: Podcast with Louise Aronson

In this week's podcast we talk with Louise Aronson MD, MFA, Professor of Geriatrics at UCSF about her new book Elderhood, available for purchase now for delivery on the release date June 11th.

We are one of the first to interview Louise, as she has interviews scheduled with other lesser media outlets to follow (CBS This Morning and Fresh Air with Terry...somebody).

This book is tremendously rich, covering a history of aging/geriatrics, Louise's own journey as a geriatrician facing burnout, aging and death of family of Louise's members, insightful stories of patients, and more.

We focus therefore on the 3 main things we think our listeners and readers will be interested in.

First - why the word "Elder" and "Elderhood" when JAGS/AGS and others recently decided that the preferred terminology was "older adult"?

Second - Robert Butler coined the term ageism in 1969 - where do we see ageism in contemporary writing/thinking?  We focus on Louise's…

Psychedelics: Podcast with Ira Byock

In this week's podcast, we talk with Dr. Ira Byock, a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life.

Ira Byock wrote a provocative and compelling paper in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management titled, "Taking Psychedelics Seriously."

In this podcast we challenge Ira Byock about the use of psychedelics for patients with serious and life-limiting illness.   Guest host Josh Biddle (UCSF Palliative care fellow) asks, "Should clinicians who prescribe psychedelics try them first to understand what their patient's are going through?" The answer is "yes" -- read or listen on for more!

While you're reading, I'll just go over and lick this toad.

-@AlexSmithMD





You can also find us on Youtube!



Listen to GeriPal Podcasts on:
iTunes Google Play MusicSoundcloudStitcher
Transcript
Eric: Welcome to the GeriPal Podcast. This is Eric Widera.

Alex: This is Alex Smith.

Eric: Alex, I spy someone in our …