Press Kit for CaregivingCafe.com

PRESS KIT

CaregivingCafe.com

 

CaregivingCafe.com searches for and gathers useful resources, information and support, delivering them in one website to family caregivers in order to help them more efficiently manage their caregiving.

Over 65 million family caregivers in the United States alone take care of a loved one who is elderly or disabled.  Knowing what help is available to them along with education on their care recipient’s condition and treatment enables caregivers to better care for their loved one.  Just as important is taking care of the caregiver, so CaregivingCafe.com also provides links to information on healthy living, positive thinking and ways to reach out to other caregivers.

If you are a member of the media or a news organization & would like more information about CaregivingCafe.com, please email us at contact(at)caregivingcafe.com.

For your convenience, we have provided the following:

Press Release

Press Kit (PDF) -    Press Release

                           Contact & Overview

                           About the Founder

                           FAQ’s


PRESS KIT

CaregivingCafe.com

 


CONTACT INFORMATION


Lynn Greenblatt
Founder
CaregivingCafe.com
http://www.caregivingcafe.com/

Email:  contact(at)caregivingcafe.com

 

 

OVERVIEW

CaregivingCafe.com was created in the summer of 2011 from Lynn Greenblatt's desire to help caregivers by sharing all the caregiving information that had been gathered while helping to take care of her father and caring for her husband - information that would have been useful to have had on hand when the family needed it.  She and her family had been tossed into the role of caregiver without any medical training or previous knowledge of what the role entailed.  After long hours of searching, they found that advice and support are available but scattered in many places in the form of social workers, support groups, forums and a multitude of online resources from private, non-profit and government organizations.  CaregivingCafe.com saves time by gathering those caregiving resources and support, and delivering them to family caregivers through one convenient website.  Links to the following topics can be found on the website:

  • benefits
  • copay assistance
  • illnesses & conditions
  • assistive technology
  • home care & house calls
  • managing stress, coping, inspiration
  • products & services
  • how-to videos
  • caring for children & teens with disabilities
  • taking care of the caregiver
  • eldercare
  • nutrition, health & well-being
  • many other topics covering all aspects of caregiving




How the caregiving journey began:

When Lynn’s father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in December of 2007, her family wasted no time gathering information about the disease and its treatment.  At home raising her family, she had more time to search and report to her relatives, who had full-time jobs, whatever she found online.  In the four months that her father fought the disease, she amassed an extensive list of useful caregiving resources, products, services and support that she saved in case they were needed in the future.

While her father’s illness progressed, her husband’s health unexpectedly began to deteriorate as a result of CRPS.  The couple continued to learn more about both rare and incurable diseases and about their treatment from the resources they had found online.  With Lynn’s father’s passing in April of 2008, the searches then included funeral arrangements, wills, grief counseling and caring for the elderly.  The result was another compilation of online caregiving resources, instructions, tips, benefits and support services available through state and private agencies that she never knew existed.

The caregiving information that had been found had helped the family understand and cope with the illnesses and rapidly changing circumstances.  Lynn realized that these resources could help other caregivers learn about their new role’s responsibilities and enable them to better handle what they were then facing.

 

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Lynn Greenblatt spent her childhood in El Salvador and moved to Kensington, Maryland, the summer before starting 9th grade.  She got her B.S. in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Maryland and moved soon afterward to Florida with her husband to begin her career in retail.  A move back to the Washington, D.C. area about 4 years later prompted her to take a break from work and start a family.  Taking care of her two children was something that she simply couldn’t give up, so she remained at home.  Eventually, her family moved to England, back to Maryland and on to Austin, Texas, where they still live.

Lynn has always been happiest when working on a project: be it decorating their home, creating costumes for playing dress-up, planning a themed birthday party or organizing an event at her children’s school.  In 2011, her project took on a more rewarding turn, as she decided to set up a website for caregivers to share the knowledge and experience she had recently gained.  Never having done any computer work, this was definitely a challenge!  Relying on her husband’s expertise about computers and the internet to guide her, she created CaregivingCafe.com so caregivers and carees can easily find resources and support in one location.  She hopes it will help them to better manage their caregiving situation, relieve some of the stress that accompanies it and make the best of the days ahead.



 


FAQ's

 

What would you say to new caregivers who have had no experience in caregiving?

        To a new caregiver, I would say to talk to the doctor or medical professional about the care that needs to be given the patient.  This would include nutrition, medications, activity level, do’s & don’ts, future doctor’s appointments or tests, and whether skilled nurses or any other medical staff will be checking on him / her at home - get it in writing and discuss anything you are not clear about.  Also, get the doctor’s phone number in case you have questions at home or an emergency comes up.  I would make sure that the patient gets settled in comfortably, clearing away paths to avoid falls, and having whatever s/he needs handy.  Talk about what the patient needs or wants regarding food, drinks, pastimes, books, light, noise level, having or limiting visitors, etc.  CaregivingCafe.com has checklists that caregivers can follow to help them get started.  Caregiving evolves; it changes as the condition changes.  Knowing this, remember to be flexible, patient, and that caregiving is a journey where you learn as you go.  Very important is to make sure that the caregiver takes care of herself or himself, too.  This means eat well, get adequate sleep, do some exercise or walking every day, and take a small break to do something enjoyable every day.  Even 10 minutes a day will help recharge you!  Lastly, enlist help of family, friends or services as needed.

 

What type of support is available that we may not know about?

