Here we give you some ideas on how technology can make your caring role a little bit easier.
Some organisations that can offer support outside of Care for the Carers’ current office hours:
- Samaritans – for emotional support 24/7, on the phone and online
- Carers UK online forum lets you talk to other carers and see what they are saying about a range of topics.
- Macmillan Online Community – Carers Group. With thousands of users, many of whom are very active in the chatroom, this online community also offers a dedicated carers group, in which carers of people with cancer can offer peer support.
- Age Space: a friendly online conversation space where anyone can ask a question or find the answer to something of concern.
Online information and support for carers
- Care Community online forum is a place to discuss health and caring for loved ones, particularly in later life.
- Links on the NHS website of organisations to speak to about social care and support.
- Independent Age information about getting help if you’re a carer.
Technology that can make carers’ lives easier
- Carers UK Modern solutions for you booklet covers some of the tech solutions and devices that can help in your caring role, for example remote monitoring and alerts and managing medication.
- My Care Matters is a secure online place to record the information you want health professionals to know about you or your loved one as a person – whether in hospital or in a care home.
- Home safe shows you how to turn a spare phone into a security camera for your home or to keep an eye on someone at home.
- GARI online database provides information about accessibility functions on mainstream smartphones.
- Coping with hearing loss and computing.
- Association of Carers has a Computer Help at Home service.
- Independent Age’s list of podcasts may be the perfect introduction if you’re new to listening online. Podcasts can inform, entertain, and engage, particularly those who might have trouble reading.
- You may find that as a carer you only have the opportunity to catch up with admin when the person you care for is asleep, so the free c-app for benefits ESA and PIP may be of interest, for online financial information out of hours.
- BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live covers finance for carers, aired July
2018. Listen again via iPlayer.
- Search for grants and check your benefit entitlement via Turn 2 Us charity.
- The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial money advice, set up by the government, including tools and calculators and phone support.
- Money Saving Expert website is full of tips to get the best value for your money.
- Thinking Ahead is a free online resource that aims to prepare people for the potential costs of caring for a family member or loved one to help them plan ahead.
About other carers
- View our carer videos where carers talk about their experiences and stories.
- Carers UK has some first-hand accounts from carers about their experiences of using technology to help them.
- Invisible Army Podcasts share emotional accounts from caregivers who share their experiences, alongside major carer charities and information about the healthcare system.
Online learning for carers
- Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well course for carers, to help you stay connected to loved ones, manage stress at home and defuse difficult situations.
- Alzheimer’s Society videos, podcasts and audio factsheets.
- Explore key issues related to caring for a relative with psychosis or schizophrenia, in a short, free online course.
Staying safe online and ‘how to’ guides
- Sussex Police Little Book of Big Scams [PDF]
- Age UK resources for staying safe online and finding your nearest computer courses
- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection tips for keeping you and the person you care for safe.
- Digitalunite has more than 400 how to guides on everything from choosing a phone to creating documents, taking pictures and watching TV or downloading music.
Resources for carers of people with dementia, autism and Parkinson’s
- Music Memories website from the BBC helps people with dementia reconnect with their most powerful memories.
- Brain in Hand gives personalised support from an app on your phone, including diary, notes and reminders, and a traffic light system to help monitor anxiety.
You can buy Brain in Hand directly from the Brain in Hand website, but is it expensive. Alternatively it’s available through schemes, including Access to Work for those starting work. University students can fund Brain in Hand through their Disabled Students Allowance, while schools can support students to fund Brain in Hand via Education Health and Care Plans, or it can be included in the person’s personal budget support plan.
Support providers can also buy Brain in Hand for the person with care and support needs to use, and the National Autistic Society recommends sending their care provider information about Brain in Hand.
- The Molehill Mountain app helps autistic people understand and self-manage anxiety.
- Parkinson’s UK shares details of Apps and devices that can help with the day to day management of Parkinson’s.
Resources for health and social care professionals about technology for carers
With many thanks to Carers Support West Sussex for kindly allowing us to share within this article many of its suggestions for technology for carers.