Why is it Necessary to Keep Caregiving Records?
It’s not uncommon for adult children to find themselves in a caregiving role for an aging loved one. Whether the transition was gradual, at first just helping out with tasks like transportation or housekeeping until more medical care was needed, or a sudden decline in health brought about the need for daily assistance, family caregivers often find themselves facing similar challenges. One of those challenges is keeping proper caregiving records and organizing their loved ones’ medical records.
Keeping proper caregiving records is beneficial both to the caregiver and their aging loved one for a variety of reasons, including:
- Monitoring your loved one’s progress and reassessing needs. If you’re keeping a caregiver daily log, you’ll be able to note changes in your loved one’s condition and ensure he or she is getting the best possible care.
- Managing your workload and reducing stress. When you have your caregiver daily log right in front of you, you know exactly what tasks are on your plate so you can plan your day accordingly. Also, you can create a plan of action for the entire week, which will help alleviate some of the caregiver stress you may be experiencing.
- Sharing information with others. Keeping proper caregiver records allows others to step in and take your place when or if it may become necessary. They’ll have everything they need to pick up right where you left off. It also makes it easier to enlist help from others when you need a break in your caregiving duties.
- Increasing satisfaction for all parties. Your caregiver log allows you to stay on the same page as your loved one and effectively communicate with him or her. This leads to better quality care. Plus, you might start to realize that it may be time to consider alternative options, like moving to an assisted living community, to improve your loved one’s quality of life.
How to Stay Organized as a Caregiver
Remember, the more information you have at your fingertips, the better. Keeping and organizing medical records, receipts and other documents on top of taking notes in your caregiver daily log is key to providing the best possible care for your loved one.
There are a few different options for keeping caregiving records, and you can choose the method that will work best for you. For instance, you can take notes in a bound notebook or use a binder to keep copies of all medical records. Prefer to go digital? That works, too! Use a tablet or your mobile phone to keep daily notes on your loved one, and scan copies of medical records into a digital file on your computer.
However, it’s also recommended to keep a list of crucial information somewhere in your loved one’s home. This way, if an emergency were to occur in your absence, first responders will have easy access to things like current medications, chronic conditions and any allergies your loved one may have.
Remember, it’s important to track every change in your loved one’s health or condition. Changes in sleeping or eating habits, mood swings – these are all issues that could be linked to something more serious, like medication side effects or a decline in overall health. Make taking daily notes part of your routine to stay abreast of any sort of changes in your loved one’s health.