Each day over the next twenty years, ten thousand Baby Boomers will turn sixty-five years of age, presenting a new challenge for caregivers as they are the largest generation to go into retirement. Millennials are likely to become caregivers for their Baby Boomer parents, and they need accessibility and convenience when it comes to #mhealth tools in helping provide care for their parents.
A recent study by Edelman & Edelman Berland (1) shows that caregivers are emerging as the audience most engaged with digital health information:
56 percent of caregivers stated they are more reliant on digital health information compared to last year.
77 percent of caregivers have shared online health information in the past year, but 76 percent of those caregivers shared that information privately (email, text, private message).
Right now, about 25% of caregivers are millennials, according to a study done by AARP (2). And they are increasingly reliant on mobile tools to get their health information (3):
71 percent of millennials would be interested in a doctor/provider giving them a mobile app on their smartphone/tablet to actively manage their well-being for preventative care, review health records, schedule appointments.
73 percent of millennials are interested in their doctors using mobile devices during appointments to share information.
Caregivers are not often given information they need when it comes to managing prescriptions, exercise regimens, and other care for their elderly or disabled relatives. There currently exists a discontinuity when it comes the transition of care for a disabled or elderly patient from a clinic or hospital to home.
Secure messaging can help provide continuity in terms of care, information, and help increase medical adherence by keeping caregivers in the loop with physicians, nurses, and medical staff. A simple text message reminder about an upcoming appointment can help a caregiver bring their loved one in for a medical checkup, or even a question from a caregiver via text to a physician can help prevent potential hospital readmissions before they occur.
As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, the number of Millennials involved in caregiving will increase, and so will their expectations of digital health tools involved in home health care for their parents. If we are to keep the cost of medical care down with an aging population, the more involved we need caregivers to be, and keep them updated on all points of care.
Secure messaging is the solution we need to bridge the discontinuity gap and make caregiving easier in the years to come. For more information on how secure messaging can help your organization stay in touch with your patients’ caregivers, please click here to call us or schedule a free demo.