CareCentral: What If You Could Host Family Caregiving Meetings On Your Own Web Site – Free?

  • What if you could host a family meeting right now? You, the main caregiver, would only have to write the news once. The family could read the results of Mom’s latest checkup. They could read that you are wearing down, and really need someone else to take Mom to the dentist. And they could look at the calendar to see when that appointment is so they could plan on making it a priority.

    This free family meeting cyberplace is here! It’s called CareCentral. Click on the logo below to preview the CareCentral site.

    The site is part of the vast HealthCentral network of health sites, and you can also access it from any of your other favorite HealthCentral pages.
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    Even families living geographically near one another can have a difficult time connecting on a daily basis. People are working. Taking care of kids. Running errands. Or maybe taking Mom to the doctor.

    Oh, yeah, when was Mom’s doctor appointment? And the dentist visit? Did you schedule them on the same day? Keeping track of all the needs of an elder can be daunting. Care meetings at a nursing facility. Medication decisions. Social Services paperwork if there is Medicaid involved. Tax questions that need to be handled.

    A caregiver needs one calendar just for the needs of the person who requires care. Then the caregiver has to figure out a way to share this information with siblings and friends and parent’s friends. That means a bunch of emails, endless phone calls and answering machine messages. The great game of phone tag.

    Now, you can set up a caregiving Web site in minutes – no tech skills needed. There’s a wish list, so you can ask for help for yourself, as the caregiver, or put out wishes that the person needing care has (perhaps she has mentioned wanting to see the grandchildren more often).

    The caregiver can write down thoughts and emotions in the journal. The caregiver can make announcements about important events or results of a surgery. There is a guest book where messages can be left for the family to read, or a private message can be left for the site’s main author.

    Who knows – writing things down may even heal some family wounds. When siblings see the main hands-on caregiver reaching out; when they see them humanized; when they see how hard it is to keep up with all of the work of caregiving – maybe – just maybe – they may realize they could help out a little bit. Possibly some of the childhood issues could be put to rest as the family joins in this one place for the good of an elder or sick sibling. This could sow the seeds of healing. Or, at least, civility?

    If nothing else, it will give the hands-on caregiver a place to write down the conflicted emotions a caregiver feels. It will give him or her a place to see, really see, how much time all of those doctor visits, shopping trips, late night emergencies and emotional toil take. And it will give the caregiver a forum to reach out to others; to invite them into the world of caregiving. Give CareCentral a try. It’s a great addition to the caregivers toolbox.

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Published On: March 06, 2007