All of the resources on this page are useful for caregivers, who must not only take care of their friend or family member, but themselves as well. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will sooner or later burn out and be unable to care for anyone. The resources available range from support groups, available services, and finding help; to articles about taking care of yourself, recognizing burnout, and how to cope with the stresses of caring for someone who is chronically ill and/or disabled.
Don’t discount a link because the specific focus is on an issue you aren’t dealing with. Most resources and issues are valid across all forms of caregiving, and you may find exactly what you need on a site that appears to have nothing at all to do with your specific problems.
Caring Connections – although much of the information on this site is focused on elder care, it also applies to caring for someone with a chronic illness.
Family Caregiving – great site with tons of resources including how to find respite care so you can take a break, support groups, financial advice . . . there are also message boards where you can connect with other caregivers who understand what you’re going through, a skills list, ways to take care of yourself, links, and much more.
How do I deal with depression as a fibromyalgia caregiver? – Great tips for dealing with the depression that frequently accompanies caregiving. Although the question was about taking care of a fibromyalgia patient, the advice is valid for all caregivers.
Caregiver Support Blog – blog by a caregiver, for caregivers. I didn’t see a lot of resources offered, but just knowing someone else is dealing with the same issues and learning how they manage can be a huge support.
The National Alliance for Caregiving – Great resource for caregivers, with links to other sites; as well as sections on resources, legislation, research, and coalitions. There’s even a contact form so that you can ask questions, etc.
Carebook – The focus here is Alzheimer’s and memory loss, but most of the information applies across the full range of illnesses. I personally prefer sites where at least part of the resources aren’t hidden behind a “membership wall,” so that people can decide whether the site is really going to be helpful for them, but I do understand the reasons for it.
Caregiving Cafe Blog – Not just another blog, Caregiving Cafe provides multiple resource links for caregivers . . . you’ll find posts from a caregiver who knows what it’s like, as well as helpful links and articles to help you navigate through the challenges of caring for a chronically ill patient.
National Family Caregiver Support Program – Funding for states to provide support services to caregivers. There are multiple links to other useful sites, even if you don’t qualify for direct help through state programs. Eligible caregivers include:
- Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older;
- Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders;
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
- Grandparents and other relatives (not parents) 55 years of age and older providing care to adults age 18-59 with disabilities.
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco – Pinellas, Inc. – although this site is specific to Pasco and Pinellas counties, there are many links and lots of useful information for any caregiver.
Surviving Caregiver Burnout – Great article on the signs of caregiver burnout, and how to prevent it.
Family Caregiver Alliance – Full of resources and information for caregivers. There’s way too much to list here, just go browse around, and be sure to check the state listings for services in your state and the support groups.
Empowering Caregivers – resources, forums, chat, articles, and more. Definitely more than worth a look.
National Family Caregivers Association – Even more resources, including a section on advocating, and an article on finding financial help, as well as links to forums and online communities.
Well Spouse Association – I don’t normally recommend sites that require payment, but the Well Spouse Association is the only one I’ve found with a focus on spouses and partners of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Even then, I wouldn’t recommend them except that they do offer a one year free membership before you have to start paying. In addition, spouses/partners caring for a veteran or current member of the military, and residents of Arizona, are provided special free memberships. There are some unique issues for spouses/partners who are caregivers for their significant other, and these are rarely (if ever) addressed on sites for family caregivers. Because of this, I think it’s worth trying out the free membership to see if the benefits of the site are worth the membership fee.
- Caregivers need relief, respite from Alzheimer’s, too (miamiherald.com)
- Caregiving is the ‘new normal’ (cnn.com)
- Message to Family Caregivers: “Reach Out for Help” (prweb.com)