Who will care for the caregivers?
Caregivers play an extremely valuable and, to some extent, lonely role in our society, often paying a large price themselves in terms of their own health, physically and psychologically. According to a recent article in Oncology News Australia, “Family caregivers play a key role in reducing patient symptom burden during home hospice care, as they make judgments about medication intake and other interventions to improve their family member’s comfort.” Those caring for an elderly parent or friend, more often than not, face similar demands.
We often hear people say when referring to a caregiver: “Gosh, So-and-So is fortunate to be able to share their responsibility with (Sibling/Close Friend).” Whilst this is very true, it brings with it its own set of complications. Now the caregiver becomes the chief record keeper and communicator.
Studies are recognising the potential of mHealth to ease the burden for caregivers. The economic value of informal care is also well documented. I wonder will our recent census open up opportunities for our caregivers to get access to these invaluable tools sooner rather than later?