I, like all other family caregivers, I am always looking for tools to help me manage my caregiving role. Like most missions, caregiving means employing a combination of strategies to achieve success.
I have been using a combination of the following:
- a very large calendar,
- written notes, menus, and schedules on dry erase boards,
- the custom daily sheets I made for Grandma to keep track of my priority concerns
- emails and texts to Grandma’s helper and my tribe
- my own Google calendar
- written sticky notes to myself on my desk at work
- reminders from Siri
- my weekly planner app
When you do anything long enough, it becomes second nature to you. Even though I thought I had it down pat, I have been crying out for a better system.
I found one tool that literally replaces all of these things. And it is completely free. Meet Caring Village.
I recently found Caring Village on Twitter in my constant search to connect with resources that could help me in my caregiving role. I visited their website and fell in love immediately. I signed up right away and started setting it up. That was three weeks ago, and I feel like my stress level has decreased about 20%. We are still learning and getting used to using it, but between me and Grandma’s helper, it has truly been a Godsend.
Caring Village has tons of great features, including:
- Available in your browser, and as an app both in the App Store for iPhone users or the for Androids in the Google Play store.
- The ability to set up as many villages as you want, too, so if you are responsible for more than one person, it can really help you out!
- No limit to the number of members in your village, and they can each personalize the amount of notifications they receive from the app.
- Sweet checklists to help you assess where you stand on key aspects of safety and security and medical issues
- Shared to do lists, where members can volunteer to take care of things and a shared calendar so everyone can see what’s going on.
- The Wellness Journal gives you the ability to track the person’s overall activities and important notes and their mood. I have been trying to typing literally everything we do and everything I know that I think will be helpful in here each day before I leave. You can add pictures to the entries, so last week I posted the week plan with my entry on Sunday.
- The Care Plan feature lets you add specific things you want to keep track of from day-to-day.
You can even store important documents in your village and add your caree’s medication’s.
I have only begun using it and already can’t live without it!
If you are a family caregiver, I encourage you to check it out. So far it is working great for our small, but mighty team, but I see how it could be a lifesaver for all kinds of families, including those where a number of people are helping to care for their caree(s) or family members are spread out and providing support long distance. There is truly nothing like it out there!