Caring.comcaring.png
Caring.com, a site dedicated towards information for the elderly, is now open to the public. According to Techcrunch, it received “6 million Series A round of financing from DCM and Split Rock Partners.” It provides articles on health, housing, finances, legal issues, and others. It also has a Q&A system where users may ask questions and have it answered by “experts and the community.”

Caring.com was founded by Andy Cohen, Jim Scott and Steve Fram who previously worked on BabyCenter.com, a site dedicated towards providing information on raising children.

Comments
Caring.com site aesthetics could use some work:

  1. The site needs to contact caregivers who have experience in managing Alzheimer/Dementia patients because these are the people who would provide first-hand knowledge about the angst and struggles that are faced each day in their role. While Caring.com’s editorial team is well-qualified in the realm of writing, I’m not sure how many of them have actually taken care of a loved one who has Alzheimer/Dementia. Having caregivers who blog about their daily routine would turn interested users into loyal readers.
  2. I have always considered Caregivers as Heroes. Unlike surgeons who sometimes have 24-hour shifts, caregivers must provide 24/7 care to their patient. Unlike pharmacists who do not witness the slow deterioration of a drug effects on an individual everyday, caregivers must monitor and notice possible drug behavioral problems all the time. It is a stressful and often, soul-draining role. With that being said, Care.com lacks any form of community. There is no forum and no social-networking feature that allows caregivers to provide each other support and advice. In addition to the importance of providing a form of support, Care.com may use the forum or networking feature as a strategy to bring users back to the site.
  3. There is a lack of information in regards to medication compliance and management. Older individuals tend to be on several prescription medications. Information is needed stressing the importance of medication compliance as well as tips on improving compliance. There needs to be information in regards to the use of supplements or herbs in this generation. Another vital area to stress is the importance of noticing common drug effects in older individuals due to their decreased renal clearance and other factors that affect a drug’s pharmacokinetics.
  4. Health prevention in older adults is also a crucial area. Information in regards to pneumoccoal shots, appropriate calcium intake, or the need for DXA scanning in patients should be stressed in this population. Other areas in the realm of medication management may include a listing of Alzheimer/Dementia clinical trials looking for individuals who would like to participate.
  5. Care.com lacks useful tools for caregivers. While there are articles on ways to “help keep my parents living independently” and tips on evaluating housing options, there isn’t a tool for users to locate assisted living facilities around a given area. Other vital tools that are missing is the ability to connect caregivers to users as well as a list of Geriatric physicians located in an area.

Any health-related site should be more than just information, it should be a useful tool that can be used over and over again.

CaringPilotcarepilot.jpg
This is a tool that assists individuals in searching and comparing Medicare-certified home health care providers throughout the United States. The site has a “CarePilot” section where users may find support, gain answers to questions, and share experiences.

StrengthforCaringstrengthforcaring.jpg
StrengthforCaring is a site developed by Johnson and Johnson. Provides users with a caregiving manual, message boards, personal stories, and tips on daily care.

ThirdAgethirdage.jpg
ThirdAge was launched in June 1997 by Mary Furlong, a professor of Education and Technology from the University of San Francisco. It is a community for those aged 40+ and older. ThirdAge has the typical attributes of a Web community: advice columns, discussion forums, free workshops, and online tutorials such as powerpoint and excel basics.

National Family Caregivers Associationnfca.jpg
NFCA provides family caregivers with support, information and resources. They publish “A Family Caregiver Speaks Up,” was which was on the Today Show. The site has ongoing innovative support methods such as the “Caregiver Pen Pal” program, monthly e-letters, and a story bank with stories from caregivers across the country.

Timegoesbyastimegoesby.jpg
This is a blog by Ronni Bennett who was a producer for 25 years for shows such as 20/20, The Barbara Walters Special on ABC network, and shows on Lifetime TV, NBC, CBS, and PBS. It is a mix of reporting/blogging on a variety of topics: ageing, age discrimination, health and medical issues, love and sex, marketing to elders etc. It’s one of my favorite blogs to read. I wanted to include this here because Ms. Bennett provides an engaging insight into ageing and the issues involved.

Advertisements