    Support covers a wide area: you can go to support groups where people talk about their situation, address problems and try to find a solution.  Everyone there understands what you are going through because they are in a similar situation to yours.  Sometimes, that alone helps.  Financial support is also available in the form of assistance with copays for medical expenses from pharmaceuticals or other agencies.  Some counties have home health services that are free to those who qualify; for instance, a therapist can visit persons who have emotional issues.  Medicare covers home visits by a nurse when prescribed by the doctor for a period of time.  This service includes a social worker coming to the home to discuss what the patient may need, where to get it, or additional services that the caregiver could use - such as support groups in the area.

 

We often read about caregiving being stressful.  Why?  What can be done to reduce stress in caregiving? 

    Stress can come from many sources: difficulty accepting the situation, mourning the lifestyle that can no longer be, seeing the patient suffer, mounting expenses that eat away at funds, physical demands on the caregiver leaving him / her exhausted, feeling unsupported by family or friends, isolation, and many others.  However, accepting the new reality is a good way to begin to reduce stress.  We may not like it, but we need to  stop fighting it and accept it.  Once we’ve done that, we can begin to plan how we are going to tackle different tasks.  My husband lost the use of his right foot as a result of CRPS.  Instead of getting angry or depressed, he got some new single-pole lightweight metal crutches that even his doctor thought they were cool!  He remained mobile despite the disability.  Another way to reduce stress is to educate yourself about the condition or illness so that you know what is happening, what to expect, treatments, etc.  Doctors or social workers can suggest some ways to get help with medical expenses and support groups or online forums can address problems like isolation or tricky situations that need to be resolved.  The caregiver also needs to take time out every day to decompress, relax and recharge to better cope with the caregiving duties.  Diversions are important and so is keeping a sense of humor. 

 

What is different about CaregivingCafe.com that would make a caregiver want to go there? 

    CaregivingCafe.com is different because it brings together lots of resources that are found all over the internet, saving the caregiver lots of precious time.  It also offers its own blog and forum to connect with other caregivers, as well as links to established ones.  It is meant to be a casual place to visit when you need an answer, some tips on how to do something or a diversion when you need a break.

 

Can care recipients find something useful at CaregivingCafe.com? 

    Definitely!  Care recipients, depending on their condition, can read the articles or click on the links to learn more about any caregiving topic.  It’s important to maintain a  safe level of independence, and learning more about their own medical condition or medications can help carees make informed choices regarding treatments when discussing them with the doctor.  S/he can also see what modified furniture or devices are available for various impairments, or what benefits s/he may qualify for.  Care recipients can find others in similar condition through forums, blogs or social media.  It can be a way to find out what others are doing or what treatments they are trying that may be worth mentioning to the doctor.  The section on diversions can come in handy if in the mood to enjoy something amusing or to discover something new! 

 

What is assistive technology? 

    Assistive technology is technology that is used to help people with disabilities do tasks that may be difficult or impossible otherwise.  Several companies produce high tech devices, software, hardware or accessories that help in this regard.  For example, flatter  or large-key computer keyboards exist that are easier to use; computers “speak” out loud the text on the screen or enlarge the print for easier reading. 

 

Does the website have information on different types of conditions or caregiving situations? 

    Yes.  CaregivingCafe.com has links to many organizations like Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Kidney Foundation, and many other trusted websites that contain lots of information about conditions, symptoms, treatments, and offer caregiving tips, support services and more. 

 

What kind of products and services are available to caregivers?

    CaregivingCafe.com lists many businesses which provide home delivery of groceries, flowers, medications, prepared food, etc. that can save the caregiver time.  Some agencies provide services for the elderly, which in turn help the caregiver.  Medicare will also cover up to 2 weeks or so of hospice care for caregiver respite. 

 

What is your typical day like as a caregiver?

    My day is rather easy compared to others I’ve read about because my husband can still groom and feed himself, and can walk slowly for a short time.  He tries to sleep during the day because he is up all night.  This leaves my day fairly free and goes something like this:

 My day begins at 6am to wash fruit for my husband, pack lunch and prepare breakfast for our daughter.  Then I take her to school, pick up my husband’s meds, run errands, read the headlines in the newspaper, clean house, prepare my husband’s sandwich for lunch, prepare dinner for three of us, visit with my husband while he eats lunch and give him meds, make phone calls for my mother as needed, do laundry etc. as needed, call my mother, work on the website, call doctors for appointments as needed, talk to nurse / technician / doctor when they make a house call, pick up our daughter from school, have dinner with her, give hubby more meds at around 6pm, wash dishes, cut up hubby’s fruit for overnight snacks, work on whatever project I’m on at the time or pick up our daughter from the occasional activity, rehearsal or theater performance as needed.  He wakes up anytime between 9:30 and 11pm, which is when I bring him his dinner, give him more medications and we visit and chat for an hour or two.  I have to admit that by then, I am rather sleepy!  I have to add walking the dog for 30 minutes to my routine because the weather is beautiful now.  It got too hot to walk during our Texas summer...

When my husband first became disabled, I spent a lot of time filling out forms for his employer’s disability policy administrator and for Social Security.  Later on, I filled out forms for COBRA and for our family’s new health insurance policy when our COBRA coverage ended.  After that, I researched Prescription Drug Plans under Medicare when my husband became eligible for it, and chose one.  I have also learned to do taxes for my mother and for us with Turbo Tax and set her up with online banking.  It has been a learning experience!


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