What is CaringBridge?

Mary Anderson was a pillar in our community.  She had served in our church ministry program and was involved in our parish on a number of ministries.  When Mary was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the outpouring of support was overwhelming for her husband Jim and their daughters.  Fortunately, Jim discovered the nonprofit service of CaringBridge.  CaringBridge’s website was a beautiful way to connect family, friends and the community with Mary’s journey.  For Jim, the ability to share daily information about Mary without making the emotionally draining telephone calls was an added benefit.

The History of CaringBridge

The 1997 birth of a friend’s pre-mature baby named Brighid was the impetus for the beginning of the website called CaringBridge.  Founder Sona Mehring started the site on the first day of the baby’s birth as a way for her parents to write personal journal entries and to share medical updates to a large circle of family and friends.  In addition, the guestbook option enabled visitors to send words of love and encouragement.  Although, Brighid passed away, her legacy continues for over a half of million people who connect through CaringBridge each day.

How does CaringBridge work?

CaringBridge is an online venue to connect, share news, and receive support from your community of connections.  In other words, it is a personalized health social network that has the feel of a personalized website.  The 24/7 network is available to anyone, anywhere, at no cost.

What does CaringBridge offer?

CaringBridge offers two options.  The CaringBridge protected site offers a platform for communicating with friends and family on the health events of your loved one.  In turn, the site offers the option for leaving supportive messages.  Many families have elected to share the supportive messages to their loved one.  The second option is called the SupportPlanner.  The SupportPlanner is a calendar that helps family and friends coordinate, organize, and execute helpful chores and errands.  These tasks may include:   meals, transportation, home cleaning, pet care, and a variety of other caregiver chores.

How to set up a CaringBridge

Setting up a CaringBridge takes less than five minutes..  Just log onto http://www.caringbridge.org  Your personal data is protected and you will not see any advertising.

How do I donate to CaringBridge?

CaringBridge is a beautiful gift for family, friends, and the community.  Many families that have experienced a health crisis or just may want to have their community of friends follow the  journey of a love one’s  illness such as Alzheimer’s have benefitted.  Although the website is free to users, it is totally funded by donations.  It is easy to give a tribute donation to CaringBridge to honor your family member or friend.  There is a “donate now” on http://www.caringbridge.org Caring Bridge.  According to the site, “every day, hundreds of thousands of families connect through CaringBridge from different cities, states and countries throughout the world.”


About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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