“If people wonder whether there are angels here on earth, they just need to find the caregivers that are everywhere.”
As I’ve been helping with Mom’s care over the years, friends have supported me saying things like “you’re such a good daughter.” Flattered, I brushed the compliments off. First, because I have never known any differently, Mom got diagnosed when I was 9. Second, I was always so overwhelmed, the emotional and logistical burden suffocating. In building Wellthy, I started meeting others in similar situations whose stories humbled me.
ALS - Last week, I spoke with a woman who left her professional career to care for her sister with ALS. Her daily activities revolve around her sister’s needs — toileting, feeding, and managing the emotional strain of constant physical decline. Her spirit and emotional stamina floored me.
Financial Fraud - One man we know found out that his successful father with dementia had sent $500,000 to a fraudulent banker in Nigeria over several years. Our friend attempted to unravel the mess while his father refused to admit that he had been scammed. He still thought the big payout was coming. This caregiver described years of patience as he attempted to solve his father’s mental and financial decimation.
If these examples sound extreme, I can tell you they’re not. I’ve heard countless similar ones. There are 66 million family caregivers in the U.S. who are right now silently struggling to take care of their sick, disabled, or aging loved ones. It is a massive number of people, almost 30% of our population — bigger than the largest minority group, African Americans at 13%; larger than the gay population; and slightly higher than the number of people over the age of 65, which is about 45 million.
The thing we’ve realized at Wellthy is that despite differences in circumstances, managing care at its core resembles the management of a complex project. As we’ve worked with clients through our care concierge, we’ve built tools, guidance, and support. Our platform is like project management software for healthcare and eldercare, centralizing the people, components, and information for care.
We want to do our part for the angels among us. So we decided to make our tools available for free. It’s part of our commitment to evolve the way we take care of each other.
Please, if you know an angel — someone heroically managing a loved one’s care — give them a hug, ask them how THEY are doing, and let them know about Wellthy’s free platform. Share the love this Valentine’s Day.
At some point, all of us will be asked to be a caregiver. And no one should have to face it alone.