My mother (Shirley) died from Alzheimer's disease. While caring for my mom, I was inspired to create a web site that would benefit other people caring for aging loved ones. Welcome to ShirleyBOARD. If you are caring for an older person, this site is for you. And it’s free.
The name ShirleyBOARD comes from my mom's name, "Shirley", and the concept of a community bulletin "board", where people post and share information. It's a really cool site.
Caregiving is rewarding, yet hard work. If you are a caregiver, congratulations. You are a special person. In addition to providing care, you are responsible for communicating with the "patient", healthcare providers and family members. What may start out as an occasional phone call to share news eventually turns into regular phone calls about managing all aspects of the individual's care. All this while simultaneously coordinating medical appointments, home health care, monitoring and filling prescriptions, managing insurance claims, day-to-day errands, and much, much more. And as if this were not enough, you probably have a full-time job and your own family responsibilities .
ShirleyBOARD can't do it all, but it can help you stay organized,
communicate/share information, and network with other caregivers. You can also create a caregiving journal that you will treasure for years to come. Not a week goes by when I don't refer to my journal and read about the wonderful, and challenging, times I have caring for my wonderful mother. And if you are up for it, ShirleyBOARD’s community feature allows you to Be a Peer, and Find a Peer.
As the population ages, there will be a shortage of professionally trained people to care for the millions of older Americans. At risk is the health and quality of life for millions of Americans. Consider these facts:
- By 2030, 70 million Americans(one out of every five) will be over the age of 65.
- Of 650,000 practicing physicians, fewer than 7,000 are certified geriatricians. This equates to one for every 5,000 Americans over the age of 65.
- Thirty percent of family caregivers caring for seniors are themselves aged 65 or over.
What does this mean? It means that as a nation we must rely on the each other to help care for our older population. You may have the phrase “it takes a village” to raise a child. Well, it’s even more the case with older adults who are often alone and without the daily support of family who may live far away.
The ShirleyBOARD’s "Be a Peer, and Find a Peer" feature allows caregivers to network, share information or volunteer to help each other.
I invite you to join the ShirleyBOARD today – it’s free – and create your own caregiving site. Please also spread the word! ShirleyBOARD’s true power comes from its growing membership.
Thanks and good luck with your caregiving journey.