What makes caregiving so overwhelming? One factor is just how complex caregiving is.

This incredible complexity can be a barrier to making changes to improve your situation, since how can you decide where to focus your energy and build support if you can’t see your current circumstances clearly?

This is where CareMaps, from Atlas of Caregiving, comes in.

Caremapping is a tool to help you understand your family care ecosystem: who is involved, what they do, and how they interact.

Some people in our network provide medical or practical support, while others provide emotional support that’s just as vital. Some people provide a lot of support, while others are there in an emergency. And, of course, the people we take care of take care of us, too!

Caremapping isn’t a one time thing. You can create CareMaps for your current situation or to see how future changes might change your map.

Last fall I was able to attend one of Rajiv’s workshops. It was fascinating to see how different each of our CareMaps was. Each of us has unique family dynamics, community ties, and resources we can access.

Even members of the same family had very different CareMaps! It was a great tool to make us see what we were doing, what support we had, and what sort of support we needed.

Talking to your family and friends about your CareMap can help you each understand what roles you play and how you can better support each other.

You no longer have to be able to attend a workshop in person, because everything you need to know is available online, at no cost. The booklets walk you through the process of creating a CareMap of your own by hand or online.

Seeing the Invisible: Strengthening your care ecosystem with Atlas CareMaps, the primary booklet, helps readers learn to draw and use Atlas CareMaps for their own benefit. Sparking Transformative Conversations: Using Atlas CareMaps to strengthen families and communities, a complementary booklet helps those who want to leverage Atlas CareMaps to support their communities.

You can download the booklets for free and create your CareMap on Atlas of Caregiving.