I was asked how I use Caregiver Mind Maps with clients. My response was that I have found them immensely useful when I need to present the “big picture”situation and game plan about an aging or caregiving challenge.
Here is an example of the framing narrative I use to introduce the one-page diagram about transition care.
“What makes this _______ (situation/problem/dilemma/setback) so challenging is the number and complexity of the moving parts. While it was relativity easy for your mother to get admitted to the hospital when her congestive heart failure flared up, getting her back home and keeping her there takes a well thought out transition plan combined with impeccable coordination between the healthcare system and your family.
Let me show you a one-page diagram we call a “mind map” that will help you see the positioning, number and purpose of the moving parts. (see attachment below). We can use this diagram to “brainstorm” together about who might be the best suited to help with the”transition mission.” As we discuss the game plan, I will annotate the mind map with your suggestions as well as information about key contacts.
You can use the mind map to debrief friends and family members who will be involved as to what has to happen and why. As important, you can use it to explain to your mother how the trip home is going to work and what has to happen once she gets home to increase her chances of staying there. This will include taking her medications on time, getting up and walking for short bursts as tolerated, eating healthy meals and keeping a sharp eye out for three types of complications your doctor said have to be addressed immediately if they occur.”
The mind map becomes a graphic collaboration hub that puts everyone on the same page and in doing so, reduces both the complexity and uncertainty of the event. And of course, it reduces readmissions.