More home caregivers turning to Web for advice

WASHINGTON – As the number of Americans caring for older family members or chronically sick children grows, more people are turning to the Web for advice.

In 2010, 30 percent of American adults cared for an older parent or chronically sick child. Now that number is 39 percent, Susannah Fox with the Pew Research Center tells WTOP. And many of them, 59 percent, are turning to the Web for answers.

“The primary social impact of the Internet turns out to be this ability to get up to speed fast on a complex issue and hopefully make better decisions,” says Fox.

But the Internet isn’t a replacement for a doctor. Finding accurate information can be complicated and it’s not yet clear whether that translates to better care.

“Will they save themselves from needing to take their loved one to the emergency room? Will they save themselves from a medication error? That needs further study,” says Fox.

Check out Fox’s Storify document below to learn more about caregiving and caregivers.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergWTOP, @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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