Alzheimer’s Caregivers Going Online for Support in Record Numbers

By:  Caring.com

 With research indicating that over 25 percent of family caregivers seek support online, Caring.com has experienced tremendous growth in Steps & Stages — which includes a free custom care guide, stage-based newsletter, and online support groups for caregivers. In the past three months, visits to Stage Groups, which provide Alzheimer’s support by enabling caregivers to connect with each other, have grown by 200 percent.

“The journey for an Alzheimer’s caregiver can be overwhelming and lonely. When you hear that a loved one has Alzheimer’s, you don’t know where to turn, what to do, or what lies ahead,” said Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Caring.com. “Steps & Stages has made this difficult process easier and more manageable for thousands of caregivers. The rapid growth of Steps & Stages validates the importance of getting information and support from those who truly understand the Alzheimer’s caregiving experience.”

Caring.com‘s Steps & Stages has changed how caregivers approach the progression of the disease, targeting their need for specific information based on where their loved one is on the path from early mild-stage to late severe-stage Alzheimer’s disease. After completing a brief stage assessment, each caregiver receives a personalized care guide — which can be updated as new Alzheimer’s symptoms arise — along with practical tips each week.

With thousands of visitors and conversation posts each month, Stage Groups connect caregivers whose loved ones are at a similar stage of dementia. Caregivers can visit their Stage Group at any time of day or night to share their experiences, get advice, feel less isolated, and laugh and cry with those who understand what they’re going through. Whether talking about their daily trials and tribulations or discussing the pros and cons of Alzheimer’s tests and clinical trials, Stage Groups provide a convenient, easy way for Alzheimer’s caregivers to meet their information and support needs, on their own schedules and without fear of being judged.

“This group is a godsend. We help each other with everyday issues,” says Tracey Jackson of Hoover, Alabama, who, for the last seven years, has been the sole caregiver for her mother, Edna. “I can log on at 4 a.m. and have someone to talk to — or vent to. The prayers and words of encouragement are the best.”

Alzheimer’s caregivers who are interested in joining a Steps & Stages online support group can visit http://www.caring.com/alzheimers-support to preview conversations, join this vibrant community, and start receiving helpful tips and advice.

Caring.com, the leading online destination for family caregivers, today — on World Alzheimer’s Day — announced that its breakthrough Steps & StagesTM resource is now among the largest and fastest-growing online resources for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Since its launch in October 2010, Steps & Stages has helped more than 120,000 caregivers with this free resource devoted to Alzheimer’s caregiving.

 

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