Social networking provides extra support
The New York Times recently wrote about a new trend among seniors and the families who care for them. When older adults need help due to aging or medical conditions, some are using social media for added support.
More seniors and caregivers are starting to use social networking websites like CaringBridge, Lotsa Helping Hands, or even Facebook.
Social networking sites are a source of support and love
Some families use these sites to share updates about medical conditions with concerned family and friends.
This saves time and energy because they can tell the story once, instead of needing to repeat it to different people. The responses they get to their posts remind the family or patient of how many people love and support them.
Social networking sites make coordination easier
Other family caregivers use these social networking sites (and their smartphone apps) to coordinate care for an aging relative. Using online sites, calendars, and centralized communication makes the primary caregiver’s job much easier.
Having a posted schedule, updates available to the group, and clearly documented communication cuts down on misunderstandings and endless back-and-forth messaging.
Be careful what you share
For all the convenience of social networking sites, families do need to be careful about what information they share and with whom. Some sites, like Facebook, may make it too easy to share updates intended for a private group with people outside of the caregiving group.
That potential lack of privacy is a concern for many caregivers.
Invitation-only sites, like CaringBridge, are completely separate from Facebook. Many families simply ask that members of their private group not share information outside of the group.
Social media sites are a great way for seniors and caregivers to get emotional support from a big group, simplify coordination and communication, and provide updates to lots of people.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Del Cielo Home Care