Organized caregiving. An oxymoron if ever there was one, right? And certainly not the stuff from which to craft a doable New Year’s resolution, right?
Organized caregiving may seem like an oxymoron when life is a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, melt downs, therapies, IEP meetings, diet restrictions, and day-to-day demands of caring for a loved one of any age. But being organized can also be a godsend and a stress reducer for caregivers trying to hold too much information in too few brain cells. Definitely the stuff from which to craft New Year’s resolutions.
But where to start?
That’s the question you’re asking yourself, isn’t it? It was also the question in my head when Discovery House Publishers asked me to create The Caregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others. The answer came pretty quickly.
Start with the basics.
The Caregiver’s Notebook is divided into 15 tabbed sections, starting with the basics that apply to every caregiving situation: how to use the book, emergency information, a 3-year customizable calendar, contacts, and notes.
Next pick, choose, and use.
Once caregivers have organized the basics, they can pick, choose, and use any of the middle sections that apply to their loved one’s circumstances: medications, medical information, insurance information, legal documents, and routines & schedules.
Then, tend to your needs.
After working through the middle sections, caregivers need to take time for their needs so they have the spiritual strength and mental clarity caregiving requires. Proverbs 17:22 says a merry heart is good medicine. The final five sections of the notebook provide medicine for the mind and the heart in the resource section, Bible reading plan, prayer guides, glossary, and organizational systems section. And every section of the notebook–beginning, middle, and end–begins with a caregiving devotional and is peppered with inspirational quotes and Bible verses.
As a caregiver, and not always an organized one, I know how daunting a caregiving resolution can be. Especially a resolution to become organized. And I know how much easier it is to follow through on a resolution if a friend is working on the same thing. So I created the How To Use the Caregiver’s Notebook vlog series to walk through the process with you. Each episode guides caregivers through one section of the notebook and offers hints about how to complete the section without becoming more stressed.
Add motivation with a book giveaway.
Need something more to make organized caregiving your New Year’s resolution? How about a book give away as motivation?