Organization is an essential key to eliminating stress regardless of what role you play in life. That said, assuming the role of caregiver for an aging loved one takes the need for organization to an even higher level of importance. The time it takes you to establish an organizational system that works best for you is time well spent. While every situation is unique, the following strategies provided by Vancouver Home Care Assistance can serve as a valuable guideline for how to stay organized while caregiving.
- Put all medical information in one location – Create a folder that contains the basic medical information you need to fill out doctor questionnaires and insurance forms for your elderly loved one. Include a list of your loved one’s past and current mediations as well as prescriptions or food items they are allergic to. Keep the folder in a convenient location so that you can take it with you to new doctors or to the hospital if there is an emergency situation.
- Keep an electronic or written calendar – Whether you prefer to use your phone or to write things down in a planner, establish a system that works for you so that you can keep track of all of the appointments you are responsible for. From your caregiving duties to transporting your kids to and from school, it’s helpful to have everything in one location. It can also be beneficial to post a wall calendar at home where your entire family can have access to the schedule.
- Make lists – As part of your organizational plan, you may want to keep a list of the supplies that you need to order or purchase regularly. Keep this list in a place you find yourself frequently such as in the kitchen so you can add to it easily. There are also low cost and free caregiving apps available for iPhone and Android devices that have organizational components such as list makers that can help you better keep track of personal care items or prescription renewals.
- Tidy your home – Although it seems like the last thing you want to do while shouldering all your other responsibilities, you can eliminate a lot of frustration by keeping your home organized. Frantic searches for shoes, specific articles of clothing, keys, homework and many other items can add stress to your day. Don’t be afraid to get the whole family involved as it will help lighten your burden and put good habits in place for your children.
In the beginning it may be difficult to stick to an organizational plan, but staying organized is a beneficial habit to develop as a caregiver. Also, consider working a professional caregiver into your schedule. Even if you only enlist in their help once or twice a week, it can give you the respite and break you need to relax, reorganize and return to your responsibilities rejuvenated. For more information about part and full-time home care in Vancouver, contact a Home Care Assistance Case Manager at 778-279-3634.