Write Your Way to Wellness: The Best (free!) Website & Blog Creators for Caregivers

August 30, 2012
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As a family caregiver, how many times have you felt like you’re just floating in space? It can be a lonely journey – but it definitely doesn’t have to be. The Internet is a powerful venue where you can find support and a growing community of caregiving peers.

As a family caregiver, how many times have you felt like you’re just floating in space? It can be a lonely journey – but it definitely doesn’t have to be. The Internet is a powerful venue where you can find support and a growing community of caregiving peers.

A website or blog can help make caregiving a whole lot easier. Customized to your preferences and needs, it provides a space where you can vent, share experiences, tell stories, ask for advice, and connect with others. To know you’re not alone in your struggles is immensely empowering.

Posting a website or blog can also be a very cathartic process. Using writing to process meaningful emotions is one of the oldest forms of self-therapy. It can help you gain greater perspective on your situation, focus more clearly, and provide relief from tensions that distract you when with your loved one. By sharing ruminations that are eating at you, you’re growing a strong backbone of courage.

Unlike traditional diaries, websites and blogs allow you to reap the benefits of social interaction — to read and react to other caregivers in similar situations. In fact, research shows the act of blogging has widespread positive psychological effects: it’s an effective stress coping mechanism, improves sleep, and boosts immunity. The key, say researchers?: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other’s expressions—the basis for forming a community.”

As family caregivers, we do the best we can but would always appreciate extra support or simply a space to find a break from it all.  If you’re courageous enough to undertake elder care, you deserve recognition. That’s why we’ve put together our top recommendations for free website and blog builders. These tools walk you step-by-step through the process of setting up, customizing, editing, and using your very own caregiver website.

1. WordPress (www.wordpress.com) – Widely considered the top blogging platform, WordPress is a great choice for anyone starting out in the blogging world. The service offers professional-looking templates that are a breeze to set up.  With its thousands of plug-ins, WordPress definitely gives you the most flexibility and capability to make your site what you want it to be. Other great features: robust anti-spam block and excellent search engine optimization (SEO).

2. Blogger (www.blogger.com) –Blogger is second-runner up in the race for best blog platform.  The back end interface feature very intuitive navigation. You can fancy-up your page by incorporating widgets, videos, polls, photos in the sidebar of your blog. Blogger’s “drag and drop” interface makes customizing the look & feel of your blog even easier. Now owned by Google, Blogger blogs automatically show up in Google’s blog search making you more “findable”.

4. Wix (www.wix.com) – At first glance, Wix’s websites seem intimidating. But in actuality the company offer free, Flash websites (very “Web 2.0”!) without the hassle of learning any code or web programming. It’s drag and drop interface makes it super easy to customize a sharp looking webpage within little time. In a few simple clicks, you can add interesting elements like photos, contact forms, Google Maps, social network icons and much more.

5. Weebly (www.weebly.com) – Weebly was created to help people, including caregivers, put information on the Internet quickly, easily, and for free. It’s interface is just as well organized as it is easy to use.  The site offers a range of free templates that you can fully customize. The advantages: drag and drop website builder, excellent customer support.

6. Caregiving.com (http://www.caregiving.com) – Caregiving.com is a community of family caregivers sharing their stories, support and solutions. The site features the blogs of family caregivers, an Internet talk show, free webinars and online support groups. Family caregivers can join the site’s Caregiving Happiness Project, which looks to determine if small, daily changes can add happiness during a difficult time in life.

7. Treatment Diaries (http://treatmentdiaries.com) – Treatment Diaries is a unique social network privately connecting caregivers through online health related conversations captured in personal diaries. Caregivers anonymously share their experiences in caring for those with an illness, allowing them the freedom to share personal emotions often not spoken aloud, while connecting them to those who can relate and provide support.  TreatmentDiaries offers connections across 1,500+ conditions with actual experiences captured in over 58,000 diaries.

When you’re under pressure, blogging or posting on your own website can be the ultimate stress reliever. Too many caregivers are overburdened and feel isolated in their journey. We’re here to tell you there’s a gigantic community out there, just waiting to embrace you!

Are you an elder care blogger or caregiver with a personal website? Tell us what you use to get the job done!

 

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