Whether your aging parents live in their own home, with you or in assisted living housing, it’s a safe assumption you want to be involved in their healthcare. Especially if your parents have health problems, as many seniors do, keeping track of medical records, appointments, instructions and prescriptions can be challenging. Being organized is crucial because oversights can jeopardize your parents’ health. Here are some tips to help you organize the avalanche of medical paperwork associated with caring for a senior.
Even if you are the primary healthcare advisor for your parents, you will not always be there 24/7. Make multiple copies of the following items and place them in a colored folder where home healthcare nurses and relatives can easily find them in your absence. If your parent lives in one of the many assisted living communities in OKC, let the staff know you will keep updated medical records in this folder and tell them where to find it. Include the following information:
Personal and family health histories so any emergency responder can quickly peruse if needed
Names of all medications, dosages, information about when to administer and name of prescribing physician
Names, addresses and contact information for all of your parent’s doctors
Information about any allergies
Copies of insurance and Medicare cards
Copies of any advance healthcare directives
Not all healthcare information needs to be accessible on a daily basis. Still, you should hold onto it for future reference. File the following information in a different folder and store it where it is accessible. By separating the information you won’t need on a daily basis, you’ll cut down on paperwork you’re dealing with every day and be less apt to misplace critical information. In this second folder, keep:
Laboratory test results
Hospital discharge summaries
Copies of insurance policies
This information is helpful if you need to help your parent transition to a new doctor or to assisted living for seniors in Oklahoma. Physicians and senior care providers will want to review a comprehensive health history to get to know your parents situation.
Journaling can be an eye opening tool to gauge your aging parent’s progress or decline. As a caregiver, you can keep a journal of your parent’s moods and any physical symptoms they may develop. Your role in journaling should be to look for patterns or changes that may indicate it’s time to consider a new medication or a transition to Oklahoma assisted living services. Journaling is also a helpful way for you to get out your own feelings of stress or anxiety.
Your parents should journal about their physical symptoms as well. Are they experiencing new or worsening pain? Are there troubling symptoms they should discuss with their doctor? Take the time to read your parent’s health journal so you can spot potential problems and have them checked out.
If you are caring for an aging loved one and are interested in learning more about assisted living for seniors in Oklahoma, contact us at Village at Oakwood. Being a caregiver can be exhausting. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give your loved one and yourself is to transition to senior living. Your loved one will have round-the-clock care and social interaction. You will have breathing room and be fully present for your loved one.