As a caregiver you're often overwhelmed and barely able to keep up. Most caregivers are using social media to help with caregiving. If you're not, here are a few ways you can use some of the most popular social media networks to help make caregiving easier.
There are scads of social communities for those who are looking for support or to learn more about Alzheimer's and caregiving. The resources here focus on Alzheimer's but you can find online groups for just about every caregiving situation you can imagine.
Facebook is the best social media network for connecting with people you already know or finding resources from organizations. Facebook is a (very large) private network. Every Alzheimer’s organization you can think of is on Facebook, and if you are like me, you’ve found personal friends who are on Facebook and talking about caregiving related topics.
Facebook is often used for venting, but I would encourage you to be very careful doing so.
- You may end up alienating people who may be predisposed to help you!
- If you are providing caregiving support, there are probably a lot of people who know the person you are helping. Seeing the intimate details may put you in an awkward situation in the future.
- Facebook can be used as a source of entertainment that distracts you from your responsibilities. If you are only talking about caregiving, it won’t work as a distraction tool.
But Facebook can still be a very useful tool when caregiving. Since Facebook is so ubiquitous, you can use it for research.
- ALZNC: Alzheimer's NC provides ALZ-related support across NC.
- AlzLive: The online community for AlzLive, an organization dedicated to the caregivers of those with Alzheimer's.
But finding friends who are interested in Alzheimer's is also helpful. Use this search to find which of your friends like Alzheimer's-related organizations.
You an also use the search features to look for people talking about Alzheimer's.
For me, Twitter was useful because I could easily parse through millions of people to find the people who, like me, were talking about Alzheimer's. People often say Facebook is for the people you know, Twitter is for the people you want to know. Though I found several individuals I converse with on a regular basis, you'll want to find your own people --- who are like you. Here are a few of the Alzheimer's-related organizations I enjoy following:
This is also an embedded search of all the people who are currently talking about Alzheimer's take a gander.
Pinterest is great for the visual thinkers since everything is bookmarked by images. I don't use my Pinterest account for anything related to Alzheimer's but there are a LOT of people who do. So much so that Pinterest has a category devoted to Alzheimer's.
- Pinterest has a category devoted to Alzheimer’s
- There are also many users who have created boards dedicated to resources for Alzheimer’s:
- And this board has games and club ideas for Alzheimer’s patients
If you’re a big pinner, do a search for your situation and see if you can find relevant resources.
We’ve talked about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. There are millions of active users on social media networks. Those networks work great for those who want to blend together caregiving and non-caregiving topics.
If you don’t want to do that you may want to consider looking for networks that are not as ubiquitous, more private or more niche oriented. Many times you can find Alzheimer’s-related topics on networks that are appealing to you for other reasons.
I've also put together a resource guide to help caregivers. Check it out and let me know if you would like to see anything added.