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A Caregiving Community Created by Family Caregivers (Who Get Paid)

Family caregivers receive reimbursement for creating content (blogs, podcasts, videos, conferences) that supports, educates and encourages.

Photo of Denise Brown
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

My idea helps family caregivers of persons with dementia by providing them outlets to express their experiences while reimbursing them for the content they create. A family caregivers best resource is another family caregiver. On CareGiving.com, we put the focus on the voice of family caregivers. Family caregivers are our bloggers, podcasters and National Caregiving Conference presenters. When family caregivers become content creators, they heal themselves while helping another.

"I have a penchant for research, a scientific curiosity about everything… not this. I was NEVER curious about this kind of thing. Oh, I’ve researched it, this disease. I have binders of information, websites bookmarked and yet NOTHING prepares a person for this stuff. It just doesn’t." ~ CatKBorn in her blog post, Stickiness, published on CareGiving.com on October 27, 2017.

Family caregivers heal from sharing their experiences to a community that understands. In addition, they learn from each other because they're the ones living it and doing it.

Caregiving takes more than an emotional toll. According to a Caring.com survey of more than 2,700 family caregivers between late August and mid-September:

• 18% of those surveyed said they spend between $5,000 and $9,999 per year

• 10% spend $10,000 to $19,999 a year and 6% spend $50,000 or more Caring.com found.

Why not reimburse family caregivers for the content they create?

On CareGiving.com, family caregivers write blog posts. In addition, one of our members, Sharon Hall, hosts a monthly podcast, Talking FTD with Geri, for family caregivers of persons with FTD. Sharon cares for her husband, diagnosed with FTD in the fall of 2015, and her mother. Sharon also hosts our weekly FTD chat on CareGiving.com.

In addition, we added a dementia care tract to our Second Annual National Caregiving Conference. Many of the presenters and panelists participating in the dementia care tract currently care for a family member with dementia. You can view our dementia care track here.

Family caregivers create a community of support when they write blog posts, host podcasts and video chats, and present at a conference. Even better: They can continue to manage their caregiving responsibilities and their lives when they receive reimbursement for the content they create.

We have the infrastructure to build on our existing blog posts, podcasts, video chats, chats and conferences to enhance our community that conveniently connects a family caregiver with the best resource available -- another family caregiver.

With your support, we can build upon what already exists and begin to pay family caregivers for the invaluable content they create.




What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Family caregivers began blogging on CareGiving.com in 2009. Family caregivers have been sharing their stories through podcasts and video chats (as guests, host or co-host) since 2008. In addition, family caregivers began sharing their expertise through our virtual and annual conferences in 2015. Family caregivers have been connecting in our daily chats since 2011. We know it works.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We would love help raising money in order to pay family caregivers for the content they create. Because we are a non-profit, we can receive tax-deductible donations. We would love help submitting grants, finding funding partners and helping with our fundraising events.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

In 1996, Denise M. Brown launched CareGiving.com, the first website to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers. Through its blogs posts, podcasts and video chats, CareGiving.com holds one of the largest online libraries of caregiving storie

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Spam
Photo of Jean Hall
Team

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 95 but had my first symptoms in 87. I tried Betaseron for about 6 years or so. In 2012 I went to a care facility, life was too difficult at home for my husband and family. I have tried several types of medications. I thought you just have to let it run its course; both my legs were spasming mostly at night which makes sleeping difficult.My multiple sclerosis got significantly worse and unbearable because of my cognitive thinking.. I lost touch with reality. Last year I started on the Multiple Sclerosis natural herbal formula we ordered from GREEN HOUSE HERBAL CLINIC, We spoke to few people who used the treatment here in Canada and they all gave a positive response, my symptoms totally declined over a 7 weeks use of the Green House multiple Sclerosis disease natural herbal formula. I am now almost 73 and doing very well, the disease is totally reversed! (Visit their website www . Greenhouseherbalclinic . com) I am thankful to nature, herbs are truly gift from God. I will keep sharing more awareness, Share with friends!!

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Denise,

Could caregivers be reimbursed through respite care?

Spam
Photo of Denise Brown
Team

A respite program provides a break for a family caregiver. It's a totally unrelated program than what I am talking about. If I've misunderstood your question, please let me know.

Spam
Photo of Sharon
Team

It would be wonderful to get paid for content. I share it freely, but it does take time to do blogs, podcasts and conferences. There are also expenses to get to a conference, which is added burden to caring for 2 people with dementia.

Spam
Photo of Tonia Porras
Team

You could charge a membership fee...

Spam
Photo of Denise Brown
Team

Hi Tonia! Thanks so much for commenting. I tried charging a membership fee for about 6 months in 2013 and it wasn’t a successful endeavor. I’ve found the community must be free in order for it to thrive.

