Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. These online resources provide community support, tips and resources to help you get the information you need.
Online Alzheimer’s Resources You Shouldn’t Be Without
Ask anyone close to Alzheimer’s what some of their predominant emotions are on a daily basis, and you’ll hear words like overwhelmed, alone, afraid and stressed. When my family began this journey, I didn’t have a clue as to what resources were available. I spent so much time flailing around futilely. Knowing what’s out there is half the battle so here are six of my favorite online resources to help get you started.
- The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center is the Alzheimer’s Association’s caregiver portal providing a window into a variety of tools and resources. There you’ll find help on behaviors, communication, legal and financial matters, and care options, as well as tips on driving and safety issues, activities for your loved one and respite care. This site is a point of reference you’ll likely return to time and time again.
- The Big List of Alzheimer’s Resources from A Place for Mom will steer you to resources on everything from clinical trials and genetic testing to video, book and blog recommendations. You’ll also find links to wonderful sites offering caregiver support and providing news on the latest research developments, prevention tips and even music therapy. The Big List makes a great jumping off point if you’re new to the world of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Community Resource Finder is an Alzheimer’s Association tool that will help you locate resources, services and programs right in your own community. It’s as simple as entering your zip code and choosing from a list of over 20 categories including elder care attorneys, assisted living communities, area agencies on aging, home health care and many more. The site also provides various links back to many other Alzheimer’s Association resources.
- The Caregiver Space was created with laser focus on supporting the caregiver’s needs. On this site, you’ll find an excellent blog, topic specific communities, a learning center, journaling space, a comprehensive reading list and an organizational toolkit. The Caregiver Space also offers financial planning tips and resources, as well as links to hundreds of other blogs and invaluable websites. It’s an easy, yet powerful way to connect with others who share in a journey similar to yours.
- ALZConnected from the Alzheimer’s Association is a virtual community of caregivers. The site is divided into two sections – message boards and solutions pages. Message boards let members connect with other Alzheimer’s families on topics such as caring for a spouse or partner, clinical trials, and early onset, among others. The solutions pages allow users to pose questions to the community, peruse existing questions and answers by topic, or respond to questions posted by other members facing some of the same challenges you face.
- Alzheimer’s Reading Room is one of most highly rated, heavily visited Alzheimer’s blogs on the web. Written by Bob DeMarco, this site is a great source for the latest news and developments in the world of Alzheimer’s. Bob was his mother’s primary caregiver until her passing almost a year ago, so he understands firsthand what you’re going through. If you don’t have a lot of time, I definitely recommend bookmarking this one and setting aside 30 minutes or so each week to skim over Bob’s latest articles. He even includes tips for using the site most effectively.
I hope you’ll find a few of these online resources useful. When in doubt, assistance is just a phone call away at the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Help Line (1.800.272.3900). On the other end of the phone, you’ll always find a caring, compassionate staff available to answer your questions and provide support around the clock.
What online Alzheimer’s resources have you found most helpful? Share them with us and other caregivers in the comments below.