Caregiving Support & Information
The one thing we need to remember is that we are not alone. More and more resources and support are becoming available to caregivers. These websites should provide you a good starting place to discover some of the great resources available for caregivers.
Caring.com is one of the most comprehensive online resources for anyone who is taking care of elderly loved ones. It is a great place to start your research.
Alzheimer’s Association – Caring for Alzheimer’s
“CarePages websites are free patient blogs that connect friends and family during a health challenge”
Family Caregiver Alliance
Research & guide to programs
“The site is designed to provide caregivers with the basic tools, skills and information they need to protect their own physical and mental health while they provide high quality care for their loved one.”
National Alliance for Caregiving
“The National Alliance for Caregiving is dedicated to providing support to family caregivers and the professionals who help them and to increasing public awareness of issues facing family caregivers.”
National Family Caregivers Association
“NFCA offers a virtual library of information and educational materials ranging from national educational campaigns to Tips and Tools for family caregivers, information on agencies and organizations which provide caregiver support, to communicating effectively workshops.”
Geriatric-care managers are health and human services professionals that can help you navigate the needs of your loved ones, find solutions that will work for your family situation, and save you a lot of time and energy in the process. To learn more, and to find professionals in your area, check out the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers website.
At Home Elder Caregivers
Finding in-home elder care can be very difficult proposition. Here are a few services to get you started as you begin to explore the options available to you.
Care.com – Free Background Checks. Safe & Easy.
Partners in Care – affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York
The Help Company – Los Angeles
Visiting Angels – San Francisco Bay Area
Adult Day Services
If you are unable to afford in-home private care, you may want to explore programs offering adult day services. The National Adult Day Services Association may be able to help. Their website contains both information as well as search capabilities to locate services in your area.
Here are a few additional resources that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate care for your loved ones.
Cell Phones for Seniors
You want your parents and grandparents to be safe when you are not with them, and you want them to easily be able to get in touch with you. Insist that they carry a cell phone with them at all times in case they ever need you in an emergency. Here are a few very simple phones that may fit the bill:
Books on Caregiving
Here are a few books on the topic of caregiving.
Online Health Resources
There is a tremendous amount of knowledge on the Internet. Whether you are looking to learn more about a particular illness or medication, or want tips to a healthier lifestyle, these websites will certainly get you started. Remember, nothing can replace the personalized information and guidance you get from meeting with your own doctor.
Betterfly – find a nutritionist, alternative medicine provider, safety & first aid instruction and so many more individuals who can help you live a healthier life
Specific Health Topics
Here are a few resources that feature specific health topics.
Personal DNA analysis and research for health, family and genealogy
“ConsumerMedSafety.org is brought to you by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)—the nation’s only nonprofit organization of pharmacists, nurses, and doctors devoted entirely to safe medication practices.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Alerts
“This free public service from Johns Hopkins Medicine helps keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs for the most common medical conditions which prevent healthy aging.”
National Library of Medicine’s Tox Town
Learn more about environmental health concerns in your neighborhood
Skin disease pictures and health information
Information to help you find the best hospitals
Children’s Vaccines & Immunizations
As we all know, the debate around childhood vaccines continues to rage on. Do your homework, talk to your child’s doctor and make the right decision for you, your child and your community. With so much conflicting information it is hard for most moms to know what to do.
Health & Wellness Tips
The most important thing in life is the health, safety and well being of our family and dear friends. Sometimes we all get so busy we forget to focus on what really matters. Don’t forget to take care yourself too. Here are a few ideas from Sweet Peas & Stilettos to help ensure your family is happy and well:
1 – Make Safety a Priority. Make certain your children and family are safe. Research to identify if there are registered offenders living in your neighborhood. Make sure your children’s toys are not on any product recall lists. If you have older children, learn more about Internet safety. Explore the many great safety resources online that will enable you to do all of this research with just a few clicks of the mouse.
2 – Get Caregiving Support. Get the support you need to assist you with caregiving for your aging parents. Many modern moms are taking care of their parents in addition to raising their children. The ‘sandwich’ generation is getting squeezed emotionally as they extend themselves in every direction. Explore the great caregiving resources available on the Internet to help you with this delicate balancing act. You can also ask about support groups through your local hospital. Remember, you are not alone.
3 – Move your Body. To help you reduce stress and get into shape, order a few exercise DVDs and start a new fitness regime. I know how hard it is to find the time to actually go to the gym. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to exercise outdoors. Exercise DVDs are an inexpensive and convenient way to spice up your workout, day or night.
4 – Get Your Sleep. We all know we need our rest, but we often find ourselves staying up way too late and getting up too early. Infants and children definitely need their sleep too. Without enough rest, our productivity, health and happiness can easily plummet. If you, or anyone in your family has problems sleeping, see your doctor or visit a sleep consultant for advice. Everyone in your family will benefit.
5 – Treat Yourself. It is easy to focus all of your energy on your family and career and forget to make sure you are happy and healthy too. When you are buying new backpacks for your kids, pick up a colorful, reusable tote for yourself, or enjoy a decadent chocolate truffle (or two!). It is important to treat yourself now and then too. You deserve it!
6 – Learn Something New. For so many years we were in school learning new things everyday. Some people are lucky and are learning daily in their jobs or through volunteer work. Regardless if you are in the midst of a busy career, or staying at home, think about learning something new. It is great for your brain, wonderful for your self-esteem and can be a fun way to meet new people with similar interests. Whether you take a belly dancing class, learn more about art history through programs at your local museum, or go back to school to earn an executive MBA, you will feel better about yourself. You may be surprised by the doors that will open up for you too.
7 – Just Breathe. I feel like I am running around so much these days I completely forget to just stop and breathe. I have recently found joy in closing my eyes, turning off the noise in my head and just listening to my own breath. I know a lot of people enjoy yoga and meditation. If you find the prospect of either a little intimidating or just not your cup of tea (or you are just stiff and inflexible and you don’t want to try to touch your toes in a yoga class – like me!), remember that all you need to do is take a few moments for yourself everyday. Five minutes of alone time, clearing your head and recharging your batteries will do wonders.
It is important for everyone in your family to lead and happy and healthy life. Make sure your children learn to enjoy the world they live in, stay safe and live well. Listen to your own needs too. The better you take care of yourself, the more you will be able to help your family, friends and community.
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