Caregivers are individuals or groups of individuals who provide direct care to children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses who require assistance in their everyday lives.
We at NNLM PSR are committed to promoting equitable, accessible health information. The following resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and other government agencies provide vetted, reliable sources of online health information for caregivers.
Caregiving has been explored in different ways by NNLM Regional Medical Libraries. Our colleagues at NNLM Middle Atlantic Region developed a guide to key consumer health resources for caregivers, and NNLM New England Region recently hosted a presentation by Fred Muench of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Center on Addiction, who provided an overview of the useful and free tools for families affected by substance use disorder.
NLM also actively develops resources for caregivers. NLM 4 Caregivers was a project initiated by the NLM, designed to increase awareness of NLM resources among caregivers who seek health information online. Though the pilot project has ended, the resources are still available. NLM’s Disaster Information Management Resource Center’s Coping with Disasters: Health Information Guide includes a broad range of helpful resources for individuals, families, and caregivers before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.
Caregiving is hard, and caregivers often feel stress. MedlinePlus has a comprehensive list of caregiver consumer health materials covering how to administer care, but it also covers the important topics of burnout, stress reduction, and self-care for caregivers.
Other governmental resources include the Substance Use and Mental Health Administration’s Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders and the CDC’s resources for caregivers of older adults and adults with disabilities and for parents.
Finally, look out for Kelli Ham’s article, “Wayfinding along the Caregiving Journey: Resources for Informal Caregivers,” forthcoming from the Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet. The resources chosen for this article include general comprehensive sites; guides and handbooks for special audiences or circumstances; benefits and services locators; and resources for end-of-life caregiving.