About CareMaps

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 CareMaps, and valuable to do so. The process of thinking about and drawing a 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.

Introduction to CareMaps from Atlas of Caregiving on Vimeo.

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 CareMaps by hand or using our online tool. We strongly recommend that you watch our tutorial videos to learn to draw and use 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 CareMaps

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

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

What Counts as ‘Care’?

Since a 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 CareMap, you get to decide what counts.

Digital CareMap

You can draw a 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.

Hand-drawn CareMap

You can download a “How to” guide and worksheets for drawing CareMaps by hand.