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Is there a web site where I can chat with other caregivers?

 

Question:  Is there a web site that I can chat back and forth with people who are caregivers? I would find it helpful to discuss my problems with others and they can discuss problems with me.

Dr. Amy:  The beauty of chat rooms is that you can connect with people without leaving your home. Many chat rooms are organized around particular conditions or diseases. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association offers chat rooms for people with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the American Cancer Society provides chat rooms for people with cancer. Many are open to both people with the disease as well as caregivers. I encourage you to visit the websites of the organizations that support the disease or condition of the person you are caring for.

Type, “Chat room” in the search field when you are the main page, and you will be directed to the chat rooms if they have them. You will be asked to register before you join. In addition to chat rooms, many organizations operate message boards—sometimes called forums, which can also be a great source of support. The National Family Caregivers Association (thefamilycaregiver.org) and Caring.com (caring.com) are examples. A number of organizations are planning to create or expand the online support they provide in the coming months. As with everything, you always want to make sure that you are dealing with reputable organizations. You also want to avoid giving out information that identifies you personally. I am interested in readers’ experiences with caregiving chat rooms and forums. I’d like to invite readers to share their experiences using the comment section.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. October 7, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Posted by Larry Don Garcia

    I have cared for my wife as a 24/7 caregiver for over 13 years now. I have reached that point beyond burnout and each day is a repeat of the previous day. recently my hip has limited my mobility and I need hip replacement surgery. The problem is that there are no family members willing to watch her for a day or two while I get surgery. She suffers from anxiety when I am not with her. I am able to go the the grocer but must limit my asawy time to 30 minutes or less. Any thoughts?

    Reply

  2. September 9, 2018 at 10:28 am | Posted by Derek Stevenson

    How do I keep my mental status from going bonkers while taking care of and watching my mom die Not to mention I'm a recovering addict and I feel like I'm going to relapse at anytime now

    Reply

    • January 2, 2019 at 12:52 am | Posted by Zach

      I hope someone gives you some great tips. I'll be following here. I'm in the same situation with my fiancee, who's only 37 and was healthy less than a year ago and is now facing 4 years to live (if she's very lucky) per her doctors at Mayo and how they've staged her very rare disease. I've been sober for 3 years 3 months, but not a day goes by that I don't think wistfully of the mood-lifting effects alcohol had, how it dulled my physical pain. (Of course then I remind myself that when I wake up at the end of a drunk, I'll have two problems, not one. Or eight problems..)I feel for you. I hope someone else comes along with more practical suggestions. For me, taking time to write out reasons to stay sober every single night I can't sleep or am awakened by my fiancee with a care issue works; I keep them in a box that reads "Today I Choose Happiness" which I bought at the hospital one of the times she was in ICU. When I'm feeling down or tempted, I take one out and read it.I also recommend SoberTool if you have the ability to get apps. No bells or whistles, but it's full of advice and tools. Downside: huge AA bias. I'm not an AA success, I did it alone and cold turkey (not because that's better but because I'm a lone wolf type). I do find going to online AA/NA meetings opens me to new people and exercises my self-care side. I also have used drugs recreationally for years of my life and became, at different times, dependent, so I feel at home in the NA groups too.I feel most comfortable with online meetings because I have no car and live in a cold place on a very limited income. Some people can cab it to a meeting, but for now that's out of my budget. My fiancee is out of state at Mayos right now, so I'm taking special advantage of the free time to work on recovery.I wish you luck.

      Reply

  3. September 8, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Posted by Derek Stevenson

    I'm caring for my 73 mom who has stage 4 COPD and is near the end and all day and night she screams out help me but won't yell us what's wrong And on top of that I'm a recovering addict who is afraid of relapse because of the never ending amount of narcotics I'm just a wreck and I don't want my 3 yr to see me fall apart I wish God would take her before I go crazy because I hear her screwing when I sleep and when I'm at work I'm in a hell

    Reply

  4. August 6, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Posted by Bill

    Need some direction with caring for my 90 year old mom. She has stage 4 cancer and is constantly in the bathroom flushing and changing. No one knows if demsia or the cancer.

    Reply

  5. July 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Posted by Ellen Noland

    My father was killed in Vietnam in 1965 when I was 7. I took care of my bipolar mother until I was 16 and she remarried. I dont use bipolar lightly, she was totally out control when she was manic...she broke the windows out of my high school over a biology grade. Now she is 87, my stepfather died 2 years ago. Im taking care of her with my sister. I live Mo\ my sister lives nearby and is extremely helpful...but im finding myself extremely frustrated that ive been consumed by her feelings for sooo many years. She is no longer bipolar, just depressed beyond belief. I really am frustrated that she mentions dying every 2 minutes. That sounds harsh but I also have my husband, (disabled Vietnam vet with PTSD). I want to run far away, live far away in a tiny house and turn the music up; I know i need to tough it out, but Im so frazzled. thanks for listening.o

    Reply

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