No two people will ever have the exact same experience. However, whatever you are struggling with, there is someone who has had a similar experience. Hearing from them can provide resources so that you do not have to re-invent the wheel every time you are faced with a challenge.
For me, the on-line community (a nebulous, ever-expanding universe) has lifted me at a time when I felt very much alone. My mother is in a nursing home in Massachusetts. My sister, who lives nearby, oversees her care. I am in Alaska and can provide only affirmation of decisions and an ear to listen.
Most of the people involved in Mom’s care I’ve never met. Likewise with most of my on-line support system. We all need help, support, kindness in our lives and it can come in many different forms. Be open to the ones that come your way.
Twitter has been a remarkable connector during this time. It’s amazing what comfort a person can relay in 140 characters or less. If you don’t use Twitter, give it a whirl by signing up at twitter.com.
Caregiving.com is a site that I became aware of through Twitter. Denise has been a great cheerleader during this struggle. One of the great gifts she gave me was affirmation that humor is an important tool.
The Center for Disease Control is a host of information on aging and keeping healthy. A great list of links to resources is available on their site.
This very blog has provided me with comfort and helped me to clarify my thoughts and understand my experiences. If you’re not a geek, don’t shy away from blogging. WordPress makes it easy. Go on, give it a try.
When you need kindness, support, a gentle word, when you need to feel not so alone, there is a far-reaching community right at your fingertips.