It's hard to face the fact that our parents and/or other loved ones are getting older. Thinking about getting some outside help doesn't mean that you are "throwing out the old" for someone else to take care of. Even worse is the nagging feeling that you are abandoning a loved one at a time when he or she needs you the most. This is especially difficult when it's a parent involved.
Actually, there are many options available, from day care programs to
assisted living facilities to skilled nursing homes, depending on which
services are needed. Here are some sites to point you in the right direction
and take some of the weight off your shoulders.
AdultCare Elder and Caregiving Information Resource http://www.adultcare.com. This site is sponsored by AdultCare. Their mission is to assist, educate and support individuals and families in caregiving and in understanding the aging process. The site is easy to navigate, and there's a list of current special events. There is also a special event archive if you've missed something that you're interested in, as well as suggested readings compiled in conjunction with Amazon.com.
More exciting things are to come on the site, including Question and Answer Archive, and Care Advisor, for those just starting their search for help with caregiving needs. You just tell them a little bit about yourself and your situation, and they'll do the legwork for you. Finally, there is a link resource directory.
ExtendedCare.com: A Resource for You http://www.extendedcare.com/asp/default.asp. This site may seem a bit overwhelming at first, so to cut down on feeling bombarded by information, click on the site map, which will lay everything out in list form. One of the best aspects of this site is the home care assistance detailed search. Type in your zip code and you will get listings of providers within 7.5 miles of your home.
There is a library of geriatric titles with helpful articles and a monthly newsletter where you can even submit articles if you want (guidelines are included). You can view their press releases, and there is a special section for health care professionals. To find out more about specific topics, go to the Extended Care Glossary. After you've finished browsing this site, you can fill out a survey and give your feedback.
GetCare.com http://www.getcare.com/wconnect/wc.dll?getcare~showhome. The site is designed not only to aid in finding service providers, but also to empower consumers to make informed choices about the products and services that affect their lives. The home page has a very simple layout: Three "doors" are labeled "assess," "learn" and "search."
If you are not sure where to begin, you start with the "assess" door, so you can fill out a questionnaire and get answers to general questions. From there, you go to the "learn" door to find out more about the services being offered or the "search" door to find providers in your area.
The site is very straightforward, but if you're still having trouble, click on Navigation Tips. There is also a link to The GetCare Store, where they've put together a collection of online shopping resources you may find useful for your health, family and other needs.
USAhomecare: Home Care (http://home health/hospice) Information http://www.USAhomecare.com. This site is considered the most comprehensive consumer-oriented home care site on the Web. It features convenient access to comprehensive home care resources. There's a Question and Answer section to help you find out more about home care, hospices and independent providers. Click on Considerations for questions to ask yourself when thinking about such things as how to choose an agency.
You can also find an agency by clicking on the state, and USAhomecare will give you suggestions on which agencies they feel are best. If you click on the News section, it gives you some suggestions on the best medical search engines like Yahoo! and MEDLINE. There are also other helpful links, and you can enter your e-mail address to be on their mailing list.
January 31, 2000