A Merge! AfterGiving.com Now Part of Caregiving.com

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A Merge! AfterGiving.com Now Part of Caregiving.com

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rocks-175585_640In 1997, I had an insight about the caregiving experience--that's it a before, during and after experience. (That insight became The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey.) So, for the past almost 20 years, I've tried to provide support for you regardless of whether a caregiving experience is coming, has arrived or has ended.

I've been worrying for a few months about whether AfterGiving.com is really what you need after caregiving ends because of your caree's death. You need support, encouragement, space to grieve, time to find your footing. Is another website, AfterGiving.com, the best way to offer that?

And, then the obvious hit me on Friday afternoon: Why not just simply combine AfterGiving with CareGiving?

When I launched AfterGiving.com four years ago, I thought it would be helpful for former family caregivers to have a break from caregiving--to have space away from reminders of caregiving in order to heal. It did work for a few years but that was before we had our chats on Caregiving.com. Our daily chats really create such strong bonds between members, bonds you want to maintain after caregiving ends.

In addition, caregiving is becoming a much more fluid experience. A caree's death often doesn't end the caregiving experience. You could be caring for another family member (your mom dies, for instance, and you're
still caring for your dad) and caregiving could be in your near future. The ongoing support wherever you are can be really helpful. You don't have to recreate support when you have constant, consistent support.

Most important, former family caregivers can share their ideas, insights and tips to current family caregivers. The wisdom of former family caregivers is such a rare encyclopedia of knowledge. Keeping all that wisdom right here helps everyone.

We also can open up our CareGifters fund to help those who need help after caregiving ends. John (@parkscoleman) suggested we have a flower fund to send flowers to our members after their caree dies. (Our CareGifters fund is dry right now; you can help fill it up by purchasing A Caregiving Day, our book of poems.)

I talked out the idea for our merger during last night's chat with @lillie @marfromwi @parkscoleman @labelleperle and @hansolosslavegirl and via email this morning with @thedogmama. We all came up with lots of reasons this will work and couldn't think of a reason it won't.

I've added a weekly chat for former family caregivers in our Caregiving.com chat schedule (Mondays at 8 p.m. ET) as well as a chatroom just for former family caregivers. You'll also find a new section in our Forums for former family caregivers. Former family caregivers are always welcome in our daily chats as well.

If you blog on Caregiving.com, know you can continue to blog after your caree dies. If you blogged on AfterGiving.com, I can add your blog posts to Caregiving.com. (If you prefer I don't, just let me know.) I'll start merging the content this week with the goal of adding all the content this month.

In essence, use Caregiving.com for as long as you need in the way that you need.

Please let me know if you have any questions in our comments section, below.

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JoAnn

Aftergiving is what I need. I am taking one day at a time now. I feel so lost. I have my online College and I have other support groups, but I feel Lost. What do I do now? :(

Larry

I think this is a good idea! My caring for a caree started with my grandmother who died in 2002 but still continues today with my mother and friend as well as my clients. So I can very well see where the two do so much intertwine.

MovieGoer

I am so grateful to you for all you do to help so many others.\r\n\r\nI will learn SO much from those who are in the process at varying places, including afterwards.

yolanda

This is a great idea! Thank you Denise for all the thought and care you put in to making caregiving.com what it is.

Jean

Denise,\r\nI really, really like this idea. I had wondered about the possibility of this before, especially after reading a members post after her caree had died and how she wanted to share with the group who know her best. I too don't anticipate any downside. \r\n\r\nYou are right. Caregiving is fluid. I think the experiences and grief of those of us who have faced dealing with the death of our caree's can also be helpful to current caregivers. What isn't shared, is lost. I at times feel very passionate at passing along what I learned from my experiences.\r\n\r\nKuddos to you!

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