The definition of caregiver has changed.
Huddol has realized this shift and created a social community meant to crowdsource solutions to everyday care challenges, helping Canadians navigate the long-term care of a loved one while also taking care of their own needs.
As the general population ages and more baby boomers retire, the way people care for one another will dramatically change. At some point in their lives, more than 13 million Canadians over the age of 15 will have provided care to a family member or friend with a health condition, disability or aging need.
Many people looking after a loved one may not identify themselves as a caregiver, but the magnitude of what they do is hard to understate. They can face the same kinds of distress that paid professionals may face, without the access to resources or experts.
“The suffering families face when they become caregivers has a way of turning them in on themselves; there’s the stigma of the illness, the time it takes away from social relationships, and the sheer intensity and complexity of the task of having someone else’s life in your hands,” said Mark Stolow, CEO of Huddol.
“Huddol is focused on reversing that trend and using the power of smart, caring connections to improve the health of caregivers and those in their care,” he added.
Huddol ensures any kind of caregiver is treated as a critical partner from the start, regardless of experience or situation. The platform matches members to a network of peers and professionals through individual data inputs, playing off the notion that social connectivity is integral to improving health outcomes.
Over 150 health and support professionals have joined the network already as partners, creating a private and public resource network supported by peer-to-peer interaction. Dealing with the care of a sick family member or friend can be overwhelming, so Huddol wants to offer access to both professional care as well as forms of emotional and mental support.
The platform was developed by a team from The Caregiver Network and saw financial support from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, Telus, and L’Appui pour les proches aidants d’aînés.
Any kind of caregiver can access Huddol online or through the iOS app.