Individuals providing care for a loved one are more likely to face anxiety, depression and burnout. A new New York state initiative aims to help family caregivers by providing them with free skills training and online support.
Sound Shore area residents now have free access to the Trualta e-learning platform, thanks to The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY).
Anyone can sign up.
Once enrolled, users can search for help based on their particular situation. Caregivers on the platform deal with a range of conditions including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and stroke recovery, among others.
“Trualta takes the guesswork out of caregiving,” said Jonathan Davis, CEO of Trualta. “Our platform has answers when families face new caregiving challenges. There has never been a handbook for caregiving and we are excited that all New Yorkers can learn valuable skills for free.”
Someone whose family member wanders may learn how to conceal a door, safety-proof the house, or how to distract them. Others may search for how to deal with a family member who becomes agitated. And some may discover how to reduce stress when caregiving begins to take a toll.
Trualta offers video content, modules and courses for caregivers. It also offers community support so caregivers can connect, share their stories, or ask questions.
“If a caregiver is experiencing a certain issue, my advice to them is to jump onto Trualta and search for it. The odds are they will find a helpful answer,” said Laura, a Trualta user who cares for her mother. “Trualta has done such an incredible job of calmly, kindly, and concisely presenting information. Having the ability to learn something, maybe before you really need it, is such an advantage to us caregivers.”
More than 4.1 million New York residents provide nearly 2.7 billion hours of unpaid care to a family member, friend or neighbor. This can lead to negative health outcomes such as increased stress, social isolation and burnout.
According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, 89 percent of study participants reported high satisfaction with Trualta, and 84 percent reported using at least one skill learned from Trualta.
“Trualta has taught me that the scary things about caregiving aren’t as scary as I think they are,” Laura said. “No situation or issue is a catastrophe.”
To learn more about how to get free support, sign up at www.newyork-caregivers.com.