Contributed by Nathan McVeigh
Busy caregivers use online calendars, email reminders, day planners, and a slew of other tools to keep themselves in the right place at the right time. The same can definitely be said for anyone with multiple children, a pair of aging parents, or any other group of important people who have to organize certain needs. With such a responsibility placed on one person, there is a way to make sense of when to accomplish what: online calendars.
Since my wife and I are the primary caregivers for her grandmother while planning to start our own family, we already anticipate the loom of being part of the sandwich generation. There are times where I realize that our days could be filled with both pediatrician meetings and grandma’s “sugar doctor.”
Just like with any other aspect of life, I can already tell this will require careful planning and communication between my wife and I. I know that as our family grows, we will have to hold to certain plans and habits with greater intensity and focus, while also being careful about how we make it all happen.
Whether it’s for my family or yours, however, the solution remains the same. In fact, whether you’re in the height of your caregiving status or just someone in the throes of taking care of two extremes, online calendars will help you meet the demands you’re up against.
Here are four reasons why online calendars will help make your life so much easier:
Online calendars are portable.
While it’s not unusual for people to have a tangible calendar that hangs in their house somewhere, those calendars tend to stay in place. The major disadvantage, obviously, is that they’re often impractical to carry around.
Smaller, pocket-sized calendars alleviate this disadvantage, but don’t leave much room for writing in the important tasks or appointments.
Online calendars, however, can be stored on your mobile devices. That means they’re often pocket-sized, or at least able to be transported. They go with you wherever you go!
Online calendars are adjustable.
Since a lot of “hang-up” calendars often have very limited spaces to write in what needs to be done, a better solution is needed—and especially appreciated. Many digital calendars, however, come with the ability to add an almost limitless amount of information. This is wonderful, not just because you can put down almost anything, but also because it can be adjusted on the fly. A virtual calendar stays at home, but an online calendar can be adjusted at the store, in the doctor’s office, or at the bank.
Online calendars are secure.
Since online calendars are accessed through the Internet, you need a digital device that accesses the Internet in order to view them. Likewise, from almost the very beginning of the modern technology upswing, digital devices have typically come pre-programmed with the ability to set up passwords and other gate-keeping precautions in place.
In one sense, online calendars are secure in that very few people can view your schedule, which is key for maintaining caregiver-client privacy. Furthermore, the information stored in your online calendar can be more often than not be recovered. If you spill coffee on your paper calendar, your scheduling is lost. If your computer crashes, your online calendar lives on the Internet, so no harm done!
Online calendars are programmable.
In addition to the programmable passwords and other security precautions, digital devices also typically allow you to set up calendar notifications. You usually have a long list of options as far as how you want to be reminded. Everything from turning your device to vibrate to setting off a particular sound, it’s something you can’t ignore.
Most important, these reminders can be set up so you don’t have to think about the appointments you (or the people you serve) need to meet.
Your time is valuable and the same is true for those for whom you care. Make sure to experiment with your digital devices and the time-keeping opportunities it has. Those who depend on you will appreciate it greatly.