Giving Caregivers the Support they Need
By Karen Brown
Jamie Spooner ’87 remembers the day she became a long-distance caregiver. Her mother called her from across the country to say her father had not been out of bed in a week. Spooner helped usher her father from hospitalization to assisted living to what would become a graceful death at home.
Right from the beginning, Spooner, a Website developer from San Francisco, turned to the Internet for help on everything from legal matters to health insurance to resources for emotional support. “I was finding pretty generic information, she said “and a lot of Websites that were difficult to use. When you’re a family caregiver, you’re in a very stressful mode. You want information fast.”
In the aftermath of her own family crisis, Spooner decided to launch an online business that would assist the approximately 43 million family caregivers across the country. In 2009, she launched icarevillage.com, a comprehensive resource for elder care geared toward spouses and middle-aged children. The
The website provides practical information on common concerns such as Alzheimer’s disease, Medicare, and care facilities. It also offers a pay-as-you-go consultation service with health experts—or virtual doctor’s office—and a series of video interviews with remarkable seniors, which she calls “Wisdom of Elders Across America.”[audio:http://alumnae.smith.edu/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Jamie-Spooner-Audio.mp3|titles=Jamie Spooner ’87 on Caregiving]
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