Archive for the 'Caregiving' Category

Mar 18 2009

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One way to raise awareness, money on the Internet

Ed Cohen

March 17, 2009, a website for caregivers, says it conducted an experiment in viral marketing last year that raised $10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Actually, as Gary Alpert, the site’s VP for business development described it at a session this afternoon, agreed to donate $10K to Alzheimer’s Association for cooperating in the experiment.’s programmers developed a way for anyone with a website or blog to add a purple “Act to End Alzheimer’s” ribbon to their Web page. Participants had their choice of shades of purple and could pick from three sizes of ribbon. They could also customize the ribbon to honor or memorialize, by name, an Alzheimer’s sufferer such as a loved one. agreed to donate $10 for every ribbon activated. There was also a link on the activation page to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association. The ribbons themselves didn’t solicit donations. The Alzheimer’s Association helped out by marketing the campaign through its website and e-mail lists.

Alpert said the campaign reached 1,000 ribbon activations – earning the Alzheimer’s Association its $10K — in six weeks. The total is now up to 1,600 activations, he said. (The only place the campaign is being advertised now is on’s own website.)

Alpert said enabling people to design the ribbons and to personalize them so they honored someone close to them were keys to success.

He said the campaign not only demonstrated the potential for fundraising using the Web but how viral marketing can spread the word about a cause. The ribbons ended up — and are still up — on hundreds of niche websites, many having something to do with caregiving. Combining the audience for all of those sites, he estimates that the ribbons exposed more than 100,000 individuals to the Alzheimer’s Association name and cause.

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Mar 17 2009

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Great new sources of caregiving info online

Ed Cohen

March 16, 2009

There are 34 million people serving as caregivers in the United States, according to Jill Gilbert, president and CEO of That’s a website dedicated to helping caregivers find practical advice fast. She was part of a panel session today featuring administrators of websites geared to caregivers.

Andy Cohen, CEO and co-founder of the site, said 50 percent of Baby Boomers are already caring for an elder loved one. These Boomers spend an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving, 71 percent of them buy products or services for their parents, and the first place they look for information on caregiving is the Web, he said.

The federal government’s own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is making a new push into social media. Susie Butler, director of the centers’ division of provider affairs, said the idea is to help beneficiaries by reaching out to the people who are taking care of them. At the CMS site, caregivers can also sign up for an e-newsletter for caregivers that was launched last fall.

The Alzheimer’s Association website,, has message boards where caregivers can share information with each other. There’s also a separate section where there are posts by actual Alzheimer’s patients, people under 65 who have been diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association also staffs a telephone helpline available 24/7: 800-272-3900.

Nevada caregivers looking for info should also keep in mind the Nevada Care Connection/Aging and Disability Resource Center site,

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