by Kim Keller
If you take a few minutes today to check out CaregiverVillage.com, you’ll find an innovative new website designed specifically for caregivers. It’s a fun, engaging and informative place, and the perfect way to join a support community that is available to you entirely at your own convenience.
There’s a lot to see and do in Caregiver Village, so let me show you around:
One of my favorite spots is the bookstore, known as Foghorn Books. I love to browse the titles and read the comments and recommendations. And if you’re crazy about books like I am, then you’ll probably want to join one of the many book clubs where you can either join a discussion or just hang out and listen.
Some of the clubs are devoted to the actual reading and discussing of books — I noticed discussions about State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and On the Brink of Bliss and Insanity by Lisa Cerasoli, for example — while other clubs “spend time talking about issues, concerns and challenges,” as described by the site team. There are groups dedicated to the caregiving of cancer patients, of veterans, people with autism, people with Alzheimer’s — the topic list is varied and ever-changing. Any member can start a book club with a new topic. Basically, the clubs are a great place to meet other caregivers, and most importantly, everyone is welcome.
As you wander through this virtual village, you might stumble into the Harbor Cafe, another great spot. At the Cafe, you can relax and spend a little time writing a journal entry about your day or just read a few entries from other members. Putting your feelings into words is a great way to clarify your thoughts and emotions, and reading other people’s entries, their own struggles and triumphs, is a terrific source of comfort and encouragement. Stopping at the Cafe is sure to be cathartic for you, and it’s a good place to locate like-minded people who may be going through experiences very similar to your own.
Next stop: The Village Market. It’s filled with all kinds of practical products, from the Sound Wizard, which amplifies and clarifies sound, to weighted utensils, which are perfect for people suffering with Parkinson’s. If you need to do some research, there’s the Lighthouse Library, where you can find publications, tip sheets, online training and help with medication questions. Seaside Senior Care, the Village care center, will provide you with information about support groups and research organizations, as well as options for finding quality care.
And of course, no town is complete without its very own newspaper: Find all the latest news about Caregiver Village in The Storm Gazette.
The expertise and diligence behind Caregiver Village is easy to see — it’s welcoming and accessible, and brings people together in an informative, sharing environment. What elevates the site to the next level is its undeniable spirit of fun. Caregiving, as we all know, can be hard, frustrating and often thankless work, so it’s a wonderful release to immerse yourself in the exclusive Caregiver Village game, filled with a dozen animated characters who use the town’s history, its secrets and intrigue, to pull you into their very recognizable lives.
You first meet the quirky, smart and likable Cara Moore, an investigative reporter in her forties, a single mom who has just moved back to her hometown to care for her dad, Henry. The game centers around Cara’s struggles as a caregiver. As she tries to effectively manage her father, her teenage son, Dane, her work and her personal life, Cara uncovers a mystery that will have you guessing. Though there are also some wonderfully designed puzzles to overcome along the way, it’s easy to get lost in the storyline and the characters.
Caregiver Village is beautifully designed and thoughtfully developed. It will engage you, inform you and help you unwind — the ultimate support group.
And one more entertaining fact — it’s free for the first year! Be sure to take a look.
Kim Keller is the co-founder of In Care of Dad. She lives and works in New York City.