How to Organize an Elderly Parent’s Medical Records at Home

How to Organize Elderly Medical Records at Home

One of the many jobs a family caregiver performs is the coordination of medical care. They may keep the calendar for family caregivers, schedule appointments, and handle emergencies. Because of the many things a caregiver does, it’s important to remain organized. This is especially true when it comes to making sure doctors and other caregivers are able to access an older adult’s medical records when needed. If medical history and other important information are not kept organized, mistakes in care can happen.

Below are some tips for family caregivers to collect and organize medical records in a manner that makes it easy to find the necessary information even in an emergency situation.

Basic Medical Records Information to Include

At a bare minimum, the following information should be readily available as part of a senior’s medical history:

1. Full name.

2. Birthdate.

3. Blood type.

4. A list of all allergies.

5. Information about chronic conditions.

6. Medication list, including dosages.

7. Dates of visits to the doctor.

8. Information about tests and screenings, including dates and results.

9. Information about surgeries or major illnesses.

In addition to information about health, the file should include copies of health insurance cards and copies of any advance directives. It is also a good idea to keep contact information for the primary caregiver with the file so they can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Other Information That May Be Helpful

In addition to basics listed above, the following information may also be useful to doctors and caregivers:

1. Contact information for all pharmacists and doctors.

2. A family history of major illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease, which may be hereditary.

3. Organ donor authorizations.

4. Vision records.

5. Dental records.

6. Notes about lifestyle habits, such as exercise, diet, smoking, and alcohol use.

How to Organize Medical Records

How you organize the information is really up to you. Use a system that you find easy to maintain and that you can explain to others. Here are some ideas for organizing information:

1. Use a boldly colored three-ring binder that is easy to spot.

2. Clearly label the front of the file with the person’s name and “Medical Records” or “Emergency Medical Information.”

3. Collect business cards from healthcare providers and slip them into plastic sleeves in the binder. (Tip: clear plastic sleeves designed for holding cards can be purchased where collectible sports cards are sold.)

4. Instead of writing down appointment dates in a log, keep appointment reminder cards and place them in the file.

5. When you update a page in the file, write the date you made the update on the top of the page so you know how current the information is.

The hardest part of being organized is the initial undertaking of the task. Once you’ve created the medical history file, keeping it updated shouldn’t take much time. The time it does take will be well worth the effort if your parent ever needs emergency assistance.

For Home Care Services, Contact Sonas Home Health Care

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call (888) 592-5855 today.

Sources:
https://caregiver.com/articles/organizing-medical-history/
http://www.aarp.org/health/doctors-hospitals/info-07-2010/why_you_should_keep_a_personal_medical_history.html

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