6 Medical Record Keeping Tips for Caregivers

Emergencies come with caregiving. Whether an emergency means accompanying a loved one to the ER or making a trip to the person’s home or nursing home, the more information we have at our finger tips the better.

Crucial Information May Escape Us in a Crisis

The medical visits, medication changes and behavioral episodes caregivers help their loved ones through can become a blur to us. Yet, in an emergency, remembering – or forgetting – one medication change can save time or possibly even save a life.

Organization Should Suit Your Personality

Maintaining orderly records containing pertinent information for your loved one will help smooth the way during a crisis. You can use an electronic device to store information or keep a notebook handy. How you do it doesn’t matter. Just do it.

Crucial Medical Information for EMTs

Besides the detailed records you maintain you should keep an at-a-glance sheet in an obvious place in your loved one’s home. This should enable emergency responders to quickly access information about chronic conditions, medications, allergies and doctors.

Nothing Is Insignificant

Your mom who just changed medications has recently been experiencing horrible dreams. Write down each medication change along with the date prescribed. Also, note behavioral changes. You’ll more easily make connections to possible negative side effects of drugs.

Make It a Habit

Maintaining records on new doctors, new medications, new allergies and new behaviors may seem like one more burden for your overtaxed life. Yet this habit could save hours of guess work and backtracking if an alarming change occurs in your loved one’s health.

Carol Bradley Bursack
Meet Our Writer
Carol Bradley Bursack

Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver who spent more than two decades caring for a total of seven elders. This experience provided her with her foundation upon which she built her reputation as a columnist, author, blogger, and consultant. Carol is as passionate about supporting caregivers work through the diverse challenges in their often confusing role as she is about preserving the dignity of the person needing care. Find out much more about Carol at mindingourelders.com.