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Going Online for Caregiving Help


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There are about 65.7 million family caregivers in the U.S. and the number is growing.

Unfortunately, research has shown that caring for a loved one that is ill or disabled can put one's own mental and physical health at risk.

A recent Pew survey suggests that more caregivers are going online to get help (in numbers significantly greater than non-caregivers), ranging from gathering information on diagnoses and drugs to getting support from friends, family and others with the same condition. These findings reinforce those of a 2011 survey fielded by the National Alliance for Caregiving that detailed the growing adoption of a range of e-technologies – including the Internet – to buttress the effectiveness of caregivers' efforts.

Jessie Gruman, President of CFAH, recently observed in Health Is Difficult When Solo: Will More e-Caregivers Help?: "If there is one thing of which I am certain, it is that even I, with all my experience using health care, all my education, resources, connections and online search savvy, really struggle to make good use of my care when I have had to do it alone, especially when I'm fatigued and in pain. Any and all approaches that make it easier for my friends and family to help me – whether they are online, at home or right there in the doctor's office with me – are both needed and welcome."

Survival Tips for Family Caregivers, CFAH's latest Be a Prepared Patient feature, reviews some of the challenges faced by family caregivers – like Constance Adampoulos of San Francisco, who found herself caring for both her mother and her uncle. "You don't get a manual when you become a family caregiver," she said.

This new resource from CFAH includes advice for dealing with frustration and stress, practical tips for tasks faced by caregivers, and a number of links to expert online resources including the National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP and the National Institutes of Health's caregiving portal.

To read more, visit Be a Prepared Patient: Survival Tips for Family Caregivers.

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The Center for Advancing Health’s Be a Prepared Patient resources are designed to help you find good health care and  make the most of it. CFAH creates, reviews and collects these websites, blogs, patient stories and resources to help people benefit fully from their health care.

Tags for this article:
Aging Well   Plan for your End of Life Care   Caregiving  

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