We rely on healthcare professionals (HCPs) to help us maintain our health—typically in hospitals and clinics. Yet many have chronic health conditions, which require self-management—and the help of family caregivers, working at home around the clock. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that ’As of 2012, about half of all adults [in the U.S.]—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions.’ Chronic conditions require ongoing support, often from family. Experts differ on the number of family caregivers, but a 2013 Pew Research study suggested it could be as high as 100 million people (39% of the population).
In 2015, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded a pilot study, Atlas of Caregiving, to look at new ways of measuring family caregiving. As part of the study, I designed a series of diagrams describing the study’s participants and their care ecosystem by showing who cares for whom, how often, their relation, and their relative proximity. The design rationale was documented, enabling others to extend the set.