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Mothering › Health Articles › Taking Care of the Caregivers

Taking Care of the Caregivers

According to a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 44.4 million caregivers in the U.S. (21 percent of the adult population) provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend. These devoted families, friends and neighbors volunteer more than rides, meals, housekeeping and childcare. They often sacrifice their own health needs, and can become prone to stress-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. Caregivers can also struggle emotionally as they care for their loved ones, while balancing the financial implications of missed time at work and the physical implications of being overscheduled.

To help manage these challenges a new online service called Lotsa Helping Hands provides a free volunteer caregiving coordination tool that allows family friends, neighbors, and colleagues to more easily assist with the daily meals, rides, shopping, housecleaning, and errands that accompany times of medical crisis, caregiver exhaustion, elder care, or the transitional demands of life with a new baby. It's also a place to keep these 'circles of community' informed with status updates, photo galleries, message boards, and more.

Whether used to coordinate assistance for someone with a sudden or chronic illness, or to prevent a new family from receiving four lasagna's on the same night, this unique concept harnesses the power of online social communities to organize—more efficiently accomplishing what previously seemed so daunting, and rekindling the strength of participating in community action.

Lotsa Helping Hands is a simple, immediate way for friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to help loved ones in need. To date, this easy-to-use private group calendar has helped organize more than 5,000 Lotsa Helping Hands 'circles of community' around the world.

For additional information, please visit www.lotsahelpinghands.com.

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Mothering › Health Articles › Taking Care of the Caregivers