When browsing the web for information relating to care, disabilities and illnesses, finding the result you want is much like ‘hunting the thimble’. With the sheer volume of information to hand, and all of the different types of resources available, it can be very difficult, and rather daunting for those of us who are not completely sure how we should go about getting the information we need. There is, however, a way to find care-related information on the internet that provides much more rewarding and useful results for your efforts.
Meet online forums, or e-forums. These interactive sites are a great way of acquiring information and knowledge relating to care. The ability to ask questions to the online community of care professionals, providers, and seekers, and get real answers, is a great way of getting information that is both useful and relevant to you. Often, when browsing an e-forum, you will find that the information you need is already provided by others asking questions and giving answers. If not, it is usually nice and simple to post a question yourself.
There are some really great forums you can check out. Here’s 6 we recommend…
1. Carers UK – Making life better for carers
This is a really great forum for both professional and private domestic carers. By browsing some of the questions and answers on this forum, you will discover a very supportive community where carers can freely express themselves among people who understand the ups and downs of caring. The Carers UK Forum is open to all carers, whatever their circumstances, over the age of 18. To contribute, you simply sign up online to be a member of Carers UK.
2. Patient.info Discussion Forums – Comprehensive forum of health conditions
The patient.info discussion forums site has to be the most extensive and active healthcare forum on the web. There is an individual forum for pretty much every health condition there is, with hundreds of members and literally thousands of discussions on each individual forum. If you need to know anything about a condition or care-related subject, this is a must!
3. Youreable Forums – Online community of and for disabled people
The Youreable site is a collection of online forums run by the well-respected charity, DLF (Disabled Living Foundation). The site is split up into five main sections: Community and chat; Help and advice; Ask about equipment; Announcements; and Surveys, research requests and TV programmes. Each main section is then split up into individual niche forums. This is great for finding the exact information you want. The Youreable forums have lots of active users that post regularly, and you can be sure of a speedy response to any questions that are posted.
4. Houzz GardenWeb Care Givers – Forum for domestic care givers
Primarily used by citizens in the US, this forum is for those who are the primary care givers for elderly parents or family members with disabilities. Although not as active as some care forums, the GardenWeb Care Givers site has loads of really valuable information and experience from domestic carers. You will most likely find what you’re looking for from existing posts, but if not, posting a question is really simple, and you can add photos and videos too.
5. MS Society Every Day Living Forum – Community of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers
NHS Choices estimates that there are more than 100,000 people with multiple sclerosis in the UK, and that number is growing. The MS Society forum is the go to place if you are, care for or know someone with MS. On entering this e-forum, you will be amazed at how active this community is. Information and responses to questions are posted all the time, making this forum an excellent resource for MS sufferers. A tick box filtering system and a search bar are located at the top of the e-forum web page to simplify navigation.
6. Scope Online Community – Connect with advisers, carers, parents, and disabled people
The Scope Online Community is an excellent place to share ideas and thoughts for anyone either disabled themselves, or know of and care for somebody with a disability. There are three separate forum areas: parents and carers; disabled people; and community advisers. This platform is a great opportunity to talk with people who sympathise and care.