Highlights include sitewide Spanish language translations, new community chat rooms, mental health content, caregiving for kids with complex needs
During National Family Caregivers Month, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) announced several new offerings for subscribers of New York’s caregiving portal – a resource that is available free of charge for any person in New York providing unpaid caregiving supports to a family member or friend. New offerings include sitewide Spanish language translations, community chat rooms, mental health content, and tools to help caregivers of children with complex needs.
The New York caregiving portal is made possible through a partnership of NYSOFA, the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY), and Trualta, which developed and operates the portal. Funding support was provided in the fiscal year 2024 state budget.
A press release noted, “The New York caregiving portal helps families build skills to manage care at home for loved ones of any age. It also connects to local resources and support services by delivering personalized education, training and information links.”
New Yorkers can access the service at https://newyork-caregivers.com. To create a free user account, select “Sign Up.” Once registered, caregivers can select personalized training and track their progress on topics such as self-care, stroke recovery, dementia care, and medication management. Users can login from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
Some new highlights include:
•Site-wide Spanish translations. While audio and PDF translations were previously available throughout the platform, a new sitewide toggle provides a more inclusive experience for Spanish speakers.
•Community chat rooms. The portal now offers topic and condition-specific chat rooms, moderated by Trualta, where caregivers can post tips, success stories, and offers of encouragement to others in similar situations. Each chat room centers on high-level learning topics, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, depression and anxiety, heart health, Parkinson’s, caring for kids, LGBTQ+ support and more.
•New mental health content, including depression and bipolar disorder care, anxiety & PTSD care, “Mental Health 101.” The press release noted, “Each new toolkit builds caregiver knowledge and strength in disproving mental health myths, building a strong support network, and becoming more aware of how to care for one’s own mental health when providing care for others.”
•Caring for kids. Parents and guardians of children with complex needs – including grandparents who are "kinship caregivers" – now have content to help them manage stress, confidently navigate through school and health care systems, advocate for the child’s needs, establish necessary community relationships, and build resiliency.
•Virtual support groups: Trualta's online support groups bring together caregivers and a Trualta facilitator for engaging discussions about caregiving experiences, tips and challenges. The small groups meet weekly and are “a judgment-free zone with time for everyone to share.”
There are an estimated 4.1 million caregivers in New York who provide 2.68 billion hours of unpaid care. Sixty-one percent worry about caring for a loved one and 70% reported at least one mental health symptom during the pandemic. The caregiving portal teaches critical skills to reduce caregiver stress levels and increase confidence in one's caregiving abilities.
A 2021 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports found a high rate of retention and engagement among caregivers who used the Trualta-developed platform to support their care for loved ones with dementia: 84% of participants reported using at least one skill they learned from the caregiving portal. More than half of caregivers (56%) reported allocating more time for self-care after using the portal, while 75% reported the platform helped keep their care recipient at home longer.
NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen said, “New York’s caregiving portal is providing even more ways for caregivers to connect with one another, learn evidence-based skills, relieve personal stress, and improve quality of life when navigating the complexities of caregiving for a loved one of any age. Nobody should have to go through the caregiving process alone. New York’s caregiving portal provides tools and information to help validate the caregiver experience, connect caregivers with support resources, and build confidence in day-to-day tasks and decision-making to help care for a loved one at home.”
Trualta CEO Jonathan Davis said, "We are thrilled to continue our strong partnership with New York and help its diverse population of family caregivers. We are also so excited to help additional family caregivers in the state with our Spanish content, chat rooms, mental health offerings and content about caring for kids. The New York caregiving portal is inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all."
AgingNY Executive Director Becky Preve said, "Family caregivers are on the front lines of New York's caring economy. Our imperative is to arm them with the resources to do this honorable work confidently by providing information about evidence-based best practices and community supports that are available to help. The New York caregiving portal, powered by Trualta, is making this possible. I encourage all New York caregivers to explore the benefits of this free resource by enrolling today."