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North Hills Monthly

Free Website Helps Caregivers Coordinate Information

Jan 29, 2016 05:22PM ● By Jill Cueni Cohen
Many middle-aged adults today are known as ‘The Sandwich Generation,’ as they struggle to take care of young children and sick, aging parents while juggling a busy work schedule at the same time. Recent statistics from the AARP Public Policy Institute estimate that the average 49-year-old American woman spends nearly 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years.

The stress on caregivers also affects their employers; approximately one in four middle-aged or older workers report being family caregivers, which translates to a loss in productivity and an increase in additional health care spending that costs companies more than $33 billion each year. “Employers paid about 8 percent more for the health care of caregiver employees compared to noncaregivers, potentially costing U.S. businesses $13.4 billion per year,” according to the report. 

Susan Baida, co-founder and president of eCareDiary, searched for a way to make caregiving easier after she and her husband became caregivers themselves. “My father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001, and we took on the responsibility of caring for him. We quickly found ourselves in a crisis situation as we tried to manage taking care of him along with working full-time jobs,” said Baida, adding that the scheduling of other helpers was one of their biggest problems. “Finding the right person, making sure they had his medication schedule correct…it was incredibly complicated.”

Born out of the couple’s frustration, eCareDiary was launched in 2009 and is designed to make a bad situation better for caregivers and their helpers—free of cost.

Along with health care industry expert John Mills, chairman and co-founder of eCareDiary, Baida has succeeded in providing caregivers with licensed online resources and relevant content aimed at helping to make caring for family members much easier to manage. “We realized that we needed an online care coordination tool,” recalled Baida, a former corporate executive who redirected her career goals to help families like hers take care of their own. “Using the diary system, we created to give family caregivers a better way to coordinate care between family and friends as well as professional helpers. We wanted to centralize information so that it would be easy to pass on to the next caregiver.”

The website has greatly expanded in the past six years to provide users with an online community that partners with employers, senior care providers, health plans and hospitals. “This is a private, online calendar that puts all of your contacts and patient information in one place. It’s also a great way to give information to relatives who may not necessarily be caregivers, but they still want to be in the know,” Baida explained.

The Care Diary is a secure way to organize appointments, manage medications, store important documents, start a journal and set up a care circle. “The contributors to our website are experts in elder care, educating our community about all of the things that come up when caring for a family member,” said Baida, noting that there’s also a message board that allows caregivers to communicate with others who may share similar experiences. is a pioneer in supporting caregivers through the use of mobile, online and in-home technologies. Gail Gibson Hunt, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, is a strong advocate of the development of new tools to coordinate care between caregivers, patients and health care providers. “Technology needs to meet caregivers where they are, making their lives easier and their efforts more effective,” said Hunt.  

For more information, contact eCareDiary at