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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief It Takes an (Electronic) Village

As a family caregiver, it is our job to oversee something akin to a three-dimensional chessboard of schedules: medication timetables, doctors’ appointments, healthcare workers’ schedules, and the agenda of our well family members, such as our children. We also manage the efforts of those professionals, friends and family members who help us as we care for loved ones.

These responsibilities include scheduling and attending appointments with legal and healthcare experts and following up on the barrage of insurance challenges that accompany any caregiving situation. Not to mention working hard at maintaining our jobs, which a third of us lose due to the time and focus family caregiving can take from our work duties.

In the ancient pre-internet days (a decade and a half ago), we juggled all of the above using calendars, day planners and, in my mom’s case, stacks of yellow-lined legal pads filled with notes, appointments, questions to ask the doctors and medication schedules. Not an easy task. 

Now, thankfully, coordinating all you do as a family caregiver can be accomplished in an organized and secure fashion—it just takes an electronic village.  And, to work the metaphor a tad bit longer, as the mayor of this small village of care, the Internet can now allow for a secure place to share messages in order to update our fellow care villagers on the health of our loved ones, and even direct their supportive efforts. Online, you can find a place to safely share information about medication management, track and store vital documents, plan for meetings, and ask for help with specific caregiving tasks.

When our schedules are no longer written on the back of envelopes, and our vital documents are not tucked away in the back of long-forgotten drawers, our friends, family members and professional support staff can know what is expected of them without even asking us. Just imagine a status quo where we are able to carve out a few more moments of time to take care of ourselves.

That’s one village where I would love to hang my hat.


  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Wednesday July 25, 2012


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