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People who have aging relatives need resources to help them address problems that arise as they take on the role of caregiver. A source of support and information is important, says Michael Doran, CSW, coordinator of caregiver services for Health Outreach at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Doran gets calls from families looking for advice on legal issues, home safety, how to put advance directives in place, and other issues.
Following is a list of on-line resources to help hospice staff assemble a source of support and information for the families that utilize their services.
• Administration on Aging: www.aoa.gov
The Administration on Aging is a division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which has its headquarters at 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20201. The Administration on Aging web site has sections for Alzheimer’s Resources and Caregiver’s Resources. Information for caregivers includes how to find help, how to cope with the role of caregiver, and how to find support groups. The site also has a resource directory of names, addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers of organizations that provide information and resources on the needs of older adults.
• Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org
The Alzheimer’s Association National Office maintains a web site that provides information on Alzheimer’s, including risk factors and warning signs, as well as connections to local chapters, resources, and services. Contact by mail: Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl 17, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (800) 272-3900.
• Best Caregiver Information: www.bestcaregiverinfo.com
This web site contains articles, connections to organizations and associations that provide help, and information on standards of excellence. Articles include tips on identifying depression in older adults, home modification and repair for safety, and how to find transportation services. Telephone: (561) 212-5297.
• Consumers’ Guide to Quality Care: www.nursinghomehelp.org
This guide, which was created by the School of Nursing at the University of Missouri in Columbia, offers advice for families searching for quality nursing home care and includes suggestions about what to look for inside nursing facilities and how to identify quality nursing staff. The site also provides links to other resources on the Internet.