Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Help for Aging Grandparents – Online Tools July 14, 2009

Feeling intimidated by the process of making senior care decisions? Taking the proper steps is often complex,  and time consuming.  Today, 34 million Americans are part of the “sandwich generation”–caring for their kids and their elderly parents.

How can we prepare for this major life challenge?

Countless baby boomers don’t know where to begin. Who to trust? Where can I find appropriate treatment for my mother? How can I determine which senior care facility is the right one for Dad?

Today, there are many niche-specific websites to help you and your aging parents deal with a specialized aspect of aging but not another. GilbertGuide.com is a reliable and comprehensive web site for everything related to senior care and aging; The site provides a direct line to practical solutions, extensive professional advice and quality assessment tools which help GilbertGuide.com conduct its own evaluations of providers.

The GilbertGuide.com offers quality advice on a variety of topics that matter most to seniors, such as:

  • Homecare: Finding care or caring for someone yourself
  • Aging in Place: Geriatrics and Geriatric Care Management
  • Senior Real Estate: Finding appropriate housing
  • Caregiving/Parenting Your Parents
  • Alzheimer’s Care: Everything you need to know about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Financial and Legal: Essential information for you and your parents
  • End of life: Guidance with legal issues, hospice, palliative care and coping with grief

Caring for elderly relatives is expecially difficult when they reside in another state or country. FamiliLink, a new company co-founded by Laura Nuhaan and Inger Rarick, provides web-based services to empower family members to easily connect with their non-tech-savvy aging loved ones and help them with caring support. Increasingly, seniors depend on the ability to 
stay in the digital loop with family and friends, both for safety and for their well being. For only $4.99 per month (the first 2000 users are free!) Familink gives users:

  • Straightforward, easy to use email
  • Photos and videos from others all accessible in one location
  • Daily schedule with helpful reminders
  • Family and friends use their own e-mail system, and photo and video sharing sites to stay in touch with you

Laurie Orlov, a leading industry analyst for Aging in Place Technology Watch, says FamiliLink “is in the fairly new business of making computers easier for seniors to use with touch screens like the HP TouchSmart and Asus Eee Top, which can be manipulated with a finger or a stylus, instead of a mouse and keyboard.”

In addition, Jody Holtzman, Director of Knowledge Management at AARP, highlighted an AARP study that outlined key factors to “Successful Aging”, one of them being as “ability to stay connected to friends and family.”

Read the rest of this column, including the top five tips for caring for your parents from Gloria G. Barsamian, author of the brand new book, Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents.

Follow me on Twitter! @RebeccaLacko

Read my Family and Parenting Column on Examiner.com!

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