One of the responsibilities that many family caregivers take care of for their aging relatives is keeping track of important information. If you’re new to caregiving, you might not be sure of just what kinds of information you need to gather. Below are 4 kinds of information family caregivers may find useful.
Lots of caregivers find themselves suddenly in charge of their aging relative’s finances without a clue where to find all the information. One place to start is with the older adult’s computer. You’ll need to gather up account logins and passwords. If they don’t manage their finances using a computer, gather up all the paperwork you can find, such as account statements, bills, tax records, etc.
Once you have located all of the information, organize it in a way that makes it easiest for you. You could use a binder or file folders that are clearly labeled. Be sure to keep the information in a secure place to protect sensitive information. Documents that are difficult to replace, such as a Social Security card or will, should be placed in a fireproof box.
Since caregivers often take care of the older adult’s household, they should have access to the necessary information. Some things you may need to know is when importance appliances, like the furnace or water heater, were last serviced or the rules of the homeowner’s association. In addition, you may need paperwork relevant to running a household, like the homeowner’s insurance policy.
Having complete medical information makes it possible for caregivers to get older adults proper care that takes into account all of their conditions. The senior’s medical history will be especially important if you need to change doctors or if a new medical issue comes up. The information can also help caregivers to better understand what is going on with their family member. Collect medical records from as many current and past medical providers as possible. Also, compile a list of all the medications, both prescription and over the counter, that the senior takes.
There are several legal documents that are important for caregivers to be aware of. Seniors may wish to have certain legal documents in place pertaining to their medical care, such as power of attorney, a DNR (do not resuscitate) order, and a living will. Caregivers should know if these documents have been created and have a good understanding of what they mean. In addition, caregivers may need information about the older adult’s will, living trust, or other legal documents that may come into play if the older adult passes away or becomes incapable of making their own decisions.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Herndon, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.