Caregiver Mind Maps: New Tools for Eldercare is a collection of ten mind maps created for anyone working on the front lines of caregiving for older adults. Their simplicity and efficiency prove ideal for the caregiver world of competing obligations, increasing complexity, and inconvenient timing.
Mind maps are powerful communication tools. They can distill hours of conversation into a one-page diagram that clarifies the moving parts of a caregiving task or problem. They don’t replace conversation; they simply reframe it and move it to a new, non-threatening venue.
Mind maps are also powerful coordination tools that can help reduce the complexity of caregiving tasks or problems in four important ways:
- They reduce the burden and risks of not knowing the big picture. They provide everyone involved in the care of an aging parent with up to date information about a task or problem. Many times this information is fuzzy, incomplete or only known by a few.
- They reduce the burden and risks of caregiving handoffs. They offer a quick reference guide for other family members who want to lend a hand with a task or problem. They are especially helpful for coordinating last minute change of plans.
- They reduce the burden and risks of integrating information. They serve as an information hub for sending updates to the caregiving team.
- They reduce the burden and risks of orchestrating a crisis. They become an important resource for coordinating a response to a significant change in the status of a task or problem.
Each mind map in this book is a stand-alone tool or can be used in conjunction with other mind maps. You may want to start with a map that addresses a pressing issue such as driving or an inadequate long-term care plan. You may elect to upgrade your caregiving infrastructure by compiling an accurate inventory of an aging parent’s healthcare team or an up to date medication census. Whatever you choose, the book’s mind maps can be printed, annotated, reproduced, and shared to inform, reconsider or manage a caregiving task or problem.
The mind maps focus on tasks and problems embedded in the day to day work of caring for aging parents, and should be seen as new tools for reducing the burden of “keeping everything together.” Each mind map comes with an overview about its purpose and suggestions on how to use it.