Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesdays with Elders - The Notebook

Graphic from Morguefile.com
As a caregiver, one is often called on to give a medical history. Sometimes in the adrenalin rush of an emergency, information may be forgotten. To make your life as a caregiver easier, prepare a notebook with information that is needed.

Insert or glue a sheet of paper to the notebook cover. Title the sheet: Emergency Information for Name. Include a picture of your Elder. Make a notebook for each Elder in your care. Keep the notebook in a prominent place in the Elder's home like a coffee table, so if you are not available,emergency personnel can grab the notebook if the Elder is not able to speak for him or herself.

On the first page include name, address of the Elder and Social Security number, and birth date along with names, addresses, and phone numbers of emergency contacts, primary care physician, pharmacy

Use dividers to make finding information easier:

1.  Insurance: photocopy front and back of insurance card, Medicaid card

2.  Medication: list all medications and dosages taken.

3.  Medical history: List ailments, injuries, surgeries with dates if possible (It always amazed me that even though medical personnel would have a notebook with my parents medical records, they never seemed to open their notebook to read the medical history.)

4. Include a copy of the the Power of Attorney and

5. Healthcare Proxy

While you're preparing the notebook, you also might want a copy of a bank statement so you have checking and savings account numbers. It will make your life easier if you can have your Elder include your name on all their bank accounts.


  1. What a helpful idea, CJ. I can get my hands on all that information, but no one else in the family would know where to find it.

  2. This is like Déjà vu! Very important for a caregiver. Good advice!

  3. We have a great system here where we have special plastic container which is kept in the fridge and a sticker is put on the inside of the front door to say we are part of this scheme.
    Any healthcare worker knows where the info is for meds, doctors, phone numbers etc.
    A fridge seemed a strange place but the container fits in the door with its big green cross and the scheme becoming quite popular and everyone can find a fridge!