Organizing and managing your senior loved one’s medical information can be overwhelming, particularly if they have multiple doctors, medications, and health care visits. If you’ve found it difficult to keep track of all the schedules, symptoms, and supplements, these helpful tips should make the job much easier!
Gather these supplies
A blank, lined notebook or journal
A current list of your loved one’s medications
An organizer, such as an expandable file or a binder
You’ll use your journal almost like a medical diary. In it, you can keep information such as symptoms that are causing you or your loved one concern, questions you have for their next doctor’s visit, and information and notes from each doctor’s visit. Think of your journal as a way of keeping an ongoing written record of your loved one’s medical history.
The Medication List
Keep a list of every medication and supplement your loved one is taking, so you can show it to their doctor or health care professional at each visit. Begin by writing down the name of all medications, when and how often each is taken, and the dosage. Update the list when any new medication is prescribed or any are removed from their regimen.
Pro Tip: The AARP has some ready-made forms you can download for keeping track of medications and for organizing information such as doctors, clergy, power of attorney, and other important resources. Visit their website and scroll down the page to look for “Resources.”
File all current hard copies of medical info in your organizer, such test results, CAT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, cardiac tests, pathology reports, hospital discharge summaries, any printed materials from each health care visit, etc. You can also put your up-to-date medication list in this organizer, and even your journal, so everything will be in one place!
Pro tip: Consider purchasing label tabs like these for your journal and organizer. Use the labels to organize your system by date, health care provider, or health issue; whatever works best for you!
Some people find it easier to use technology rather than pen and paper when it comes to tracking medical history. Here are some ideas for the tech-savvy organizer:
Google Drive allows you to set up and organize documents and folders nearly any way you’d like. You can create folders for your medical journal, your medication list, and for medical reports. You can scan and upload hard copies from health care visits, etc. and organize them by folder. Google Drive can be accessed through your smart phone, so you’ll have everything with you at all times.
Care Zone is a free app that allows you to track health information, including keeping track of medications; simply snap a photo of the medication and it will automatically upload it for you! The app will also remind you when meds need to be taken. Additional services include medication delivery and even scanning your insurance card to find out if you can save on Medicare. You aren’t obligated to use all the functions of the app or to purchase anything, so you can choose what services you’d like.
Did you know that we can help your older family member manage medications, take them to doctor’s visits, and work with your family to make sure they’re receiving the proper care following surgeries and other health issues? Call us today, and we can help create a customized care plan that will give you peace of mind and free up more time for you to spend making happy memories with your loved one!