The company started in 2003 to advance the quality and affordability of healthcare and has consulted on state and federal health IT initiatives. Its latest project is the SageMinder System, which is an online, direct-to-consumer medication compliance and check-in service for seniors and their family caregivers. This eHealth solution is offered through a comprehensive website for family caregivers, SageMinder.com.
Caregivers report that one of the things they need most is emotional support to share concerns and receive advice from others who are in similar situations. “This need for emotional support was the main reason we set up the caregiver discussion forum,” said Lori Paterno, CEO of Sage Life Technologies. “We wanted people to have a place to communicate in forums, and we also designed our site so that caregivers could ‘friend’ those most similar to themselves for more one on one support.”
“We felt that in addition to offering our reminder service, we really needed to provide a place for caregivers to communicate with each other,” Paterno said. And the idea is catching. There are over 25 major online caregiver forums. Many are designed to specifically address a particular illness or disease.
We could see more of these support networks for two reasons. First, as boomers age, the caregiver population will grow; more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one, (National Alliance for Caregiving).
Second, according to a recent Pew Internet study, boomers aged 50-64 (the typical age range for family caregivers) have increased their usage of social networking sites a whopping 60% since last year.
Caregiving has traditionally been an isolating experience since it can be an around-the-clock job – leaving little time for a social life or to make a scheduled support group meeting. “Online is anytime,” said Paterno. “With more online networks, caregivers will hopefully be less isolated as they find each other for the support they need.”
You can find more information about Sage Forum’s emerging community at WWW.SageMinder.Com.
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SageMinder aims to empower family caregivers with the tools, tips, information, services and support to help them in their caregiving role. Find the support you need at www.sageminder.com