State sets up site for caregivers
- By Brian Robinson
- Dec 20, 2001
Washington state has established a Web site to provide help for long-term
home caregivers, a population that has been under-represented in government
services but has been growing rapidly in recent years.
The site (www.aasa.dshs.wa.gov), which
the state's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) intends to expand
over time, provides information on a wide range of frequently asked questions
and provides links to other aid resources, online brochures and Aging and
Adult Services Administration (AASA) publications.
"As much as 80 percent of long-term care in this country is provided
by family and neighbors, and it's a lonely and hard task," said Christine
Parke, communication manager for the administration, which is part of DSHS.
"We very much need to give more support to these people as well as to others,
such as the spouses or children of aging parents, parents of children with
disabilities, and anyone else faced with this situation."
The need for such online facilities for caregivers "has been increasing
dramatically," she said. In addition to traditional caregivers, the numbers
in nontraditional areas also have been increasing. A support group has been
formed specifically for grandparents who are looking after grandchildren
after parents die or go to jail, for example.
The new Web site also enables users to find adult family homes and boarding
homes by county and provides links to sites that offer help for choosing
nursing facilities. It also has an interactive forum for users to discuss
long-term care questions.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at [email protected]
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.