Best Ways to Keep Friends and Family Updated
iwithout being on the phone all day!)
As a former caregiver, I found it very time consuming and draining to answer phone calls and repeat the same information again and again. There are several websites that you can use to post updates, requests for help, or other information. I used www.caringbridge.org, but it is only one of several options.
www.caringbridge.org is one of the most popular sites. I found it very easy to use. The site can be customized in many ways, including the layout, the level of security required to access the site, who can provide updates, and more. It can also be linked to their support planner site. Support planner is an easy place to request help with rides, meals, child care, pet care, grocery shopping and other needs.
www.mylifeline.org is similar to caringbridge, however it has a helping calendar built in, which is used to set up schedules for meals, rides and other support.
www.carepages.com is another popular site. It doesn’t appear to have a planner section, which might be viewed as a disadvantage. It does have different levels of security available.
www.lotsahelpinghands.com is a site that began with the planner, and expanded into community updates and support.
All of these sites are easy to use and are free. Some of them have mobile apps, so that you can easily create updates from a phone or tablet.
Some patients and caregivers have found that it helps to designate a family member or friend as the primary contact for updates. This person can be in charge of calling or emailing those who should be notified in the event of an emergency hospitalization, and also with updating the website.
Besides providing updates to family and friends, some websites can be used for personal fundraising. Even for those with insurance, out of pocket deductibles and copays can be cost prohibitive. These sites provide a safe place to request and receive financial help from your network.
www.posthope.org combines the sharing aspect of the above sites with a fundraising tool. According to their website, there are no fees.
www.giveforward.com is strictly a fundraising site, and there appear to be some fees involved.
www.youcaring.com is also a fundraising only site. The website states that there are no fees.
This is not an all-inclusive list, nor an endorsement of any specific websites.
--contributed by Terri Azer Nickerson.