UnitedHealthcare, Lotsa Helping Hands Partner to Enhance Educational and Support Tools for Family Caregivers

February 14, 2011
  • Partnership designed to leverage companies’ expertise, resources to ease the burden of caregiving
  • Resources include Solutions for Caregivers, which helps caregivers ensure their care recipients’ as well as their own health and well-being

UnitedHealthcare is partnering with Lotsa Helping Hands to provide additional online resources designed to further educate and support people who help care for infirm or chronically ill family members, friends and loved ones.

Through this partnership, UnitedHealthcare will leverage its expertise in senior health and wellness to enhance content available to members of Lotsa Helping Hands’ Web-based caregiving coordination communities. UnitedHealthcare’s contributed content will educate members about Solutions for Caregivers, which helps caregivers ensure the well-being of both their care recipients and themselves. Solutions for Caregivers is a unique program that guides caregivers through the complex process of managing their loved one’s changing medical and non-medical needs.

This as well as additional content will augment Lotsa Helping Hands’ existing tools, such as electronic logs and calendars, that help coordinate support for caregivers from their families, friends and neighbors.

Caregivers are a crucial component of the U.S. health care system. Together, they provide an estimated $375 billion worth of care to loved ones annually, according to a 2008 AARP Public Policy Institute report. Today there are nearly 66 million caregivers throughout the country.

“Our nation’s caregivers play a vital role in their communities and the broader health system. Providing care for loved ones often requires caregivers to make tremendous sacrifices – it’s imperative that they not shoulder the burden of providing care without help,” said Tom Paul, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Lotsa Helping Hands shares our commitment to help caregivers by saving them time and reducing their anxiety, and we look forward to working with Lotsa Helping Hands to empower caregivers to continue supporting their loved ones while also taking care of their own health and personal needs.”

Solutions for Caregivers is provided through many employers’ health care benefit plans and can also be purchased directly from UnitedHealthcare. Caregivers can learn more by visiting www.WhatIsSolutionsForCaregivers.com or calling 1-866-896-1895 or TTY 711, seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Survey Shows Caregivers Are Receptive to Lotsa Helping Hands Tools
According to a survey released earlier this year by the National Alliance for Caregiving and UnitedHealthcare, e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century, more than two-thirds of caregivers believe that resources like those available from Lotsa Helping Hands would be helpful to them in meeting the daily demands of their role as caregivers.

Seventy percent of survey respondents indicated that a shared electronic log for their loved one’s doctor appointments and other caregiving needs would be helpful. The cornerstone of the Lotsa Helping Hands service is an intuitive group calendar that allows members to schedule and sign up for caregiving tasks.

Building Circles of Caring Communities to Support Caregivers

The Lotsa Helping Hands service is designed to answer the question that caregivers hear frequently when caring for an elderly parent or helping a loved one manage a medical crisis: “What can I do to help?” After creating a free community at lotsahelpinghands.com, caregivers and people wishing to support them can post updates on a group calendar. Family members and friends can then log in to the community and use the calendar to volunteer to provide respite for the caregiver, such as by driving the care recipient to a doctor’s appointment or dropping off dinner on certain days of the week.

“We hear stories every day from family caregivers who feel isolated and overwhelmed. The intent of our service is to allow for the creation of communities that support family caregivers and ease the burden of their caregiving duties,” said Hal Chapel, co-founder and CEO of Lotsa Helping Hands. “We appreciate UnitedHealthcare’s support and hope that, by working together, we can make even more caregivers aware of how they can find the help they need.”

To learn more, visit www.lotsahelpinghands.com.

About Lotsa Helping Hands
Lotsa Helping Hands was created to support family caregivers by empowering their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues who are eager to help with the daily tasks that become a challenge during times of medical crisis, caregiver exhaustion, or when caring for an elderly parent. www.lotsahelpinghands.com

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, OptumHealth, Ingenix and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information. 

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