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Tips for accessing resources mentioned in the Minding Our Elders column

Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack explains how print and e-paper readers can access the online resources mentioned in her columns.

Carol Bradley Bursack online column signature
Column signature by Troy Becker

Dear Readers: In September of 2022, I wrote a column providing brief answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Minding Our Elders column. One question that I didn’t address is how readers can best access the resources that I often include in the context of the column. I saved that for today.

Let’s start with why I even suggest online resources when so many people read the column in the print edition of the Forum, the e-paper, or the News app. The reason is that access to most caregiver and aging resources is not just easiest online, but sometimes only online. So, like it or not, to provide you with the best information at hand, that’s the format I’ll need to use.

Rest assured, if there is a phone number listed, I will include it. However, I encourage readers to become comfortable with using online resources, since, as noted, important resources like the Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) and the Benefits Finder (benefits.gov) are most easily accessed in that manner.

Another example is YouTube, which has become a go-to site for caregiving expertise through channels that I’ve mentioned in this column such as Teepa Snow (Teepa Snow Videos), and Leslie Kernisan, MD (Better Health While Aging). You can also find government resources on YouTube such as a walkthrough of the Benefits Finder from benefits.gov to help you determine if you and the person you are caring for are getting the benefits you deserve.

Particularly frustrating for some readers might be my twice-yearly roundups on tech and services. Again, I include enough information in the text for you to search online, but if you see something of interest, it’s probably quicker to go to InForum.com for the version with direct links (I explain how below).


Minding Our Elders will remain primarily low tech

Certainly, the majority of the Minding Our Elders columns won’t focus on Internet resources. However, many will contain at least one link to help readers find more information. So, here’s my pledge to you:

  • Firstly, I’ll do my best within my word limits to provide you with the information you’d need to search for the websites on your own or call if there is a phone number.
  • Secondly, I’ll continue to submit the websites in a non-linked manner as part of the text, usually in parentheses. For instance, where I would link Benefits Checkup for those accessing the column through InForum on their computers or on social media, print readers should see enough text as well as (benefitscheckup.gov) to help them find it online.
  • That said, if after reading any of the columns in a format without links you want more information, go to InForum (inforum.com) on your computer and click the search symbol. Type in my last name and a list of my weekly columns will open. Choose the column(s) you want to read, and there you will find a linked format.

See you next week for your regular column Q&A format with few if any links. Happy reading!

Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver and a nationally-recognized presence in caregiver support. She's the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories,” a longtime newspaper columnist and host of her blog at mindingoureldersblog.com. Carol's an introverted book nerd, so you won't see her mugging in viral videos, but you can easily reach her using the contact form at mindingourelders.com.
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