16 Essential Websites for Every Caregiver
By Anne Tomlinson | Caregiving
Here are some great sites, organized by topic. I hope this resource can help you can get what you need more easily.
But first, please promise that you won’t let all these websites and the information they provide make you feel MORE overwhelmed than you already feel. You don’t have to consume it all in one sitting and you don’t need it all right now.
Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder is probably the best directory of providers that I’ve seen. This website is also probably the best overall resource for everything and everyone else — regardless of diagnosis. To top it off, It also has a 24/7 Helpline!
AARP’s Family Caregiving Website. You can’t write about caregiving websites without talking about AARP’s. They have experts writing about every conceivable topic including, for example, How to Avoid Losing Your Temper and How to Forgive Yourself When You Do. It also has a helpline! I should warn you, though, it can be a little challenging to navigate because of the constant screen shifts so common on websites that draw advertising dollars.
Caregiver Action Network (CAN). What I love about this website is that it allows you to browse advice according to whether you’re new to caregiving or have been a caregiver for many years. And, it also addresses challenges specific to long-distance caregiving and to working and caregiving.
Daily Caring. Daily Caring is a clean, lovely straightforward website with a comprehensive set of articles on topics ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to finding home care. I particularly like that each content piece is short and to-the-point.
Better Health While Aging. While I love all of the websites I’m reviewing here, this one’s a favorite. It’s written and maintained by Dr. Leslie Kernisan whose tools and blogs eliminate lingo and put everything in understandable terms. It’s like having a good girlfriend who is a geriatrician. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to her newsletter.
The American Geriatric Society’s HealthinAging.org is dedicated to providing an expert source of information about managing the medical aspects of aging. I love the tabs: “Find a Geriatrics Healthcare Professional” and “Making Your Wishes Known.” It also has some great, free downloadables such as one that can help you know which medications to avoid.
Hospitalizations and Transitions in Care
Next Step in Care. Next Step in Care is a program dedicated to providing practical advice and easy-to-use guides that help in the process of transitioning your parent’s care from one location to another (e.g., hospital to nursing facility). What’s extremely cool is that, at the top of the website, on the right hand side, there’s a little box where you can enter the provider your parent is leaving (e.g., a hospital) and where your parent is going (e.g., rehab) — and then the website provides you with information for that specific move!
Its treatment of hospital-induced delirium is a little thin so go to the Hospital Elder Life Program if you need more information on that topic.
One of the most fascinating things I’ve learned this year is that there’s a whole profession dedicated to helping your parents manage their money. It’s called Daily Money Managers (DMM).
Dealing with Medicare
The Center for Medicare Advocacy has a lot to offer as a resource on Medicare. It explains topics like program enrollment, out of pocket costs, and coverage appeals. The site’s self-help packets walk you through Medicare rules and regulations. They can feel like a bit of a slog. But, that’s probably unavoidable, given the topic, so hang in there.
It’s no secret that Medicare is complicated. So complicated, in fact, that you may want to talk person-to-person with someone in a state health insurance assistance program. If you’re looking for Medicare supplemental insurance rate information, your parent’s state office of insurance regulation usually has a page that will provide you rates (again without having to deal with an insurance sales agent).
I am a HUGE fan of Roobrik. This is a beautiful, advertising-free website that delivers online decision tools to help older adults and their families make difficult “health and care choices with clarity and confidence.”
Support and Inspiration
MariaShriver.com rocks—and I’m not just saying that because I’m a contributor. Shriver is proof that even a lifetime of success and accomplishment cannot protect you from the challenges of caregiving. Because of her commitment to service and her own experience caring for her parents, she devotes a lot of content space on her website to caregiving. Sign up for her newsletter and get involved in her projects, including Move for Minds.
Caregiving.com. I’m sure that everyone who visits this website is helped by it. Denise Brown is the pro and her beautiful site is a true community. It includes caregiver blogs, daily chats, free webinars, and it’s easy to navigate!
Liz O’Donnell, author of Mogul, Mom and Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman has shifted from writing about being a working mom to being a Working Daughter. She shares important news in her weekly roundup and interviews experts in the field. Download the Mogul, Mom and Maid Manifesto!
I am finding out about new and wonderful resources every day. Two recent really interesting finds include: Priya Soni’s work, which is beautifully ritualizing the experience of caregiving through her movement to create a community around the stories that caregivers tell. And…. I just met the co-founder of wellthy, and was SUPER impressed by her vision to create a high value care coordination service for families. You gotta love the first quote you see on the website:
“It’s time we start thinking about care as the complex project it is.”
To everyone who is working hard to create a better world for caregivers, a hearty and warm thank you!