Web savvy caregivers are increasingly turning to online communities, blogs and web sites for information, resources, and just as a simple way to connect with other caregivers. I peruse these “communities” periodically looking for post ideas or advice to offer. I did this just recently for Tara over at Caregiving.com, a site that specializes in helping caregivers connect and share thoughts. You can read her dilemma and my thoughts on the matter at her post right here. Perhaps YOU can offer her additional advice. Perhaps there’s something I overlooked. Got experience with Depends and incontinence? She needs your advice.
While the web is a wonderful place to connect and gather information, one must always remain mindful of the source. Anyone can throw a web site up and profess to be an expert on anything, and if they’re good with web design (or hire someone that is), they can even look like one. Use the web, but don’t rely on it as your sole source of information, because much information – particularly program eligibility and resources – is very specific to an individual’s particular case and the state in which he/she lives. No state is the same when it comes to aging resources and program criteria.
Does this mean I don’t think you should seek aging information on the web? Hardly, here I am trying to provide some. What I’m trying to say is that when you’re looking for hard facts about aging resources and program eligibility – nothing beats a local professional, whether it’s your Area Agency on Aging, a local residential care facility, or someone in your State’s Office on Aging. That means either visit those specific sites or contact someone by phone in or in-person. As useful as the web is, person-to-person contact is still the best, especially for important matters.
Use ALL resources available to you. Ask the same questions of various people, because even if you’re speaking with local professionals, chances are you’ll still get different answers.