How to Offer Help That’s Really Helpful

by Paula Spencer Scott, senior editor at

Seeing a friend or relative in need taps a wonderful human impulse in most of us: to give help. The quandary is that we’re often not exactly sure how to do that. What kind of help is needed? How can you find out? What’s the best way to offer meaningful, real help without being pushy, nosy, or otherwise off-key? Try these suggestions:

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If Only: Caring for the Caregiver

hal_headshotAt Lotsa Helping Hands we are truly privileged to witness the best the human soul has to offer. Reading the unsolicited testimonials sent in by many of our 1.2 million community members is both an honor as well as a constant reminder of the humbling responsibility we all have to assist those in need.  While so many express their gratitude for the free service we provide, there is an underlying theme in each unique story of how family, friends, and neighbors came together to aid in caring for the caregiver.  But what about those other tens of millions of caregivers who feel isolated, often desperate as they struggle daily with the emotional, physical, and financial hardships confronting them? Too often a community member who has helped someone will conclude their testimonial with a comment to the effect “I only wish I’d known about this service years ago when I was caring for my ______.”

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Welcome the Fall Season by Supporting National Falls Prevention Awareness

Contributed by Sherri Snelling

While Saturday marked the first official day of fall, this whole season is the kick-off to Falls Prevention Awareness.  Falls – whether they happen in the home or just getting around town – are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 3 Americans over age 65 suffers a fall and more than 18,000 seniors die every year from a fall-related incident.  Whether the fall results in a hip fracture, a head injury or other physical problem, more than 2.3 million seniors age 65+ were treated in ERs across the country with a non-fatal fall injury with more than 662,000 of those cases resulting in hospitalizations.

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What Does Medicare Pay For?: The Difficulties We Faced

Like many kids, I grew up thinking my parents were the smartest people on the planet.  They seemed to know everything.  In a world often confusing to a child, they had all the answers and could calm my worries with measured assurance.  Now that I am an adult, there have been few problems in my life that I haven’t shared with my mother and father  My entire life I have watched as one elderly family member after another relied on my parents for their caregiving support line. And they maintained remarkably good health, even after both became octogenarians in recent years. But with age comes a very valid question with regard to health: what does Medicare pay for?

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Sandwich Generation Juggling Act – the 3 Cs (Children, Career, Caregiving)

By: Sherri Snelling

Photo: Flynt/ Dreamstime

This Wednesday at 2pm EST I will be speaking during Lotsa’s Sandwich Generation Juggling Act webinar, a special session devoted to the 24 million Americans who are literally sandwiched between caring for two generations.  Representing approximately 38 percent of all caregivers, Sandwich Generation members are still parenting children living at home while they also care for older parents who now need more help.

Because Sandwich Generation caregivers tend to be in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, seven out of 10 are also juggling a career along with child rearing and caregiving.  With so many balls in the air, the Sandwich Generation caregivers often feel overwhelmed, burned out and stressed to their limits.  These caregivers are caught in a three-ring circus of children, career and caregiving, and they are the star juggling act.   At some point, the ball that gets dropped is the one that says self-care.

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A woman researches employee rights as an active caregiver.
Employee Rights: Honoring Caregiving Employees this Labor Day

Whether you were enjoying the last weekend of summer, or getting ready for school to start, we hope you had a relaxing long Labor Day weekend. Though Labor Day is most often associated with the beginning of the new school year, we got to thinking about what Labor Day is really about.

Created in 1882, Labor Day is a yearly tribute to the contributions that workers have made to our country. At Lotsa Helping Hands, we hear from so many of our members who are balancing their careers and work life, with caring for a loved one or volunteering in their Community. It’s a lot to balance!

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Contributed by Barry Katz, Co-Founder at Lotsa Helping Hands

In 2005 version 1.0 of the Lotsa Helping Hands service was introduced to the world.  While rudimentary in its design and feature set, it did begin to address the needs of caregivers.  This once neglected group now had some building blocks to begin organizing their thoughts and approach to caregiving.  As a Lotsa Co-Founder, and one of the providers of basic support to Community members, three early Communities stand out to me:

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