8 extremely useful caregiver websites
Which is the be-all, end-all of caregiver websites? Discount Medical Supplies has a special section devoted exclusively to caregivers, which is one of the reasons that we understand that caregiving is a joint effort that should know no boundaries between websites. We’re all in this together and we have the same goal in mind. Part of that goal is to raise awareness and help people learn as much as they can about caregiving, and that can only be accomplished by visiting as many sources as possible, including but not limited to the following (in no order of importance).
Caregiver.com has several different caregiver channels each dedicated to a specific topic, including long distance care, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, bipolar disorder, and aids. Among the newly added channels are swallowing disorders, and hearing health. A very nice touch is the fact that this website includes ‘kitchen’ with diet and nutrition tips. There, you can check a few recipes as well as submit one of your own. This site also gives you the opportunity to subscribe to their bi-monthly Today’s Caregiver magazine, or sign up for their free weekly newsletter. They get extra points for a nice shout out to DMS on the right of the screen.
Many caregiver websites offer tools to find resources in your area, but this one probably has one the more user-friendly you could find. See the map on the bottom right corner of the screen? All you have to do is click on your state and it will direct you to a very complete list of services for family caregivers in that state. Once there you can also search for a specific service, such as disease-specific organizations, family caregiver organizations, general information and assistance, government health and disability programs, legal help and advocacy, living arrangements for care recipients, and more.
Undoubtedly the best thing about this website is its wealth of blogs, podcasts, chats, forums, videos, webinars, and articles that allow caregivers to share their stories and to learn not only from other caregivers, but also from experts. Moreover, through its Hire a Caregiver section, this site presents worthy examples of working caregivers who are able to balance their careers with their duties as caretakers. Caregiving.com is certainly recommended reading for both beginners and veterans, as well as for people who are not caregivers but want to know what it’s all about.
Government websites are arguably the most authoritative source of information on any given subject that you can find, and caregiving is not the exception to that rule. More specifically in this case, support for people who care for army veterans. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is aims this website at families of veterans, but the truth is that much of its advice can be put to good use by caregivers from all walks of life. Of course, the benefits that it offers –such as adult day health care centers and home-based primary care- are indeed exclusive to veterans. It’s interesting to note that they have a section devoted to burials and memorials; death is a huge part of caregiving though we don’t always like to talk about it.
This is another government-run website, only this one is open to all caregivers and not just those who care for veterans. The good thing about a governmental website is that you get the straight facts on what benefits you may qualify for as a caregivers. This is especially helpful when it comes to Medicaid and Medicare. Furthermore, you can find resources for legal matters and end-of-life issues which, as we implied above, can be tough to handle but must be taken care of.
As its name implies, the goal of this website is to make life easier for caregivers, and they get right to it very efficiently. Notice how the very first thing you see are the words ‘caring for yourself.’ This is not to say that this aspect is neglected by other websites, but this is as good a time as any to bring it up. No caregiver will get very far without the right tools to balance all of the facets or their life, if only because their lives cannot and must not revolve solely around caregiving. As this website mentions, respite care is essential to the caregiver’s mission. Another issue this website stresses is the importance of keeping your financial status in order, since becoming a caregiver can cost you a pretty penny, and at the same time it’s not something you can usually afford to turn down.
Caregiving is associated with many debilitating and crippling conditions, but they are all more often than not related in one way or another to aging. Even if we’re healthy and live a long life, we will all probably end up needing a caregiver (after we have cared for an elderly person ourselves). That’s why it’s so important to have a resource such as this website where adult children (many of them part of the so-called sandwich generation) can turn to answers about what to do when an aging parent is no longer able to take care of themselves. We should always remember that caregiving is a family affair.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t show long distance caregivers some love, as does this here website. Even though it is hard to picture providing care across different towns, cities, and even states, the fact remains that almost 7 million Americans are caregivers for loved ones who live far away. However, the founders of this website –who are brother and sister- know that it can be done, because they did it and now run this website to help others in similar situations.
These are just a few examples of the myriad caregiver websites out there, not counting online support groups or well know and trusted tools like Eldercare Locator. And that’s not to mention the ones that are being created every day. There is a maxim that says ‘less is more,’ but in this case, the more, the better.