Using a Calendar to Share Caregiving Using a Calendar to Share Caregiving ResponsibilitiesResponsibilities

Caring for a family member comes with all the responsibilities of a full-time job and then some. An easy way to organize the workload – and share it with others so they can pitch in – is with an online calendar tool that you and other relatives, friends, and neighbors can access with your permission. With the right digital tools, you can keep everyone who needs to know in the loop on your loved one’s medical appointments, meal-delivery and social-time needs, medication schedule, and even notes and photos.

Here are some of the most popular options to consider for your caregiving team.

Caregiving calendar options

Let’s take a look at 3 of the best known and most popular free care calendar tools.

Google Calendar is a tool that most computer users are already familiar with, either for work or for volunteer activities. The new Calendar mobile app automatically adds in events from emails – which means that if you get an appointment confirmation from a loved one’s dentist or doctor it will automatically appear on the calendar.

You can create a calendar to share with a specific group of people so they can sign up for tasks like transportation and RSVP to events like family dinners that you add to the schedule. You can also set the calendar to remind people in your group when tasks, errands or events are coming up.

Lotsa Helping Hands is designed specifically for caregivers. When you set up a “care community” you can add items like meal delivery, visits, and grocery shopping to the calendar and invite people in your care group to sign up for them. The site sends reminders to volunteers and also allows you to update your community on your loved one’s health, mood, and activities. The site’s Vital Information section is where people you give permission can see important health history, medication, and insurance information on your loved one.

Unlike Google Calendar and some other caregiving tools, Lotsa Helping Hands doesn’t have an Android app, and its iOS app has received low ratings from users.

CareZone is a desktop and mobile app for people to manage their own health conditions and to coordinate caregiving for people who need it. CareZone lets you build care profiles for multiple people (for example, yourself and your loved one) and share the information with whomever you choose. You can build a list of current medications – including prescription numbers and pharmacies — by taking mobile photos of the prescription bottles. The app’s dashboard makes it easy to set up tasks, calendars, and notes for each person you and your family care for.

Which care calendar should you use?

It depends on how comfortable you and your caregiving team are with different aspects of technology. People who rely on mobile devices will prefer Google Calendar or CareZone because their apps are well designed and available for iOS and Android. If you already use Google Calendar that may be the easiest thing to set up, but people who aren’t familiar with it may prefer the more streamlined care-specific tools available from CareZone and Lotsa Helping Hands.

Because all three calendar tools are free and easy to set up, you can try out and compare them all before deciding on one that works best to organize care for your loved one.

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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