Caregiver support comes in many forms. Whether you are looking for resources, counseling, guidance, services, respite, wellness or seeking other caregivers, the links below will take you to several websites where much help is offered. Keep in mind that if you don’t see what you are looking for right away, try another website. Chances are that you will actually find more useful and pertinent information than you thought you would need!
Remember to make your health care professional an integral part of your caregiving team. He or she, along with the medical staff, have experience dealing with cases like yours. Ask questions! If they cannot answer them, then ask them to give you the name of someone who can. Ask for alternative treatments or medications! Ask them to think beyond their specialty and address all issues of concern, as many conditions can affect other parts of the body. For example, CRPS / RSD [a very painful nerve disease] can eventually affect circulation, skin and vision.
Our family’s caregiving experience has been a “learn as you go” type of journey. We anticipated some things, like one day needing crutches or a walker. Knowing this, we looked for such items so we could find them when we actually needed them. Other things, like difficulty going up 2 steps in our house, finding a desk or table that was high enough to be used while sitting on a recliner, or erratic blurry vision caught us off guard. We have come to ask ourselves, “How can we make this task easier?” We have often improvised and thought “outside the box,” focusing on comfort and ease of use. As a result, we found someone who could build a ramp in our hallway; we found a desk with clear adjustable shelves that pivot on a pole; we found a hands-free embroidery magnifying glass that hangs from your neck [this prevents painful hands from becoming more painful, tired and shaky]. It is an ever-evolving puzzle, but we aim to solve it!
We have also accepted the fact that our life has forever changed and that there is no going back. This may be the hardest obstacle to overcome, but you can do it and you must! Once you accept the current situation, you can focus on managing it. This does not mean giving up hope for recovery or improvement or allowing yourself to crawl into an emotional black hole! It means facing your circumstances head on and finding ways to live as good a life as you can!
Visit the links below for ways that organizations and websites can provide caregiver support.
ADMINISTRATION ON AGING - NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVER SUPPORT PROGRAM
The NFCSP offers a range of services to support family caregivers. Under this program, States shall provide five types of services:
• information to caregivers about available services,
• assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services,
• individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training,
• respite care, and
• supplemental services, on a limited basis
MEDICARE provides information on support, billing, care options and navigating Medicare.
AARP brings together many different topics, including Love & Relationships, Travel, and Caregiver Abuse.
CAREGIVER’S HOME COMPANION
Our resource directory has more than 40,000 entries, and our online archive has more than 2,500 articles on elder care, caregiver resources, family care giving, spousal caregiving and general healthcare. We even have weekly columns on Practical, Professional, Spousal and Spiritual caregiving, as well as online forums and links to other helpful sites.
CAREGIVER’S HOME COMPANION - Practical Caregiving
Actually, you might be able to get paid by the government for taking care of your mom, but I cannot guarantee you will. Call 1-800-677-1116 to find the eldercare resources in your community. Payment can be possible under the Older Americans Act of 2006. It is sponsored by the federal government but administered by each state. Be sure to ask if there is some other way you can get help.
Run your mother’s [or an elder’s] information through these websites – www.benefits.org and www.govbenefits.gov. You might find something to check further to see if she qualifies for help. You don’t need to identify your mother [or elder].
AACY - resource for children caring for ill, disabled, injured or elderly family members
WELL SPOUSE ASSOCIATION - support for spouses, face-to-face & online
THE CAREGIVER SPACE - connect with caregivers, form groups, resources
SUPPORT FROM OTHERS IN YOUR SITUATION - TREATMENTDIARIES.COM
HELPING YOURSELF: STARTING OVER - CAREGIVING.COM
HELPING YOU HELP FAMILY AND FRIENDS - CAREGIVING.COM
HELPING YOU HELP OTHERS - CAREGIVERSUPPORTNETWORK.ORG
CODES TO LIVE BY - CAREGIVERSUPPORTNETWORK.ORG
HOME COMPANION, ELDERLY CAREGIVING - CAREGIVERSHOME.COM
CAREGIVER SUPPORT - CARINGFORTHEAGED.SUITE101.COM
HOME HEALTH & HOSPICE - CAREGIVERSUPPORTNETWORK.ORG
ELDERCARE’S ONLINE CAREGIVER SUPPORT NETWORK
RESOURCES FOR CAREGIVERS - MAKOA.ORG
WALGREENS CAREGIVER SUPPORT - WALGREENS.COM
AARP CAREGIVING - AARP.ORG
COMMUNICATION IS VITAL - TIPS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITH LOVED ONES, DOCTORS, FAMILY, ETC.
FAMILY CAREGIVERS ONLINE - FACTSHEETS, WORKSHEETS, TOOLS
CAREGIVER TRAINING - RESOURCES, TRAINING, DAY TO DAY CARE
AUSTIN GROUPS FOR THE AGING - SEMINARS ON CAREGIVING
THE CARE COMPANY - guidance, coaching, support for caregivers
CAREGIVER'S GUIDE FOR CANADIANS - experiences, recommendations for caregiving
CARING WISE - coordinate care, organize health records
COORDINATING HELP & STAYING IN TOUCH
MEALTRAIN - organize meals for family or friends
GIVEFORWARD - coordinate financial help
eCARING - manage & monitor health care
NONNATECH - monitor your loved one from computer, phone, live video
GROUPS@CARE - join groups, exchange care
POSITIVE THINKING, LOWERING STRESS, WELLNESS
CNN.COM - HOW TO SQUASH WORRY...IN TOUGH TIMES
HOW TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO BE IN THE MOOD YOU WANT - ROCKYOURDAY.COM
POSITIVELY POSITIVE - optimism, inspiration, wisdom, possiblities every day
QUOTES - THINKEXIST.COM
DEVELOP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE FOR STRESS RELIEF - ABOUT.COM
GIGGLE ON - uses laughter as a tool for emotional, spiritual, mental & physical wellness
LAUGHING MORE AND HAVING FUN FOR STRESS RELIEF - ABOUT.COM
PEACE OF MIND TIPS AND ADVICE - SUCCESSCONSCIOUSNESS.COM
QUOTATIONS ABOUT ATTITUDE - QUOTEGARDEN.COM
DEVELOPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND LIFESTYLE - PURICA.COM
DEVELOPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AT WORK AND LIFESTYLE - PAYSCALE.COM
THE 3 STEP APPROACH TO A POSITIVE ATTITUDE - HEALTHANDYOGA.COM
LOST IN YOUR CARE - regain self & health while caring for someone long-term
LIFE SCRIPT - healthy living for women
LETTRS - write to caregivers, carees, friends in exciting "stationery"
ME AND MY CAREGIVERS - care coordination, communication, record storage, more
CAREGIVER'S SURVIVAL NETWORK - connect with caregivers, form groups, resources
CYC FITNESS - high-energy, music-driven indoor cycling studio; social active life, help charities
SENIOR HOLISTIC LIVING - guidance, encouragement, more balance in life
Professional advice from experienced caregivers, Registered Nurses, Health Coaches and others trained to manage caregiving effectively and compassionately.
Coaching is available in various ways including in person, by phone, through devices or online.
The Care Company - Cindy Laverty
CareGiving - Denise Brown
The Intentional Caregiver - Shelley Webb
The Caregiver Console - Ileana Perez de Rivera
Holistic Health Coaching and Cancer Support - Annette Ramke
Coach Theresa Cloud Eagle - Theresa Cloud Eagle
Elder Care Giving - Joanna R. Leefer
We all have the choice to sink or to swim. Choose to swim!
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