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Home Care of Elder Parents: Managing Care Within the Family

As my parents are moving up in years, my sister and I have stepped into a new role as elder caregivers. The two of us take turns caring for our elderly parents, “trading off” weeks that work around around our jobs and families.

When our Mom was diagnosed with cancer recently, Sis and I soon discovered that we needed a better system for sharing medical information click for source. We developed a “Family Charting System” that helped us keep track of Mom’s medical appointments and health information. The Family Charting System is passed back and forth between the two of us when it’s time for us to exchange places and is a fantastic ways to bring us current with Mom’s current treatment plan.

If you and your siblings are having similar problems in tracking your elder parents’ heath care appointments and treatments, a Family Charting System may work for you. This is how it’s done:

Supplies Needed

Supplies Needed

* A three ring zippered binder with pouches, pockets, and pen holder.
* Tote bag which is large enough to hold both the notebook, but alsobottled water, snacks, and other supplies that might be have to brought to an appointment
* Pens
* Single hole punch
* Spiral bound notebook
* pocket notebook
* pocket calendar

Setting up the Family Charting System

Setting up the Family Charting System

The three ring zippered binder is the foundation of your charting system and it’s here where the spiral notebook should be stored, along with the pens, hole punch, pocket notebook, and pocket calendar.

The pocket notebook is used for recording current medications, and important contact information. It should be kept in one of the zippered pouches where it’s easy to find.

The spiral bound notebook is used as a log, and records both the date of the appointment or treatment, what was said and what was done. It should also record general observations such as how the parent responded to the treatment.

Upcoming appointments are noted in the pocket calendar.

Copies of test results should be punched with the hole punch and placed behind the spiral bound notebook in the zippered binder. While your parent’s physicians should have copies of everything, having extra copies will give you something to refer to if there is a question.

The original copy of the living will directive should also be kept in the zippered binder.

In a situation where both parents are in need of care, two separate Family Charting Systems should be set up so that each parent has his or her own set of records.

Using the Family Charting System

Once the charting system has been set up, it can be placed in the tote bag and stored in an agreed upon place in your elder parents’ home. This makes it convenient for siblings to grab on the way to a doctor’s appointment or treatment center.

The Family Charting System is an effective way of organizing and managing elder parent’s medical information, especially when more than one sibling is involved in their care. By keeping medical information in one easy-to-find location and recording what transpires at the doctor’s office or clinic, siblings can effectively share this medical information without the risk of forgetting something important.