Keeping your loved one’s medical information organized may become more difficult as he or she ages. However, you never know when you may need to pull a critical file for a physician that documents past and present medical conditions. The following five tips can help you manage your loved one’s health records so you always have the information you need at the right moment.
1. Know What to Keep
When it seems like you leave every appointment armed with a book’s worth of paperwork, it may be difficult to know what to keep and what to toss. Although every senior’s needs for recordkeeping may vary, you should plan to keep track of essential documents such as advance directives. You may also need to keep a running list of your loved one’s current medications along with the results from tests and screenings. Keep financial information handy as well. For instance, you may need to keep billing and insurance records.
2. Update Your Records Right Away
Many critical records are lost to procrastination. Try to schedule enough time after your loved one’s appointments to go home and file essential documents. Alternatively, you could set up a time once a week or each month to manage the recordkeeping tasks. If you cannot find the time to keep things organized, reach out for help. Professional caregivers can supervise your loved one while you get organized.
Orlando home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Track Symptoms with a Journal
Your loved one’s daily health symptoms are also an important part of his or her medical history. Too often, it’s easy to forget when a problem such as a nagging cough started, or you may overlook the frequency of a new symptom. Use a simple notebook and pen to create a journal where you can write down changes in your loved one’s health. Then, you can pack the journal in your caregiver bag to share with the physician as needed.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Altamonte Springs, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Make Digital Copies of Essential Documents
You can eliminate unsightly stacks of paperwork and overflowing file cabinets by storing important information on your computer. Start by scanning your loved one’s medical records into a file you create specifically for this purpose. While you may still choose to keep hard copies, having a backup system means you don’t have to worry about losing something critical. In fact, you can even email information directly to your loved one’s medical team before an appointment to save time.
5. Use Health Record Apps
At times, you may need to share information with another caregiver. For instance, the caregiver may need a copy of your loved one’s recent test results to take along on an appointment. With health record storage apps, you can upload information and enable sharing options with specific people. This way, you and the other caregivers can quickly access and share the information needed to keep your loved one healthy.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Windermere Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To talk to one of our trained and friendly Care Managers, give us a call at (407) 604-0506 today.