Megan Clouser – Family Caregiver
58 years old; Married; three grown children, four grandchildren; Caregiver for elderly father who lives in her home; Works part-time at law firm as office administrator; College-educated;
Megan often takes on too much and needs to find a balance. Between her job, home responsibilities (e.g., cooking, laundry, house cleaning, etc.), occasional babysitting of her grandchildren, and caring for her elderly father, she has little time for herself. She loves her father and wants the best for him, and he needs her as an advocate for his healthcare needs – including driving him to his doctor appointments, having discussions with his doctors, managing his medications, and helping him to remain as independent as he can.
Megan is relatively tech savvy, comfortable with an online healthcare portal, social media and online shopping.
“It’s tough to see Dad in this condition. His attitude is better than mine most of the time.”
“I rely on Dad’s doctor portal. It was hard to keep track of meds/appointments, but this helps as long as it’s updated quickly enough and contains accurate information.”
“I don’t understand the instructions they provide – they are often unclear medical mumbo-jumbo. I hate that I have to call the doctor’s office to get a question answered, only to be put on hold forever.”
“I don’t have enough hours in the day to get it all done.”
“Why can’t the doctors talk to each other? It seems like it’s up to me to repeat from one to the other (surgeon, specialist, PCP).”
“Why do I get so many bills for a single visit from the hospital, the doctor, etc.?”
- Reduce stress.
- Get some help at home from a homecare professional.
- Find a healthcare portal with updated, reliable information.
- Get reassurance that there are no gaps in care.
- Understand how to manage all the bills.
- Balance time between caring for my father and my own family and career.
- Have up-to-date information shared among providers more easily.
- Be able to see all of my father’s health information in one place.
- Get finances in order to manage my father’s care and still fund my retirement.
- Help my father manage his health and enjoy his life.
Typical Problems Faced on the Job
- Too many doctor visits required to get one problem adequately addressed.
- Providers don’t talk to each other.
- Lack tools to coordinate care/visits/follow-up.
- Too many bills broken up into many instead of just one.
- Feel like the system is working against me, not for me.
- Not knowing what I don’t know/feeling like I’m missing something.
- Lack of transparency.
- I don’t really understand insurance and have to assume that the costs are correct.
- Hard to keep track of so many appointments.