Eagan, Minn. (Oct. 4, 2012) —
Families in crisis often hesitate to ask for help. And friends may be unsure of when and how to offer assistance. Now, CaringBridge, the social network helping families and loved ones stay connected through health events, wants to take care a step further and provide tips and tools to those needing support or coping with illness.
Whether you’re feeling tired from everything life throws at you or at the height of undergoing medical care, everyone’s had days where they can’t help but wonder, where is everyone?
They may be nearby – but unsure of how to help.
“There are people who care and want to support their friends and family, but may not know that help is needed,” says Sona Mehring, CEO and Founder of CaringBridge. “I’ve learned, through my time raising three sons, caring for ill family members and building a career, that when you need help, you have to ask.”
Communication is key to staying connected during times of need and there are many ways to rally and offer support during health events that impact day-to-day life.
“All of our services – CaringBridge sites and SupportPlanner– are built to amplify love, hope and compassion and provide a safe space for our users,” says Mehring. “We provide the tools to connect people around the world and allow them to feel comfortable asking for and offering assistance during any health event, big or small, acute or long-term.”
CaringBridge offers the following tips and resources for those who need or want help and are unsure of how to bridge the gap to action:
Listen – You may not need help right now, but those who have gone through a health event understand that those moments are often the most trying for individuals and families and lending an ear can be just as helpful as lending a hand. Conversation is a powerful tool and can do wonders to ease the burden from juggling daily responsibilities. Showing you care and supporting someone is surprisingly easy: Invite a family member or friend over for candid conversation and a warm cup of Golden tea. You can swap stories, tips for easing stress and helpful resources.
The way to the heart is through the stomach – There’s some truth to the age-old phrase, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Food is often overlooked as a way to help someone who’s exhausted from juggling the demands of work, home life and going through a health event – or providing care for someone else. Don’t underestimate the power of dropping off a pan of lasagna, picking up an extra coffee in the morning or bringing in a favorite snack.
Share your story with family and friends – Create a CaringBridge Site to share your story and connect with loved ones around the world. Your site is a safe place for you to share your day-to-day thoughts and experiences. People are able to leave supportive messages and well-wishes, as well as stay informed on your progress, whether you’re recovering from surgery, living with a chronic illness, caring for an elderly parent and everything in-between. To learn more about starting your own personalized free website, visit CaringBridge.
Show you care – Don’t fall to excuses of being “too busy” or under-qualified to pitch in. One act of caring, large or small can brighten the day of someone who needs support. Step out of your comfort zone and do more than just offering to help: walk a pet, car pool to children’s sports activities, pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, and the list goes on.
Use tools designed to rally support around you – The CaringBridge SupportPlanner came to life through requests from users for something to help them centralize support during a health event. It acts as an online calendar and helps family and friends coordinate care and organize tasks, such as bringing a meal, providing a ride to the doctor, caring for pets or mowing the lawn. Only people a user invites to view the planner can access the calendar and sign up for a task, keeping the online conversations private. To learn about how you can start your own SupportPlanner, visit CaringBridge.
More than 500,000 people connect through CaringBridge every day and users have created more than 388,000 CaringBridge sites and SupportPlanners since the service started in 1997. The CaringBridge services are available to anyone, anywhere at no cost and offer protected online spaces with multiple privacy settings.
CaringBridge is a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. Its mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. For more information, visit www.CaringBridge.org.