Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Favorite Resources for Caregivers

I love lists!  Favorite Movie Lists, Lists of Resources, Best Book Lists, End-of-Year lists – even To-Do Lists!

In a previous post, we beefed up tools for the caregiver’s tool belt and included a list of support resources for the caregiver, including many that are disease/disorder specific.

This time, in honor of my love of lists, I’ve narrowed down the list to six caregiver resources I absolutely love and find extraordinarily helpful. No one has paid me to include them in this list but I feel as if I owe them all a debt of gratitude for the help they give me and other caregivers. I hope you find them as helpful and supportive as I have.

1.  Caregiving.com. Founded in 1996, Denise M. Brown has created a supportive online environment for caregivers rich with resources for people caring for others.  Whether the caregiver cares for their spouse, parents, children, sibling, grandparent or friend (or a combination of these – yes, many people have more than one caregiving responsibility), there is something for everyone.

Denise regularly interviews a “happiness” expert, financial planner, a Dementia Care expert as well as many caregivers covering a wide range of topics.  My own interviews with Denise air the second Saturday of each month at 7:00 a.m. (Pacific) and focus on the working caregiver (although when Robert was hospitalized, we talked from the hospital about how to prepare for the inevitable trip to the emergency room).

Caregivers regularly blog about their experiences and routinely rally to help each other when called upon. It’s a privilege to be involved in this site and to help Denise reach family caregivers as her insight has helped move many of us through a difficult situation or two. Denise can be followed on Twitter at @Caregiving and also on Facebook.

2.  Caregiver’s Survival Network. This site is currently under construction but it has resources and stories accessible to tide you over until it is fully rolled out.  The mission of the Caregiver’s Survival Network is “designed to be a free social network, dedicated solely to the welfare of caregivers.”  Adrienne Gruberg founded The Caregiver’s Survival Network in November 2011 after she cared for her husband for six years until his death in 2011.  She tells her story much better than I could so please read how this dynamic woman went from helping her husband as his primary caregiver to helping others in a similar situation. This organization can also be followed on Twitter at @caregiverSN and on Facebook.

3.  Family Caregiver Alliance. This site is after my own heart with its lists and fact sheets as well as a new feature which answers questions about resources in each state (cleverly designed with a convenient map and list of topics to click on for answers). This site has so much information you’ll be able to find something new with each visit. They can be followed on Twitter at @CaregiverAlly and Facebook.

4.  Caregiving Café. This site made it into my favorites not only because they share my passion for advocacy but also, apparently, my love of coffee!  Lynn Greenblatt created this site because of her caregiving experiences with both her dad and her husband. I am amazed at the entrepreneurial spirit and desire to help others that embodies caregivers! Lynn has created a helpful site and is extremely responsive (she helped me with a list of organizations who might be interested in taking a battery-powered wheelchair with a bum battery).  Lynn can be followed on Twitter at @CaregivingCafe and Facebook.

5.  Kat’s Café. A terrific source of information for special needs families and another coffee lover (I’m shocked a chocolate lover hasn’t made my list yet!).  Katrina Moody has three special needs children and a husband with health challenges of his own.  She makes time to help others and I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across her wonderful website. She can be followed on Twitter at @KatrinaMoody and on Facebook 

6.  EmblemHealth. This may be a surprise addition to my caregiving resource list.  After all, many caregivers find themselves in the position of having to fight insurance companies for coverage. While that is true and remains a huge source of stress for caregivers, EmblemHealth recognizes the stress caregivers experience and knows this may lead to health problems. Helping caregivers is actually in the best interest of the healthcare industry and EmblemHealth realizes this and started their Care for the Family Caregiver initiative ten years ago.

They are soon launching a new microsite with various caregiving stories and I will post more information about this once it is officially launched. As much as I’d like to think all insurance companies are completely evil when I’m butting heads about coverage, my rational side also knows caregivers and insurance companies need to work together to help solve the health crisis in the United States.  I believe in the mission of EmblemHealth and appreciate what they are doing for caregivers. They can be followed on Facebook as well.

Have you used any of these resources or do you have a few favorites of your own?  Please share your own list in the comment section – because besides my love of making lists I do love reading lists!


Unknown said...

Your caregiving skills exceeds the ordinary indeed! Thanks for compiling such a comprehensive list not only for yourself but for all the urgent care oceanside ca clinic as well. I'm sure you will get tons of admiration from everybody.

Unknown said...

I've always been impressed on how dedicated caregivers are with their job. It's not easy at all. I work at a urgent care in fremont and I find it stressing. Imagine how it is for caregivers.

Unknown said...

There's no denying to the fact that caregivers' job isn't easy at all. They deserve my respect for the sacrifice and hard work they do. I can't imagine how helpful they would be if ever they work in our walk in clinic in Wilmington.

Carene Steinsland said...

Denise Brown’s website is amazing. I frequently visit their site and I am satisfied with the services that they offer because I benefit from all of those.