• Search

Why Atlas CareMaps: Changing people’s lives

Caregiving happens within a web of relationships, an ecosystem, of relatives and friends, and professionals and organizations. People are often simultaneously caring for themselves, caring for several others, and being cared for by others. What each person does varies by ability and context, and over time.

An Atlas CareMap is a diagram of a person’s care ecosystem, showing who cares for whom, and how. Many people have found it easy to learn to draw and use Atlas CareMaps, and valuable to do so. The process of thinking about and drawing an Atlas CareMap has helped people to more clearly see and to better understand their existing care ecosystem. For many, this has led to action and/or changes in perception resulting in stronger ecosystems, better care and more confidence in managing their care situation.

For some families and communities, the changes have been profound. “We needed this tool to come into our lives!”, said Josefa Rios, a community volunteer in Santa Barbara, CA. You can read more about people’s experiences in Impact

You can draw Atlas CareMaps by hand or using our online tool. We strongly recommend that you watch our tutorial videos to learn to draw and use Atlas CareMaps. (As we’ll explain further in the videos, we recommend that you first learn to draw by hand, and then use the digital tool for more functionality.)

Learn to Draw and Use Atlas CareMaps

You can easily learn by viewing the Atlas CareMap Tutorial series of videos:

  • Intro to Atlas CareMaps
  • Atlas CareMap Tour
  • Comparing Hand-drawn and Digital Atlas CareMaps
  • Preparing to Draw
  • Hand-drawn Atlas CareMaps: How to Draw | example: Fay | example: Nadine | example: Christi
  • Digital Atlas CareMaps: How to Draw | example: Fay | example: Kate | example: Kate (more details)
  • Learning from Atlas CareMaps
  • Sharing Atlas CareMaps

Creating Atlas CareMaps guide — as a handy reminder of the key steps for hand-drawn Atlas CareMaps, you can download this guide.

What Counts as ‘Care’?

Since an Atlas CareMap is fundamentally a diagram of “Who cares for whom?”, it is important to define what counts as “care”. We provide some suggestions at Types of Care. But in the end, if it is your Atlas CareMap, you get to decide what counts.

Atlas CareMap Web App (digital)

You can draw an Atlas CareMap at www.atlascaremap.org.

Technology Requirements: A computer or tablet with an up-to-date OS and modern web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge). Some functions may not work properly with older software.

Except where noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.