Can I Take A Break? Facilitating In-home Respite Care for Family Caregivers of Older Adults.
Min, A., Currin, F., Razo, G., Connelly, K., & Shih, P. C. (2020). Can I Take a Break? Facilitating In-Home Respite Care for Family Caregivers of Older Adults. In American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium Proceedings.
You can access the article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33936460/
Min et al. (2020) sought to understand the challenges of using in-home respite care for the care of older adults and discussed how information and communication technologies, like smart-home systems and apps, may help alleviate some of these barriers. They interviewed primary family caregivers, respite family caregivers, and respite professional caregivers.
- Building trust between caregivers is key to quality respite care.
- Trust is harder to establish between primary family caregivers and professional respite caregivers initially compared to primary family caregivers and family respite caregivers.
- Trust takes time, so short-term respite professionals may have a harder time establishing trust with the family.
- Trust needs to be established with each new professional respite caregiver.
- Good communication may help promote the development of trust between primary caregivers and respite professional caregivers. Breakdowns in this communication may inhibit trust.
- Current methods of communication between caregivers include (p. 854-855):
- Verbal conversation
- Paper messages (e.g., notebook, list, etc.)
- Digital messages and logs (e.g., text, email, apps, etc.)
- Wearable devices (e.g., pendant for emergency)
- They found there are several barriers to communication between caregivers that results in loss of trust and ineffective respite care. Breakdowns in communication can be related to:
- Limitations in methods and ease of communication between respite professionals and primary caregivers due to professional agencies’ privacy rules
- Limitations in information sharing between respite caregivers (professional and family) when a family is using more than one caregiver
- Insufficient information sharing from the agency to the respite professional, such as insufficient information on the older adult’s routines and preferences
- Recommendations for future information and communication technologies to alleviate these barriers:
- Create a system that allows primary caregivers to input relevant information on the care recipient for a respite professional based on their experience with the family, such as history, routines and/or recent events.
- Create a “profile, review, and matching system” to share information about the respite professionals with family caregivers and vice versa to support development of trust (p. 857). It would also help respite professionals identify families whose needs match their skills.
- Create an easy-to-use live check-in system where the respite professional presses a button when tasks are completed to notify the primary caregivers and build trust.
- Provide seamless communication amongst caregivers with the use of apps, smart home systems and wearable technologies to provide “live health status updates, share important changes in the situations and needs, and monitor progress of care” ( p. 858).