Spam
Photo of Cathy Jones Parks
Team

I am caregiver for my elderly mother. Before finding the caregiving.com site through Denise M. Brown, I was lost, frustrated, scared, overwhelmed and feeling alone. The continual supports and resources through caregiving.com have been invaluable in helping to empower me to help my mom and to understand, and appreciate, and share this important journey. Caring for our elderly is a growing concern for our society and there are limited resources available. Caregiving is tough emotionally and financially and is all encompassing. Providing opportunities for the experts in the caregiving world to share their feelings, ideas, resources and lives is invaluable. Receiving compensation for our expertise would not only validate the importance of the caregiving we are providing but provide much needed financial resources. Denise Brown has been a quiet and powerful force in the caregiving world and provides such important work and care for caregivers individually and collectively. It is important and needed work. Thank you for the opportunity to share our journey and the importance of the live and work of the caregiver and specifically for the mission that Denise Brown provides for those in the caregiving world.

Spam
Photo of Alilac
Team

I have been my husband's sole caregiver for 13 years now. His multiple sclerosis is taking a toll on him. He is in the first stages of dementia and it's getting harder every day to cope. I found Denise Brown's Caregiver site and I have found support. Each of those who come to this site take away love, caring and learning. The blogs are insightful and offer strength where needed. It would be awesome to offer return support to those who make the extra effort to teach others. I pray that each person who is on the path of caregiving be able to hold their heads high and know that without them much pain and loss would happen. I thank Denise and her tireless efforts to build our support community!

Spam
Photo of Louise
Team

"Healing themselves while helping another". Many members at CareGiving.com do this as they blog, do podcasts & videos about their caregiving journey. Its a caring community where family caregivers connect & support each other. Many caregivers incur additional expenses and have had to quit our jobs to care for our loved one. Additional funds, to be able to pay bloggers at caregiving.com would help these devoted family caregivers offset those added costs we all incur.

Spam
Photo of Lisa Cozart
Team

As a family caregiver who has joined http://CareGiving.com community I have finally found people to support and understand the unique situations that caregivers face on a daily basis. But not only are they there for support they offer ideas and suggestions that work to solve the endless problems that surround the family caregiver. Being a family caregiver can be lonely with the support of this group the family caregiver does not feel as alone because they know other people are facing the same situations.

The additional money could help because most family caregivers do this as a labor of love for a family member or close friend. This could be used to assist in providing so many things that the family caregiver of the dementia patient are currently either going without or taking money allotted to other things in order to care for this person effectively. The person who cares for the dementia patient needs the support and resources that are available through the blog post and videos available on this site. So what better choice can you make then to help this most deserving work go on with the dementia patients. Take time to acknowledge the unsung people that are in our communities that often no one notices.

Spam
Photo of Beth Suereth
Team

The family caregivers who have joined the CareGiving.com community are extremely generous with their compassion, time, and energy. This tells me that these busy and stressed people are getting a great deal out of this sharing and caring environment. Most CareGiving.com contributors, all of whom do the work anyway as a labor of love, could really benefit from the additional money. It would help them regain some of the money they spend on the many expenses of caregiving. And it will help them validate their experience...a feeling that is often squashed by others who don't understand family caregiving.

There's no one more deserving of financial support from the Dementia Care Challenge than the unsung heroes currently contributing to Caregiving.com about their experiences caring for a loved one with dementia!

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Denise,

It is good to have you in the challenge.

How does https://www.caregiving.com/ differentiate from other sites on the Internet for caregivers?

What monetisation strategies have you considered/used e.g. pay per click?

There are a few ideas in the challenge you might want to check out MemoryWell and @Creating an Online Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care Community (MBDC):
No Boundaries, No Barriers
 

Spam
Photo of Denise Brown
Team

Hi,

CareGiving.com was the first website to feature the blogs of family caregivers (in 2009) and one of the first to add online support groups (in 1996). Much of our content is written by family caregivers (and former family caregivers) who write about their days. In addition, our podcasts and video chats feature the voice of family caregivers, either as hosts or guests.

CareGiving.com is a community of family caregivers and former family caregivers who connect to share and support each other. We're the experts because we're the ones living it and doing it.

To that end, we're the first to take an online community to the next level by hosting a national caregiving conference. Family caregivers will arrive in Chicago in November from around the country to gather and share ideas, resources and solutions. Again, because we're the experts, we're also the presenters and panelists at the conference.

In addition, we have three daily chats moderated for family caregivers who volunteer to be available in our chat rooms daily (7 days) at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET. We keep our chat room open for 36 hours over Christmas with volunteers manning the chat room from noon on Christmas Eve until midnight on Christmas day. We keep the chat room staffed so that any family caregiver or former family caregiver can receive the gift of good company over the holidays.

I also do what I can to position today's family caregivers to be okay after caregiving ends. Creating opportunities (like blogging, volunteering, presenting) helps position them for success after caregiving ends. Paying them would help ensure their future financial well-being.

Pay per click was a helpful strategy 20 years ago but is not a significant revenue stream. I do what I can to apply for and receive grants. I currently operate the site with the help of volunteers and manage the content, technology and social media.

I so appreciate this opportunity to share about what we do on CareGiving.com. Please let me know if you have any other questions.