Article Series

Are You Keeping Caregiving Records

Article submitted by Rebecca Sharp Colmer: Eldercare Advocate, Author, Publisher, Speaker. Find Rebecca’s books online.
The Gift of Caregiving – Click Here
More Books by Rebecca Colmer – Click Here

The caregiver role is complex and differs for everyone depending on the needs of the care-receiver (patient). Many times, in the beginning, there may only be a few needs, such as providing transportation or helping with shopping or cooking. Over time, needs increase, requiring additional services, until the care-receiver is fully dependent on the caregiver.

Becoming a caregiver is a big undertaking and it doesn't come with a specific job description. Often the role of caregiving is unexpected and comes at a time when you are not prepared. Keep in mind, that even the most prepared caregivers face new challenges every day.

The challenges of caregiving are well known. Adults are living longer and their healthcare concerns are increasing. Given the current economic conditions, financial difficulties are on the rise making it more difficult for aging adults to remain independent in their homes. There are over 37,000,000 caregivers who need all of the help they can get.

Every caregiver should keep caregiving records on a daily basis. The Caregiver's Care Plan is very similar to the Nurse's Plan of Care and the Hospice Plan of Care. It is a daily record of the care and treatment of the care-receiver. It provides a record of events that assist everyone on the Care Team. Daily records become a reference tool that may be reviewed as needs and conditions change. Think of it as a home healthcare management system.

Here are some reasons to keep caregiving records:

  • Most importantly, keeping daily records will let you regularly reassess the needs of your loved one, to ensure better healthcare.
  • In the long run, keeping caregiving records will help you save time and money. You can reduce costs and doctor's visits by keeping trusted members of the Care Team up-to-date about your loved one's condition.
  • Reduce stress. An online organizer is an effective time management tool that helps you stay organized and ease caregiving stress.
  • It allows another caregiver to take your place fairly easily.
  • It is easier to share information with family members and trusted friends. An online organizer will help communication flow easier.
  • An online organizer allows you to enlist the help of others. It makes it easier to schedule shared tasks and responsibilities.
  • It helps you to better manage your workload.
  • A daily audit will help to increase both care-receiver and caregiver satisfaction.
  • Helps to incorporate a plan of action for setting boundaries and maintaining them. This helps to reduce caregiver stress.
  • Reduce clutter. It's good to have all of your loved one's records in place rather than having dozens of pieces of paper will individual notes.

Posted July 2012 on www.SeniorsResourceGuide.com