Thursday, July 31, 2008

CareCalendar - A Very Useful Tool!

I was introduced to CareCalendar recently. It is a free, internet-based tool for signing up to help someone else in need of "care". This is typically used for helping those who are going to go through some medical procedures like a surgery or giving birth. It can be used for other circumstances as well.

Here is a screenshot of a CareCalendar. It looks plain but don't underestimate its value! You got to try it to believe it!

The CareCalendar can schedule help for meals, visits, childcare, rides, errands, housework and yardwork. Name, address and phone info of the person needing care is already included. A map can be added as well.

The Care Calendar is a time-saver and reduces confusion because:

  • Sign-up is open 24/7, not just when a sign-up sheet is passed around.
  • Everyone who needs to know will be given access to it to either check the CareCalendar and to schedule and update.
  • It is secure enough that you can only edit your own entry (or the coordinator can, too.)
  • It is updated on a real-time basis so that one can see which items and dates are/are not filled out.
  • It can be updated if the care needs are changed and no need to call everyone on the changes.
  • Helpers sign up from home where they have their own calendars to cross-refer to so that they can better identify best time to help out.
  • Reminder emails are automatically sent out to those who have signed-up.

The only things that I can think of as disadvantages are
  • Internet access is needed.
  • Sign-up can be deemed "impersonal".

Can't do anything on the first. But for the second, the 2 methods can also be used together if so desired. That is, you can still pass the paper around and then transfer the sign-ups to the Care Calendar PLUS make the Care Calendar available for those who would later like to have that opportunity.

CareCalendar is a donor-supported ministry of the Dave and Suzane Bortel and their 10 children! It was created based on their experiences of coordinating meals and other care for the several weeks that were offered when Suzanne went for an emergency surgery. Go here for more details about them.

Someday, you might find the CareCalendar helpful, too!

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