When a friend or family member is caring for someone they love who has a life-limiting illness, most of us feel helpless as to what we can do to support them. Technology has made it easier to help. There are a growing number of online resources designed to organize the efforts of those who want to find a way to assist the caregiver. Here are just a few that get high marks for ease-of-use and accessibility:
Meal Train – This online, interactive meal calendar allows friends and family to sign up for and share dates they can provide a meal. It even allows for entry of what menu each helper is planning for the family. That helps to avoid two straight weeks of chicken or seven days of lasagna. The site allows organizers to send invitations out to others to join the effort through Facebook or email. A nice feature of the Meal Train program is that it allows email reminders to be sent out before each scheduled meal delivery.
Lotsa Helping Hands
Lotsa Helping Hands – If the loved one you are helping to organize support for needs more than meals, this site is a great option. Friends and family can use it to manage and coordinate physician appointments, transportation and a variety of care-related needs. You can also use it to show what family members will be visiting each day.
eCare Diary – A free, online care diary this website allows families to coordinate a “circle of care” for a loved one. You can store and access medication lists and refill dates, physician appointments, therapy and home health visits and more. The site is also home to a variety of tools and articles that can help families understand senior care options. They include a cost of care calculator, expert Q&A, webinars and more.
Halcyon Hospice offers its patients and families an easy way to help them stay connected by creating a free Care Flash Community. Care Flash secure online tool that allows you to quickly create your own personal care community. You can post updates in a private blog, indicate on an iHELP calendar when help is needed, and then others can volunteer when they are able, learn about the illness using 3D images, videos and easy-to-understand explanations, access spiritual and inspirational content that is specific to your beliefs and religion, share memories in a photo album and access a social storytelling component that can be used for celebrating life and as an online memorial.