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CareMaps from the Atlas of Caregiving

Atlas CareMaps: hand-drawn representations of a caregiver’s own support system to highlight what works & where there are duplications & gaps

Photo of Kate Rushton
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I wanted to highlight CareMaps from the Atlas of Caregiving to the OpenIDEO community. I am hoping the CareMaps might inspire someone to create their own CareMap or use a CareMap as an inspiration for an idea. 

'A CareMap is a drawing that helps caregivers see their situation clearly showing who they care for, who cares for them, and who cares for/supports the caregiver. This helps caregivers better plan for potential difficulties, manage the different people involved, identify missing resources and services, and better communicate your situation and needs to family, friends and professionals.'

Source: Introduction to CareMaps by Atlas of Caregiving

This could provide valuable insights for two of the intended results of the challenge:

  • 'Improve the ability of the caregiver to provide better quality of in-home care to the care-recipient / loved one
  • Combat social isolation of caregivers'

How to Draw Your Own CareMap

Source: How to Draw Your Own CareMap by Atlas of Caregiving

For more resources on creating a CareMap, check out the Atlas of Caregiving website here

It includes several examples of CareMaps including more detail on a CareMap for Fay: 'Fay (30s) cares for her mother Josephine (70s) who has Alzheimer’s. With no one to help her, she has put her PhD studies on hold to provide 24×7 care.'

This is Fay's CareMap:

The circles represent physical distances from Fay. The people in the outer circle are further away. 

Source: CareMap Example: Fay

I am very interested in knowing if members of the OpenIDEO community have created or will create a CareMap. Did it result in a plan of action or action steps being taken?

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How can we support caregivers with a service that meets their individual needs but is scalable?

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a Community Manager for this challenge.


Join the conversation:

Photo of hudangsubuh jahari

Photo of Joy Johnston

I believe the care maps came up in discussion during the end of life care challenge. I love the concept. There's so much written matter to comprehend when caregiving that it is refreshing to have a clean, simple visual element like the care map.

Photo of Susan Williams

Thank you for sharing. I've been involved with this project for some time now and have been impressed and so inspired over and over again by what the CareMap sparks in terms of self awareness and empowerment. It has reminded me of journal writing- pen to paper, top of mind articulations of your world. With the CareMap visualizing care ecosystems at a moment in time, people can more comprehensively consider their realities and adjust things as they need. I'd love to hear more stories of people drawing their own CareMaps. Even if you're not an active caregiver- it highlights depth and nature of relationships and community. Since I believe our health and wellness depend so much on those around us, I have experienced the CareMap as invaluable in this capacity, too.

Photo of Ana Moreno

The CareMap is a simple but great idea for those who find themselves in a situation where they need to care for someone and feel overwhelmed. I see the CareMap being very helpful, as it gives the carer an overview of the situation and most importantly, it shows who is there to support them as well.

Photo of Andrea Wilkinson

I also want to say what a simple tool, but a great one. We have also worked in this area; trying to visualise non-primary caregivers and the role that they have or could have in providing care. I'm interested in reading more about the research you've carried out and will be sharing this with our regional Dementia Expertise Centre. Great work!

Photo of Bhagchand Lomore

Thanks, Kate, This is really a great tool to help caregivers to plan and manage the whole caregiving process. Something that is handy for everyone. I liked it.

Photo of Jill Petersen

This is fascinating! l like this "low-tech" solution that helps a caregiver bring more awareness into their life about who and where they can get their support from.

Photo of Susan

Cool tool, and thanks for introducing me to Atlas of Caregiving.