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By: Marissa Salvesen on November 18th, 2014

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Six Resources to Improve Your Caregiving Experience

caregiver education program ct | assisted living | caregiver tips | Aging & Caregiving

caregiver-resourcesBeing a caregiver for a parent, spouse or child is an important role, but also a demanding one requiring significant physical, emotional and intellectual effort.

While the burden can at times feel overwhelming, many resources are available to help lighten your load and foster the best quality of life….for your loved one and for yourself.

Consider these six helpful sites for caregivers.

6 Caregiver Resources

1. Caregiver Action Network

A leading family caregiver organization, CAN offers a multitude of services for caregivers, including education, peer support and other resources -- all of which are free of charge. From sharing common caregiving situations through the CAN Story Project to the Family Caregiver Toolbox, CAN puts a wealth of information at your fingertips.

2. The Eldercare Locator

A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Eldercare Locator connects seniors and their caregivers with information about trustworthy local senior services. Whether you’re looking for help with transportation, home care or meals or just need a break from your daily caregiving duties, the Eldercare Locator can help. Simply select a topic from a menu of services, enter your location and receive instant access to appropriate senior services within your community.

3. Lotsa Helping Hands

While many people would be happy to help a caregiver in need, it can be difficult to identify when and where help is needed. Lotsa Helping Hands answers this dilemma by harnessing the power of community to connect caregivers, their loved ones, and volunteers. Sign up to provide meals, give rides to medical appointments, or simply pay a social visit. The site even sends reminders about upcoming commitments. Photo galleries, message boards, and other custom sections further contribute to the sense of community.

4. Financial Steps for Caregivers

Caregivers can face significant financial consequences without proper education and awareness. Prepared by the National Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning, this handy online resource comprises everything you need to know in order to manage the costs of caregiving while safeguarding your future financial security.

5. National Transitions of Care Coalition

Lack of adequate communication between caregivers and healthcare professionals can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening conditions -- particularly during stressful or uncertain times. NTCC offers resources specifically pertaining to transitions of care from one setting to another. Tools include guidelines for hospital stays, a standard medications list form, and a variety of informational materials about this critical health care issue.

6. Caring.com

A popular destination for family caregivers, this authoritative site offers access to expert-reviewed content from a team of leaders in geriatric medicine fields ranging from law to finance to housing. The site's extensive online support groups -- many of which are sorted by stage of disease -- offer invaluable connections with others who understand what you are going through. Caring.com is also home to Steps & Stages, a free, customizable Alzheimer’s resource.

Key Takeaways

  • Not all caregiver resources are created equally: spend time at a few sites to find those which best suit your needs.
  • From finding services to managing your finances, some sites are narrow in range while others encompass the entire caregiving experience.
  • Participating in forums not only yields tips and advice from peers, but also a sense of connection and belonging.
  • Talk to your physician, hospital or other healthcare provider who may recommend other helpful resources for your particular situation.

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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