Resources for Patients
One of the most challenging questions that patients and caregivers field when they tell others about their diagnosis is “How Can I Help?” It’s not that we don’t want help, but the process of organizing and coordinating tasks is overwhelming. One of the most useful tools available to help accomplish this is an online calendar. Each of the following three calendars offers access to any member of your group, allowing friends to sign up and volunteer for the needs you’ve specified.
For example, caregivers can create a calendar of “help appointments” including things like:
Chemo trip - 10/29/08 9am-3pm
Babysitting – 11/3/08 11am-1pm
Laundry – Anytime 11/6/08
Grocery Shopping – 11/8/08 afternoon
Dinner – 11/9/08 6pm
Then, they send the link on to their friends who can independently log on to the calendar and put their name next to the way they can help.
GoogleCalendar – This is the most widely used group calendar available. It does require that each group member create a google account, but once this is done, the calendar is very user friendly, easy to maintain, and syncs with several pdas and phones. www.google.com/calendar
Calenders.net – This is a very basic but completely workable calendar. It’s not pretty but is very straightforward, so it is great for those less familiar with computers. The patient/caregiver can create the calendar and simply forward the link and login information on to friends and family. www.calendars.net
Airset – It’s hard to believe this service is free, but it appears to be. This site works very much like Google Calendar in that everyone needs to join in order to use the service. However, it also allows the group leader (patient/caregiver) to create/keep a blog, manage a list (like a task list), and upload files. This is definitely the option for the savvy user. It’s more complicated but includes more bells and whistles. www.airset.com