Wednesday 8 June 2016

How Local Communities Can Help Caregivers

If you imagine a caregiver at the beginning of a care journey, he or she might be represented as a dot on the map of a neighbourhood.  She would be surrounded by other dots - neighbours, friends and co-workers. Slowly, as care needs at home increase, the caregiver dot floats further and further away from all the other dots. One day, the caregiver finds herself alone, far from the community she once felt a part of.

It's at that point the caregiver might wonder how to match up her needs at home with whatever help might exist in the community. Possible choices, people to call, agencies to help... it all seems too much and too vague. It becomes easier to do nothing.

Today, I'm offering you the possibility for a different life: a caregiving life within your community.  The answer lies in a technology tool designed to coordinate help for caregiving families called Tyze Personal Networks in Canada or Community Tyze in the US.  My idea is this: pick up the phone and call the director of whatever agency supports your family locally.  It might be the Alzheimer's Association, Easter Seal or the Parkinson's Society. Every illness or disease has an organization that offers information and support to its constituents and most have local offices. If there isn't a disease/disability related association in your area, call the Rotary or Lions Club instead.

You have an opportunity to offer a way for a helping organization to help your family and other caregiving folks in your area to leverage all the good will in your region. Philanthropic groups are always looking for ways to make their dollars work strategically and effectively.  Buying Tyze for all the families supporting an elder with Alzheimer's in a city, for example, ticks those boxes and more. Here's how it works:

In a nutshell, your local association buys Tyze at a low cost-recovery rate for tech support. This is a non-profit model of support. The association loads the site with information and support resources of their own. They can add announcements of events and contact telephone numbers as well. Local community partners such as restaurants and cinemas can be listed (but remember, this is a secure site with password encoding, so it's not advertising. It's just a list of willing care-partners in your neighborhood). Friends and family are invited to your Tyze network and everyone has access to your updates from home, scheduled appointments and requests for help. There's a calendar to ensure both personal and medical events are tracked.

I've written a lot about how we use Tyze in my family. It's a great tool and it's even better if your closest circle of helpers is connected to your primary home care agency or disease-support association. Just write or pick up the phone to make this happen for you and other families sharing similar care challenges in your neck of the woods.

Tyze Personal Networks – Powered by Saint Elizabeth Health Care
90 Allstate Parkway, Suite 300
Markham, Ontario Canada L3R 6H3
[email protected]

IN USA:  Community Tyze [email protected]

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