How to Draw your CareMap

Draw your CareMap

The CareMap works with you to draw your care ecosystem to help you better manage the people involved, recognize support, plan for potential difficulties, advocate for your needs, and get appropriate assistance. With the CareMap, you can save, print, and update your map to track the evolution of your ecosystem over time and see how potential changes could impact your CareMap.

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

Key Features of the CareMap

Add important details: specify types and frequency of support by each person in your ecosystem, include location information for members far away, add your own notes and key details about each actor, and include pets in your CareMap

Track changes over time: save snapshots of your CareMap at different points in time to see how it evolves

View your CareMap in different ways: highlight different aspects of your care ecosystem; add potential actors and make changes to your CareMap to see alternate possibilities for your care ecosystem

Work in your preferred language: instructions are available in English and Spanish; you can add your own information in whatever language you prefer

Print and save your CareMap: download a PDF of your CareMap that you can print or email; login to your user account at anytime to view or update your CareMap

Support family care research: data from thousands of CareMaps enables new understanding of real-world care ecosystems

Try drawing your own CareMap here.

Example CareMaps

The following videos show examples of creating CareMaps and highlight many of the features available.

  • “Creating Fay’s CareMap” shows a fairly simple situation, a person caring for a person in their own home, with a little support from others.
  • “Creating Kate’s CareMap” shows a more complex situation, with multiple caregivers and care recipients in different parts of the world.
  • “Kate’s CareMap In-depth” highlights several features beyond the basics: more data about Actors; PDF export; using the Filter to get different views; showing self-care activities; and the Map view.



Tips for Drawing and Using Your CareMap

We’ve seen over and over again that the CareMap has the power to increase caregivers’ self-awareness and openness to change and assistance. Knowing how to make the best use of your CareMap once it’s drawn is a crucial step to improving your day-to-day experience as a caregiver.

When drawing and reviewing your CareMap, think about some of the following things:

  • Who are the most important people in your ecosystem?
  • How do these people lend support?
  • Who could step in to help when you’re unavailable or need some extra help?
  • Are these people aware of the role they play in your care ecosystem?
  • Do all of the people in your ecosystem know one another? If not, would there be value in introducing them to each other to strengthen the sense of community of your network?

Look carefully at your CareMap to identify gaps or untapped resources:

  • What’s missing in your ecosystem? Are there specific areas that lack support?
  • Are there friends, family members or neighbors you could ask to help you?
  • What would it take to get these people involved?

Consider whether or not there are professional services and tools that could make your work a lot easier.

  • Are there caretaking tasks that require professional expertise?
  • Are there caregiving responsibilities that you could outsource to professionals or others to save yourself some time?
  • Are there apps or other tools you could employ to solve recurring problems and increase efficiency?

Share your CareMap!

Drawing your CareMap calls attention to where you sit in your community, allowing you to relate your story to others. Learning from peers about local resources or shared experiences can be incredibly valuable for navigating your care journey. Sharing your CareMap with other caregivers and members of your care ecosystem is a great way to initiate collaborative conversations, learn from each other, and meaningfully engage with people who understand how you feel.