Elder Care Providers and Internet Usage: Practicalities and Pitfalls

Elder Care Providers and Internet Usage: Practicalities and Pitfalls

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Elder Care – Internet Usage in Green Valley, AZ

Technology is a major part of our lives. In fact, it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t own a smartphone. Of the nearly 40 percent of Americans who are caregivers, 72 percent of them use the Internet on their phones and computers to research information about health and caregiving, according to a Pew Internet Health Tracking Survey.

The Internet is a gold mine of information about everything, and health care is no exception. Elderly home care providers want to be informed about their loved one’s medical condition and learn ways to make the elder care process easier. While the Internet can be a helpful tool in achieving these goals, it must be used with caution.

How the Internet is Useful

The Internet has been a godsend for caregivers who are looking for general information about a loved one’s medical condition, such as symptoms, treatment and prognosis. There are many reputable websites, such as WebMD, Mayo Clinic and Healthline, that provide accurate information. If a loved one is using a new medication, the caregiver can go online and learn all about that particular drug. This information can help the caregiver understand the side effects, dosage, and what activities to avoid (such as alcohol, tobacco or certain foods).

The Internet also allows caregivers to participate in online forums. There, they can elicit support from others going through the same situation and feel like part of a community.

The Internet also offers health-related resources for caregivers. Caregivers can search for support groups in the area or find businesses that carry medical supplies. Plus, many doctors now keep patient’s charts and medical histories online, so caregivers can use the Internet to check test results, schedule appointments or communicate with doctors.

Disadvantages of Internet Use

While the Internet can be a useful tool, many people abuse it. Steer clear of ads that look like credible websites and avoid sites with bad grammar and numerous typos. Don’t give websites any personal information. Also, don’t use a website to diagnose a medical condition. If you have medical concerns about your loved one, have him or her see a qualified medical professional. Don’t buy any medications or miracle cures online. Note that anyone can post anything online, so don’t believe everything you read. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services in the home, please contact the caring staff at Total Care Connections (520) 447-4711. We provide quality Home Care & Assisted Living Placement in Tucson, Green Valley, Oro Valley, and Surrounding Areas!

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