New carer online tool demonstrated to Minister for Care

Representatives from WCC and Warwick University visited the Houses of Parliament recently to showcase an online tool that aims to support carers.

The free tool, which is called Care Companion, was presented to Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care at Westminster.

The online tool gives people who have caring responsibilities the opportunity to take 5 minutes for themselves to reflect on their day and gather their thoughts.

For many carers, their responsibilities often leave them isolated without knowledge of what support is out there. However, Care Companion can connect them to local services and provide reliable information about the condition of the person they care for.

Unlike other such tools in the sector, Care Companion gives carers the ability to confidentially record their mood via a mood monitor to ensure they can stay on top of their own mental health; a diary to keep on top of appointments; and the ability to log results and notes.

The online tool can also help with advice and guidance on how to deal with scenarios they may face while caring for family members or friends.

A very informative and fruitful discussion was had with the Minister, who took great interest in Care Companion and the positive feedback that has been received from the many carers in Warwickshire who have found it invaluable in helping them adapt to their caring responsibilities.

Care Companion has received support from local partners including WCC, Coventry and Rugby CCG and South Warwickshire CCG. Age UK Software development company Global Initiative is the technology partner for Care Companion and contributed funding through the Initiative Fund. Carers also played a crucial role in the development of Care Companion.

The next step is to take its success nationwide and the discussions with the Minister on how the Department of Health and Social Care could be involved in that showed great promise for the future.

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