I write on topics that I think will interest and help family caregivers, but I can't cover every issue. Really! So this week, I'm giving you valuable (in my book) resources as well as (in everyone's book) go-to groups, organizations and websites that have great info, forums, learning opportunities (a webinar, a podcast, an article, an upcoming conference, studies) and advice from experts and in-the-trenches-caregivers. All in one place - here!
First, I want to give a shout out to AARP's Caregiver Resource Center. I'm not just saying this because I'm an AARP loyalist. This site is stellar! It has checklists, worksheets, tips, tools, articles, blogs, a care provider locator, long-term care calculator, Ask the Experts feature and more.
Other good sources include:
- The United Hospital Fund's free Next Step in Care series has 25 free guides for family caregivers. They include advance directives, LGBT caregiving and medication management. The nonprofit also has a series on hospital stays, including what caregivers need to know about discharge plans. Its latest guide, out in English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian, is "A Family Caregiver's Guide to Surgery for Older Adults."
According to the latest statistics from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, done in 2006, elderly patients underwent 35.3 percent of inpatient procedures and 32.1 percent of outpatient procedures. That number is even higher today. Carol Levine, director of the United Hospital Fund's Families and Health Care Project, makes a good point: "Most family caregivers focus only on the day of surgery and not on what comes before and after. Yet in terms of outcome, these may be the most important times to prepare for."
- The Family Caregiver Alliance has updated fact sheets on caregiving issues. New, free online publications through the group's National Center on Caregiving range from how to compensate a family member for providing care to "Downsizing a Home: A Checklist for Caregivers."
- The Caregiver Action Network recently released an online video series for Alzheimer's caregivers and an online guide for navigating Medicare.
More must-know resources:
- The National Alliance for Caregiving
- Home Instead Senior Care
- The National Center for Creative Aging
Of course there are more. What did I leave out? What else should readers know about? Please share.