Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, February 15, 2008

Create a Calendar for Care Helpers

Are you a caregiver for an aging parent or anyone else? Do you wish you had some help? Or perhaps you’ve had people say, "If you need something, just let me know." But you know how it goes. Sometimes it’s easier to do it yourself than to try to coordinate people.

Take heart. Now there’s help. I’ve just learned of two different sites that offer calendars for coordinating care helpers. Need someone to take mom to the doctor? A neighbor to help run errands? Someone to pick up dad's prescription at the pharmacy? Even someone to walk the dog? You can schedule all of these and more using a free online calendar designed for this purpose.

Two companies are providing these calendars. One is AGIS, one of the web's premier resources for eldercare information and community support, through it’s CareGroups site. The other is Care Calendar, a ministry of the Bortel family, created out of their personal needs when the wife and mother of nine children had emergency surgery.

In both cases, a coordinator—usually the primary caregiver(s) —creates a calendar and invites people to view it. The calendar lists caregiving needs that can be met by others. To sign up for an activity, the volunteer simply clicks on the link and fills in minimal information. The coordinator can also provide updates, post messages, and share photos. I know of one family using CareCalendars, and it’s been a virtual lifesaver for them, reducing phone calls and increasing opportunities for friends to help out. Give it a try.


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