At the end of your day, you’re spent. And you probably wonder why.
It’s because of how much you do. And, we would like to show you just how much you and every family caregiver really do during a day.
A few weeks ago, I approached Denise Brown and Christopher MacLellan with an idea to learn about the responsibility and rigor a family caregiver’s day entails.
For those who don’t Denise, she launched (and still runs) CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support family caregivers through information and an online community. Many caregivers share their experiences and knowledge through blogs on her site. Her insights have also been featured in numerous publications such as Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Chris, known as “The Bow-Tie-Guy”, blogs about his own caregiving experiences at The Purple Jacket.
Together we developed and fine-tuned a way to capture your day in a “A Day in the Life of a Family Caregiver” log. We believe an insight into your day will help us be better advocates for family caregivers and help services providers and product developers create the products and services you really need.
We also hope the log acts as a window into your day. Last week, we asked five family caregivers to test our log; they discovered that completing the log gave them helpful insights into the reality of their days.
Who should complete the log? Anyone who helps and cares for a family member or friend because of an illness, injury, disability or frailty. You may care from a distance, in your caree’s home or in your home. You may help a few days a week or every day. Whatever your involvement in helping a family member, we want to know about your day.
To better understand your day, we’ve created a daily log, available as a PDF or a spreadsheet, for you to use. You can print the PDF so you can write down your day; once complete, simply scan your log to return to us. If you prefer, you can use the spreadsheet to document your day and then return to us.
Pick a day in the next week or so and then track your caregiving tasks, responsibilities and reminders as well as what you do for your own health and well-being. The log also asks you to jot down how you feel as you complete your tasks and reminders as well as indicate which tasks and responsibilities you would delegate if you could.
With your completed logs, we can create a snapshot of your life as a family caregiver. The picture of your day will help us better understand your needs. We’ll share details about the logs as soon as we can. Look for video chats and webinars discussing what we learn in the future.
Download a PDF version and/or an Excel version of the log. You can print the PDF so you can write down your day; once complete, simply scan your log to return to us. If you prefer, you can use the spreadsheet to document your day and then return to us.
When you’ve completed your log, just go to www.caregiving.com/log/ to share a few details about your situation and to upload your completed PDF or spreadsheet.
(Note: Denise and I will discuss the log with a few of the family caregivers who tested the log on Friday at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT, 12 noon PT). Look for details at CareGiving.com on how to watch our discussion and share your thoughts on Thursday, February 20.)