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Friday, August 28, 2009

Net of Care community resource network for caregivers


Who is a Family Caregiver?

A "family caregiver" is anyone who provides any type of physical and/or emotional care for an ill or disabled loved one at home. Loved ones in need of care, could be suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability, substance misuse, or other conditions.

There are different types of family caregivers:

Adult children
Family members

Regardless of how you became a caregiver, you are about to take on a new role for which you may not feel prepared. It is normal for you to feel nervous or overwhelmed about what is expected of you. You may experience a number of mixed emotions including anxiety, anger, and sadness. At the same time, you will probably feel the desire to care for your loved one the best way you can.

At a time when hospitals are releasing patients earlier, the elderly are living longer, and people are living with many chronic illnesses, more family members and friends are caring for loved ones at home. Often, people find themselves having to perform new and unfamiliar tasks. These may include giving medicines, assisting with meals, and performing medical and nursing procedures.

Examples of possible task can be:

Personal care
Emotional support
Medical care
Household management
Translation services in medical settings

About Net of Care

Net of Care is a community resource network for caregivers of the medically ill. NetofCare.org is a site that can help caregivers feel less isolated and overwhelmed by making them the best caregiver they can be.

Net of Care features:

Online support, education, and information on daily aspects of caregiving
Local and national resources searchable by type of illness, service needs and location
Patient and caregiver E-newsletter
Health topics, such as, making health care decisions, communicating with health care professionals, pain management at home, managing medical emergencies, caregiver needs, stress management, and hospice care
Telephone support groups for caregivers

We want caregivers to be informed about available services, recognize when caregivers need help, and know how to ask for and accept assistance from others.

The Family Caregiver Program

The Family Caregiver Program of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, founded in 1998, has achieved tremendous progress in addressing the needs of caregivers and providing useful resources through the close collaboration with a broad range of community-based service organizations and national not-for-profit agencies dedicated to addressing caregiver needs.