Friday, September 28, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help from My Family & Friends

Treatment for and recovery from a serious illness or injury takes a physical and emotional toll. It greatly impacts our ability to carry out the everyday tasks of daily living. The routines we take for granted -- caring for kids, cleaning the house, cooking meals, buying groceries -- can become an enormous obstacle. Well-meaning family and friends want to offer their support, but are often too overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, fear or helplessness, and often their own lives, to know what to do. Sometimes, unintentionally, their efforts are misguided, creating even more burdens.

Recognizing the importance of organizing and empowering the friends and family who want to help, UnitedHealthcare created the Many Strong network, which connects your circle of supporters online to keep everyone updated and involved. It takes some of the weight off of you and those closest to you so your main focus can be healing.

Many Strong presents three valuable services for patient support:

Stay Connected: Your Many Strong network enables you to keep everyone in the loop with one status update. As exciting as a positive check-up is, you probably don’t have the time to call everyone individually. The network offers one centralized place for those concerned to get instant updates as well as offer words of encouragement and support. Additionally, it brings all of your supporters together to help each other through this difficult time. Your neighbor may have never met your son’s teacher previously, but this gives them the chance to discuss the best way to talk with him about how he’s handling the situation.

Organize Volunteers: Everyone is happy to help, but what really needs to get done? Seven casseroles on the table for dinner one night while Julia is stuck at soccer practice isn’t the most optimal use of volunteers. Many Strong features a volunteer calendar to prevent that from happening. You can post whatever needs to be done – a ride to treatment, someone to pick up grandmom from the airport, dinner for Tuesday night – and members of your community can sign up for the task and keep track of their scheduled duties.

Raise Funds: Medical bills can pile up quickly. Loved ones are often willing to pitch in to help with the unexpected expenses and Many Strong gives them one centralized, secure place to do so. Monetary donations are automatically loaded onto Many Strong Convenient Cash Cards, which are accepted anywhere you can use Visa. Gift cards are another option, available from hundreds of top retailers. The financial burden of an illness can sometimes be more devastating than the sickness. Many Strong allows your loved ones the chance to help prevent that burden from affecting your family long after your illness has healed.

Beyond just medical issues, Many Strong can be used any time you need a helping hand. Whether it’s the aftereffects of a fire or natural disaster, a military deployment or a new baby, Many Strong can make the difference between coping and having the family unit fall apart. When life comes at you with a difficult situation, it’s human desire to want to do something. With Many Strong, you provide the love and comfort; we just add the technology to make it easier for us all to connect.

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