It is hard to be all things to all family members, expectations are high and can create stress, overwhelm, and feeling like you are just going through the motions of life without being present. When you add the additional role of caregiver for an elderly family member it often affects your own physical and emotional health. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Being prepared early on in the role of caregiver will give you an edge and save you time, energy, undue stress and money. In this article I am going to cover the first principle of 5 in caregiving. Being Organized. It can be difficult to keep track of all of the information as a caregiver but the consequences of not doing so come at a high cost to all involved.
The more organized you can be the more time you will have for your family enjoyment and other parts of your life. You may think that you don’t have time to get organized but the opposite is true, you can’t afford to lose the additional time and money that caregiving will take when you are not organized.
The following list will help to free you from the anxiety and overwhelm of caregiving:
1. Develop a system by keeping paperwork regarding your loved one in one place. Establish a spot in your home to keep all information concerning the health and well being of your loved one in one place.
2. Get in the habit of updating the records after every visit to the doctor or trip to the pharmacy. Elderly patients often have multiple doctors who may each prescribe different medications. Its important for all doctors to know what medications your loved one is taking so that they are able to pay attention to drug interactions.
3. A Caregiver Journal for all in home professional caregivers, or other family members who take care of your loved one will help to keep an accounting of how the care receiver is doing, how the day went and anything that should be taken into consideration or important observations.
4. Keep a notebook nearby to record necessary information when communicating on the phone.
5. On the refrigerator keep a list of frequently called phone numbers handy, as well as a grocery pad checklist to make shopping easy.
6. Use a calendar to keep track of appointments, including respite care. If you have siblings consider using an online calendar such as a Google calendar so that everyone is in the loop. It makes scheduling who is going to help easier.
Being organized involves an initial time commitment but once you have it in place it is much easier to navigate the system of changing eldercare needs. If you would like help in becoming an organized caregiver and reclaim your precious time with your loved ones, sign up for a 30 Minute Complimentary Caregiver Coaching Session by Clicking HERE.