The e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century study, released this week by the National Alliance for Caregiving (Bethesda, Md.) and UnitedHealthcare (Minnetonka, Minn.), a UnitedHealth Group company, found more than two-thirds of family caregivers who have used some form of technology to help them with caregiving believe Web-based and mobile technologies designed to facilitate caregiving would be helpful to them. Family caregivers provide an estimated $375 billion worth of uncompensated care to loved ones annually. Previous studies have shown that many lack support systems and tools that could ease the burden financially and emotionally.
The survey examined family caregivers' receptivity to technology and assessed how helpful 12 particular technologies would be in supporting caregivers or helping them provide care. It also explored perceived barriers to using technology, factors that influence family caregivers’ use of technology and sources of information about technology that caregivers trust. The findings will be presented at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show’s (CES) Silvers Summit.
Technology to assist seniors and family caregivers in the home is one of the fastest-growing industries – some analysts predict it will be a $20 billion market by 2020. A report published by AARP in 2008 showed that both seniors and family caregivers are seeking new technology products as a way to keep their loved ones living in their home as long as possible.