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Keeping Records About Care Requirements

By: Judith Cameron - Updated: 25 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Records Record Care Management Carer

As we all know, if records are kept about our personal finances and general household management, our daily lives run much more smoothly. The same holds true when you become a carer and take over the running of someone else’s daily life. In addition, you know that their general welfare depends on your efficiency and organisational skills.

It is an incredible responsibility to make sure that someone else has their medication, exercise and meals on time and that you have kept up with their personal hygiene routine, cooking, shopping and cleaning. On top of this, perhaps you have a life of your own to lead and other family members to consider as well as your loved one!

Your life will be extremely busy, often with mundane laborious tasks that are important but easily overlooked. As a result, keeping two (or possible three) record books specifically for the loved one you care for is essential for their well-being - and your sanity…

Record Book One

This is for you to make a note of every medical and professional intervention that is made on behalf of your loved one’s welfare. This will include doctor’s appointments, district nurse visits, hospital appointments with specialists and all therapeutic treatments such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropody etc. It should include the date, the name of the professional involved, a note of the comments made during the meeting and the outcome (whether medication, advice or promise of a follow-up appointment). It should also contain a full description of any care assessment that is made of your loved one to discover what community care services are appropriate.

Caring for someone else often lasts several years and there will be many changes of professional people involved with your loved one’s healthcare. This record is an excellent reminder for you and them about what has gone before and what may have been planned next by the whole caring team, of which you are the central pivot. Once a discussion has been held with one professional, you cannot assume that others will be aware of it, but with Record Book One, you have everything in black and white for all to see; it is invaluable.

Record Book Two

If you are someone’s full-time carer, you are probably in charge of their financial and household affairs as well as their healthcare. As a result, this book is to keep an up-to-date record of their income and expenditure. As well as being a useful tool for balancing the books, it is also a suitable reference for your loved one or if they wish, other close family members, to see how the money is spent. Nevertheless, if you are incurring financial costs in caring for your loved one, you should include these in Record Book Two for all to see and be appropriately recompensed.

Record Book Three

Hopefully your loved one is able to communicate their feelings and tell you or any other carer if they have been unwell or have any specific problem. However, if your loved one has been severely ill or has a disability that prevents meaningful communication, you need Record Book Three for their daily routine. Someone with this level of disability shouldn’t be cared for by just one person and the record book serves as a written communication between all people involved in the care.

Record Book Three can be a large exercise book with one page drawn up for each day. It should be divided into columns with a list of medication, food and drinks that need to be given and space left to note when your loved one has urinated or used their bowels. It also needs to have room for you or any other carer to make comments about your loved one’s general health and mood because, as you will know, even if someone can’t talk, they can make clear when they are unhappy about something.

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