Being a caregiver for a loved one is a noble but sometimes difficult job. Though it may never become “easy,” there are some tools thanks to the Internet that can provide valuable resources and support for those in the position of providing support and care to an incapacitated loved one. Here are a few of them:
- The AARP is a great resource for elder-care. Not just for the elderly themselves, but for caregivers of all ages. Their website is full of advice, information, and how-tos, as well as uplifting and emotionally supportive articles.
- The Family Caregiver Alliance is a group that supports and sustains the work of families caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. On their website you can subscribe to their newsletter, share your experiences, or if you are a business, they provide partnership opportunities. They have a state-by-state listing of caregiver resources.
- The U.S. Government’s own Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website is a tremendous resource when it comes to understanding diseases that affect Americans of all ages, but the site has a deep trove of information focused on the elderly. Public friendly results of CDC research on everything from Arthritis to Diabetes to food contamination outbreaks are available right on the homepage.
- Meetup.com might not be thought of at first as an eldercare resource, but the social gathering platform absolutely can be! Meetup.com is a website where people worldwide can find meetings, events, forums, festivals, support groups, any kind of gathering sorted by theme or purpose. For example, doing a search for Parkinsons & Columbus, Ohio returned over 60 different support groups and Parkinsons’ disease related groups.
- Medicare.gov is important, because Medicare impacts every senior citizen or permanent resident in the United States. The Medicare.gov site provides critical information relevant to caregivers, and not just the senior citizen care recipient. Important guidance is provided, including what the caregiver can do to take care of himself or herself; one of the most critical issues.
- Alzheimer’s is a dread illness that has crossed the minds of practically every adult. It is emotionally wrenching not only for the patient, but for the family, as the disease can cause one to literally “lose one’s self.” The Alzheimer’s Association, at Alz.org is a resource and advocacy site created to help early stage Alzheimer sufferers and caregivers at every stage navigate the financially, medically and emotionally challenging disease. The site has information on local chapters and even a Caregiver Stress Check to help caregivers cope and stay healthy themselves.
- What disease will kill 1 in 4 Americans? Cancer? No, heart disease kills 610,000 people in the US every year, and in that same year, about 735,000 Americans will suffer a heart attack. On the front lines in the fight against heart disease, the American Heart Association seeks to support the caregivers of heart disease patients to improve outcomes and combat the disease. They offer a free support network for caregivers, as well as online and printable resources and guides for caregivers.
Being a caregiver can be hard at times, but hopefully these resources can be helpful to those caring for loved ones.