By Dr. Madhavi Vemireddy, co-founder and COO, CareTribe.
Millions of Americans live with chronic health conditions every day, sometimes even debilitating or disabling health conditions. When our physical health fails, it inadvertently impacts every facet of our lives: social, financial, interpersonal, as well as professional. As a result, millions of Americans are enlisted to support their loved ones struggling with their health each year. Within the healthcare industry, we refer to the former as “family caregivers ” and the latter as “care recipients.”
Today, more than 53 million Americans can be described as family caregivers.
Family caregivers commonly find themselves scrambling to solve problems for their afflicted loved one, often at the expense of their job, their family, and friends, and sometimes even their own physical and/or mental wellbeing. The average American caregiver spends four years or more in the role of a caregiver, spending approximately 24 hours per week dedicated to supporting their loved one with their out-of-pocket spending as a caregiver costing on average more than $7,000 per year.
Unfortunately, caregivers typically find themselves providing this level of care for a loved one with very little expert support. Usually, caregivers tap into their network of friends and family members for advice or assistance. Because of the chronic stress that the role of caregiving brings, caregivers are twice as likely to suffer from adverse health effects like depression, hypertension, diabetes, pulmonary disease, and other ailments–all while carrying the responsibility of caregiving for their loved one.
Creating a Community Centered on Caregiving
These reasons are why my husband and I founded CareTribe to support the millions of Americans struggling to support their loved ones who are afflicted with chronic health conditions, the ramifications of those conditions, and the impact they hold on the overall quality of life for both care recipients and caregivers alike.
In creating CareTribe, our mission was to provide family caregivers with an innovative technology platform driven by artificial intelligence (AI) that combines condition specific pathways, relevant benefits, curated products and resources, and human experts to provide personalized support, regardless of what stage caregivers are at in their journey to assist their loved ones.