Most of us need to be reminded that we are not alone in our struggles; that
we are part of a community. Isolation can be deadly for the caregiver. Depression, un-diagnosed health problems and auto-immune diseases are all risks for caregivers – especially isolated ones. When we don’t interact with others who understand our lives, we are less apt to take care of ourselves. Some of us have a hard time attending a group in person. There are terrific caregiving organizations that have been helping caregivers for years and some good chats and sites you can visit. Ideally, you will do both – go to a support group and use the computer to connect. You can connect with other individuals dealing with caregiving issues on the message boards for OurAlzheimers.com.
A wonderful group to check out is the National Family Caregivers Association. NFCA provides statistics on caregiving, links and many support materials including brochures such as “Managing Caregiving,” “Share the Caregiving” and “Defining the Help You Need.” NFCA also has a newsletter, and the basic membership is free. It is very reasonable for professionals, as well.
Children of Aging Parents is a great group that offers help and support. The cost is minimal for a non-professional. CAPS offers an on-line newsletter, a chat and other support.
Minding Our Elders is also a great resource, where you'll find The ElderLaw Forum, a blog and a list of links and agencies that includes the national Area Agencies on Aging site, the Social Security Administration site, which has information on retirement benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, and the government eldercare locator site.
Be sure to look for support. If you can’t get to a support group regularly, because of time restrictions or the inability to find someone to stay with your elder, go on-line and see how much help you can get. Of course, this site, www.ouralzhemers.com, is the best!
Published On: September 29, 2006