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Stroke Smart Magazine

November/December 2007
CAREGIVER'S CORNER

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CarePages: Emotional Rx


by Jonathan Bitz


The emotional stress that results from a loved one's hospital stay or serious health problem can be overwhelming. For a stroke caregiver, support from friends and family is invaluable. And yet, with so many high priorities involved in the actual caregiving of a loved one, sometimes it's the friends and family who get put aside day after day.


Eric and Sharon Langshur certainly felt this stress when their son was born without a left ventricle in his heart. Struggling to keep family members, friends and colleagues up to date on their son's condition, the Langshurs turned to the power of the Web for help. They built a “CarePage” on the Internet, which they used to relay information about their son's condition and upcoming surgeries.


Seeing the impact of their CarePage led the Langshurs to turn their idea into a tool for others with similar needs. They created CarePages.com, a service that allows friends and family members to leave messages of encouragement and support for their loved one. In turn, they can also read about the latest news on the patient. In addition, CarePages.com also provides educational resources from experts on a variety of topics so that the family can learn more about the patient's condition.


For those affected by stroke, the emotional support provided through CarePages has really made a difference. “It's squarely in the strike zone for what patients and families say is important,” Eric Langshur said.


This year, National Stroke Association partnered with CarePages.com to help caregivers and stroke survivors get the support and education they need for their lifelong recovery journey. “The resource that CarePages.com provides while in the hospital, rehab setting or back home, is tremendously valuable — both for the caregiver and for the patient,” said Colette Lafosse, Director of Rehabilitation and Recovery Programs.


In moments of crisis, when a loved one has been hospitalized for a stroke, the last thing you want to do is complicate your situation. This is yet another reason why National Stroke Association has partnered with CarePages.com; the service is easy to use. Tips are offered on what to say and how to say it impactfully.


Navigating the site is also fairly simple. If you're a technically challenged caregiver, however, you may want to enlist the help of a computer savvy friend or family member to set up the site and show you how to use it.


Seeking to solve one of the oldest riddles in the healthcare industry, CarePages.com has managed to offer patients and families a place to seek advice, support and communicate with others. To see how CarePages can help you, go to www.stroke.org and click on the “Recovery” button.


 


  

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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