The Caregiver's Notebook on The Road We've SharedThis year, we’ve been talking a lot about the joys and responsibilities of caregiving for adults who have Down syndrome.  We all need a little help every now and then, and I’ve been extremely grateful for the way people have come together on The Road to support each other.  One thing I’ve become aware of from talking to others is my own need to put more of our daily routine and important information in writing.

If something were to happen to me, would others be able to continue my son’s care with minimal disruption for him?  

We all know how important predictability can be for those we love.  But how do we get started?  I’ve recently been given the opportunity to review a new tool called “The Caregiver’s Notebook – An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others” by Jolene Philo.  If you’re anything like me, (and a daunting task leads to procrastination) you’ll love this!  I’ve put this book at the top of my New Year’s resolution list of “to-do’s.”

One of the great things about this book is that it’s divided into sections, each with instructions and inspirational stories that get you motivated. It lets you choose what part to tackle first.  For us, Josh’s medicines and recent lab results are important right now.  The sections for “Medications” and “Medical Information” will have top priority.

The other sections include calendars to keep track of appointments, and places to record your legal documents and contacts.  Possibly the most important section for us will be the “Routines and Schedules” section where I can list all of the very specific information and “Joshisms” that others may not be aware of.  For example, under “Unusual likes and/or obsessions” I’ll write how important his “boys” (the stuffed animals he keeps by his side) are for his emotional health.

Caregiver's Notebook

I like that the book is sturdy and has a spiral binding that allows the pages to lay flat when open.  It’s also compact enough to fit into a handbag or briefcase, making it possible to take it along when you’re traveling.  A unique feature of this organizer is the spiritual support that is built in to encourage caregivers of all types.  The “Bible Reading Plan” and “Prayer Guide” sections are designed specifically for those who are looking for spiritual guidance during the caregiving journey.

Personally, I found the “Stress Reliever” blurbs sprinkled throughout the pages to be extremely helpful.  They’re short hints, obviously written by someone who has “been there, done that.”  Just reading through the stories and verses gave me a sense that I wasn’t alone in this, and that I CAN do this.

If you’re still not convinced that you can do it – there’s a VLOG (video blog) series online that can help. The author walks you through the book and shows you how to use individual sections.

Here’s the first of twelve videos.

We’re excited that the author and publisher have given us a chance to give a copy of the book to someone in our community.

If you’d like to try to win a copy, click on the giveaway tool below.

If you’d like to purchase your own, or one for a gift this season, you can find them at Amazon.

Thanks to Jolene for putting this notebook together!  I’m determined to get organized this year and this is just what I needed to jump start the process!You can visit her at Different Dream for my Child