Websites Provide Important Information, Services to Caregivers
We live in a wired world. Sometimes technology can be our friend; other times it can be a real annoyance. However, some websites are really good tools to help you think through caregiving, death and grieving. I’d like to offer a list that may be of help to you.
I personally haven’t used this website to keep family members and friends apprised of what’s going on with a loved one, but I have friends who have invited me to get updates on it. This website was created in 1997 as a way for some friends to communicate updates about a premature baby to their friends and family members. From that small start, CaringBridge has grown into a nonprofit that, as of 2013, offers updates on loved ones to 46 million people. The site has three types of security settings so you can customize what you want to share with whom. The site also includes a planner that allows people to find out what tasks they can do to help you and your loved one out.
End of Life Website
A new End of Life website has just been launched by the National Institutes of Health Senior Health. It includes sections about preparing for the end of life, including what this means, and looks at different types of care. The website also focuses on addressing pain, other signs and symptoms, and mental and emotional issues. It also describes types of care, places of care, planning for care and paying for care. The NIHSH site also delves into support for caregivers, what to expend when a person dies, and coping with grief. Current research areas also are described.
Caring Connections is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Caring Connections offers free resources and information that can help guide people as they make decisions about end-of-life care as well as services that may be needed. Ideally, this research will be done prior to the onset of a health crisis. The website offers publications on the following topics: talking about end-of-life wishes; supporting someone who is grieving; caring for loved ones; talking to the doctor about pain or illness; understanding hospice and palliative care services; and paying for long-term care. The website also has state-specific advanced directives.
Death Café is a group-directed discussion of death that has no agenda, objectives or themes. This discussion group also is not designed as grief support or counseling. These groups also have no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action. Death Cafes have been held in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. The website helps you locate a Death Café and also provides information if you want to host one. There’s also a section that provides death art gallery, a video gallery, and death and dying resources.
This website showcases services designed to help people get back on their feet after the loss of a loved one. Christina Rasmussen, who runs Second Firsts, has worked as a therapist and crisis intervention specialist. She was hit firsthand by grief when her husband died of colon cancer. Those lessons and many more make up what she describes as “Reentry” in which a person chooses to “dance, laugh, love + live again.” She offers a seven-week course, regular emails called “Message in a Bottle” and other resources that can help you move forward after the loss of a loved one.
Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
CaringBridge. (2014). CaringBridge.
Death Café. (2014). Death Café.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. (ND). Caring Connections.
National Institutes of Health Senior Health. (2014). End of life.
Rasmussen, Christina. (2014). Second firsts.