The goal of every blogger, at least every blog owner I know, is to try and provide useful content for their readers. Some of us do this successfully from time to time, and those moments make all the hard work and wrestling with writers-block worth it. But there are other bloggers, and websites, that really seem to hit a home run in terms of their content all the time. One such website, in my opinion, is CareNovateMag – an online magazine and resource center for caregivers. I had the honor and pleasure of chatting with the editor, pharmacist Goldina (Goldie) Erowele PharmD, about their content and focus. The website exists to provide quality articles and information to caregivers who often find themselves in need of additional support, reliable advice, and timely encouragement. I want to thank Goldie for taking the time to share with my readers here at The Honest Apothecary about some of the great things going on at CareNovateMag!
1) Could you tell my readers a little about yourself and about how CareNovate Magazine (CareNovateMag.com) came into existence? When did the idea begin to develop and when did you launch this website?
I have been a clinical pharmacist for about 13 years with exciting experiences which includes completing my residency at the VAMC, worked at largest military medical center. Walter Reed Army Medical Center was really exciting because I had the opportunity to develop and implement the HIV/AIDs pharmaceutical services and served as a preceptor for various schools. I also had the opportunity to switch gears rounded in the ICU when the Iraq war started and at one point, focused on Geriatrics. I also have experience with formulary management and the financial side of pharmacy. I love Pharmacy!
CareNovate Magazine was launched September 2012 to address a national issue – low health literacy among caregivers that I have encountered in my career. Studies have shown that 50% of patients walk out doctor’s office without understanding what they are to do. Annual cost of low health literacy is over $238 billion. I am the editor in chief of CareNovate Magazine and it started out as a blog & Twitter chat [#Carerx] I started and moderated. It is a platform to address and share general medication safety tips and resources plus caregiving insights. I am a caregiver to my Dad who is legal blind due to Glaucoma and other health aliments. I am lucky as I do share caregiving responsibilities with my siblings. There are over 70 million family caregivers in the US alone – they need support, resource and appropriate information pertaining to navigating complex health and caregiving issues.
2) How would you describe the CareNovate Magazine website to a new visitor? What are the main features and resources of this website? Where did you come up with the name?
CareNovate Magazine (CareNovateMag.com) is an online social health platform that provides caregivers, sandwich generations, and baby boomers with health, caregiving information, resources and medication literacy insights.
Main features includes our CareDigest newsletter, newly launched digital magazine and our growing partnerships. My Cofounder and I played around with so many ideas. We knew we wanted simple and unique plus convey the meaning of what we are trying to achieve …innovation, care, health care, women health, caregiving.
We are proud to announce that the following national organization has listed CareNovate Magazine as a health, caregiving and medication education resource: Allsup.com, PsychCentral, and NeedyMed.org
3) Talk to us a little about who “caregivers” are today? What are some of the main challenges faced by caregivers?
Now, we are talking about family and not professional caregivers. There are over 65 million family caregivers in the US today, nearly one – third of the US adult population. They provide average of 30 hours of care per week and receive no compensation. Caregivers are growing demographic in our society and will continue aging and senior population continues to grow. Some of the challenges they face include no time to juggle all they need to accomplish in a 24 hour period. Remember some of the caregivers are sandwiched in care – they care caring for young, growing families and caring for aging parents. This means coordinating care, doctors appoint, soccer practice or recital. The financial, physical and mental tolls are huge. There are out of pocket costs, lack of self care and guilt of not doing it all.
4) Specifically, what are the ways that caregivers can find help through CareNovate Magazine?
One of main features of CareNovate Magazine is provision of pharmacist, physician, nursing and caregiver’s expert content and information on topics ranging from medication management, which is one of the biggest issues facing family caregivers right now to affording medications. CareNovate Magazine recently partnered with NeedyMeds.org, a nonprofit organization to launch a free national discount prescription program to save dollars for caregivers, patients, sandwich generation families, baby boomers, seniors, pets and consumers who are in need of medications for themselves, loved one, loved pet and/or having difficulty affording their medications. It is not an insurance card or program and cannot be used in combination with any government program or private insurance.
We host teleclasses, planning caregiving and health care professional webinar programs.
5) What’s next for CareNovate Magazine? Can you share what ideas are being developed and which people might expect to find in the near future?
CareNovate Magazine is growing tremendously and partnering with fantastic organizations. We just launched the premier digital version of the magazine and readership has been amazing. We are working on more programming – virtual seminars and interested in partnering with other organizations who share our vision of empowering self health advocacy.
6) Let me ask a specific question about Alzheimer’s Disease, since it is such a growing concern. Many of my readers might be like myself, with a parent or grandparent who needs regular, supervised care at home due to Alzheimer’s Disease. What would you say to caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients today? What if your parent is the caregiver? What would you say to adults who have parents that are primary caregivers?
Yes, Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health concern. We think Caregivers, we think women. This is shifting as the incidence of Alzheimer in women is increasing. CareNovate Magazine number advice is sought help and self care. Naturally, we want to help our loved ones but in the process of trying to do everything, we get stressed, we get exhausted, sick, and we break down. Caregivers must care for themselves, take breaks, seek support online or in person, call a friend, yoga is awesome and 5 minutes mediation or alone time can do wonders.
7) Any final thoughts you would like to share with my readers?
We also invite healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists to serve as contributors in area of medication management which is a huge task for caregivers and in need to support and guidance. For Caregivers reading this, just know you are not alone. It can overwhelming but there’s support and information out there. Thank you so much for this interview Jason.
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