“It is such a blessing that I can access L2C whenever I need to…either for info or for the discussion group…it is there waiting for me…Thank you.
“This service is a life saver!!! I’d be so alone without it. It helps me to feel less isolated and to find information I need to be a better caregiver.”
Link2Care is an innovative Internet-based information and support system sponsored by California’s Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs) and created by Family Caregiver Alliance. It’s been in operation since 1999.
Recently we asked participants what they thought of the system, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, confirming our belief that caregivers today deserve and want access to reliable, supportive and timely information online.
Caregivers for people with cognitive impairment face many challenges related to changing family roles, confounding care and behavior issues, and competing demands on work and personal time. It’s no wonder that caregivers often feel isolated by their situation and unsure what steps to take to get help. Our goal with Link2Care is to help address these concerns and more. Results were very positive:
One-quarter of the currently enrolled caregivers offered their feedback on the program by responding to an anonymous online caregiver satisfaction survey.
A majority (85%) indicated they would recommend Link2Care to other caregivers.
Two-thirds of the respondents found Link2Care aided them in becoming more knowledgeable about caregiving issues.
More than 60% said Link2Care helped them cope with caregiving issues
- An equal number reported the service directly helped reduce their feelings of isolation.
80% Found Service Helpful
Using a personal password to enter the website, caregivers have 24/7 access to a number of specially designed features. The top features valued by Link2Care users are:
the updated news and caregiver links, information articles and fact sheets;
the on-line discussion group;
“Ask An Expert” legal, health and caregiver advice, and
- local educational event listings.
One-quarter of the respondents said they used and liked the confidential e-journal feature. Eighty percent found it helpful to have caregiver support available over the Internet. More than one-third of the caregivers said they felt more comfortable using Link2Care knowing everyone involved is associated with a Caregiver Resource Center and either lives in or is caring for someone in California.
A snapshot of the people who use Link2Care shows a group who is mostly female (75%), age 20 to 89 (85% are age 40-79), and live with the person they care for (75%). The greatest number of enrollees are adult daughters (39%), although spouses (wives 25% and husbands 15%), sons (8%), and other caregivers (relatives, partners and friends) also actively participate in the program.
To date, more than 700 caregivers have been enrolled in Link2Care.
Leah Eskenazi, FCA’s Link2Care Project Manager, said, “At one point during the initial rollout of Link2Care, staff thought caregivers might not use an Internet-based program, that it was ahead of its time. But the results of this survey are gratifying. Caregiver satisfaction with the Link2Care website and discussion group continues to grow and enrollment steadily climbs.”
All that’s needed to use Link2Care is a computer with an Internet connection. To find out more about this program contact Family Caregiver Alliance, (800) 445-8106 or your local Caregiver Resource Center. You can also visit the program online at www.link2care.net.
E-mail to a Friend