Earlier this year, the NIH hosted a number of experts on dementia at a research summit focused on care, services, and supports for persons with dementia and their caregivers. The summit addressed issues related to "research on care needs and supportive approaches for people with dementia, how to involve dementia sufferers as study participants, and research on models of care for persons living with dementia and their families across the disease trajectory." What came out of this summit was a report with a list of recommendations to "improve scientific priorities for research on persons with dementia and their families."
This report was meticulous and thorough as recommendations were classified into 12 overarching themes. One of the themes that is particularly relevant to the work we are doing at the Memory Kit through our Care Card is "Technology to Support Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers." Using The Care Card App, we connect a patient's bio with their daily care needs to their caregivers, family, physicians, and other specialists on the care team. With the Care Card, we bring together a patient's full network of assistance and connect them to provide the highest quality of care.
Janice Sachs was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s nine years ago. As her conditioned worsened, her family sought the help of Vantage Hospice. Her husband John informed the incoming caretaker of her specific needs, in particular that they should not try to force her to shower. Despite all of this, a second caregiver came to take over a shift and tried to force Janice into the shower. She was left with multiple bruises on her arms and hands, and she was traumatized. Her family was furious.
This could have all been avoided. The Care Card was designed specifically to combat these issues because we understand that new caregivers will constantly be coming into a loved one’s life as their care needs increase and change. Keeping everybody on the same page is crucial, and when all caregivers have access to the same information, incidents like these can be prevented.
Respite care provides temporary relief for caregivers and also acts as an interim provider of care after an injury or surgery. The Care Card Daily Notes allows these caregivers to log and update families, doctors, and loved ones about the status of recovery effortlessly and timely. When respite caregivers take over for a primary caregiver, they are provided with the guidelines and information they need to adequately care for the patient.
Once you make a Care Card, you can share it with anyone else on the care team via email.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2015), caregivers who live with the person they provide care for spend an average of 40.5 hours per week providing care. This is a full time job in and of itself and requires external help especially if their loved one needs care around the clock. Using a Care Card will keep everyone on the same page in terms of transitioning between caregivers daily.
High quality care is now at your fingertips. It's so easy to make edits and to update your Care Card as your loved one's care needs change. The Care Card is the app you never knew you needed but will impact your life and that of those around you for the better. Check out this video example to see the many benefits that the Care Card can bring to your life as part of a care team.
When a loved one develops dementia/Alzheimer's, they may begin to develop changes in balance and muscle strength as well as changes to the brain. Occupational and physical therapists work with these patients, and their families and caregivers to enhance and adjust the patient's environment to fit his/her needs. Using the "How to Help Me" section of the Care Card, therapists can communicate to caregivers and family members what the patient needs most help with in terms of daily activities like dressing, bathing, and eating.
When a home care company uses the Care Card, they have the opportunity to receive more information about their client from day one. This ensures a higher quality of care that one may not find elsewhere. Having a home care company that truly knows your loved one not only puts families more at ease but also increases business due to higher rates of satisfaction and more referrals.
In a large group setting, such as at an adult day care, it can be difficult for caregivers to understand, remember, and cater to each person's individual wants and needs. Using the Care Card, families and caregivers will input the vital information that one needs to provide the best quality of care. Ranging from favorite foods and favorite music to things that upset them, it is now easier than ever to know a person on a personal level from the start.
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If you have a loved one receiving long term care The Care Card can help ensure that their needs and preferences are always met.