One of the most important parts of caring for your loved one is managing their health information. What medications are they taking? When are their upcoming doctors appointments? What medical bills have been paid? The smallest details can make a big difference, such as potential drug interactions or insurance coverage. So, how do you keep everything organized?
Here are some tips to help you manage your parent’s health information. This way, you can keep them safe and have the information accessible to share with others.
Choose a Storage Solution
Years ago, the only option to store medical information was in hard copy form. Today, there are many options available. Some people choose to store health information in an app, in an online database or through patient portals. As convenient as this is, make sure that it offers the convenience you’re looking for. If your loved one sees many doctors, they may be better off with hard copies that can be shared with their physicians.
Manage the Appropriate Data
Included in your loved one’s health files should be important information such as:
- Family health history
- Loved one’s health history
- Insurance information
- Current prescriptions
When meeting with a doctor, it’s easy to forget medications, new symptoms or previous illnesses. Keeping updated paperwork is important, as your loved one can give it to their physician and have everything updated. Also, if you and your siblings take Mom and Dad to their appointments, having all key information in one central location avoids medical mistakes.
Talk about Living Options
At some point, you’re going to need to discuss living arrangements for your parent. It’s important to do this while your parent is still able to communicate their wishes. Does Mom prefer to live at home for as long as possible? Does Dad want to move into an assisted living facility? Are there specific treatments that your parents want to avoid, such as chemotherapy? These conversations are never easy, but it’s best to have them when you know what your parents truly want. You can then include these wishes in your parents’ paperwork.
Keeping your loved one’s medical information organized and updated is important for good health and medical care. Choose an option that works for you and your loved one and stick to it. Doctors appointments will be much less stressful this way!