Does Your Dress Have Pockets? Finding Quality Sources of Information

Matt-2
researchThe other day a friend was going to a funeral, she knew she would cry and be surrounded by people crying. In my own experiences as a husband, caregiver, and father I have learned to anticipate crying situations. When I think someone might cry (weddings, funerals, celebrations of life, etc) I try to go prepared. I neatly fold several tissues and put them in my pocket, then I can quickly hand one to anyone nearby who needs to wipe away a few tears.  By individually folding them I am able to hand over one tissue without fumbling with packaging and because it is neatly folded the receiver does not wonder if it has been previously used.  They know I came prepared to address their needs.

As I was advising my friend on all the intricacies of tissues (and apparently how I analyze the crud out of everything), I was sure this little bit of advice would be extremely handy. Her response was simply “my dress doesn’t have pockets.”

Information is one of the most difficult things to deal with when medical care is concerned. Information is easy to find, just google something, anything, and see what you get. The problem is both quantity and quality. There is too much information and much of it isn’t worth reading. Here are five things to look for when seeking quality sources of information.

  1. National advocacy groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Cancer Society. These types of groups spend lots of time collecting information, reading medical literature, and following breaking new stories. Then this often complex information that has been written for healthcare professionals is translated into language most people can understand.

  2. National Government websites, particularly the National Institutes of Health, are a tremendous resource. The NIH has brief descriptions of just about every disease and treatment known. Your tax dollars fund the research through the NIH and they have an obligation to make the knowledge accessible to you.

  3. Local Government Websites, libraries and local governments know the services available in the local community such as support groups, hospice care, home health agencies and counselors in your area. They often publish these resources by category on their websites, it may take a little digging but it is often worth the effort.

  4. Blogs can be a good source of information but you need to be careful because they are typically one persons’ experience and many people have trouble translating the experience beyond their own. How often have you heard “I had cancer too and this is what is going to happen to you” or something similar. Blogs are one persons’ experience and they are similar to talking with someone about their experience. Check to see if they report more than their experience. For instance, my blog (that you are currently reading) is often about my experience but it is also peppered with wisdom from other websites, books, articles, conversations, and 10-plus years of working with family caregivers.

  5. Online forums and support groups have both good and bad qualities. You hear one persons’ experience but you hear several of them in one place. You can also get feedback regarding your situation.


When you start looking for quality sources of information keep these things in mind and if it sounds fishy, look somewhere else. There are too many great sources of information to waste time with mediocre ones. Hopefully you think mine is one of the great ones and will keep coming back. If you have questions about caregiving I would be happy to answer them with my own experiences and do a little research to broaden the scope of information.

I have never worn a dress so knowing a dress doesn’t have pockets is a bit outside my information zone. Are all dresses void of pockets? Or just some? I don’t know but I am willing to do a little research, learn more, and broaden my information zone. I will start with women who wear lots of dresses rather than other guys, the women are probably a better source of information. When seeking information of giving advice, look for the whole story and make sure your dress has pockets.

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