Care Coordination

by Senior Care Society on 05/22/2012 - 10:15 pm

Tag: Caregiver Advice

It takes a village to raise a child: we’ve heard it said often and the same is true in caring for an elder.

 

You need a team of volunteers (friends and family members) to take your loved one to the doctor when you have a scheduling conflict, to cook meals for you once a week so you can take a break, to sit and talk with your loved one when he is lonely for company other than you.

 

You need a network of support to carry you on the days that you can’t get out of bed, the days when your loved one does not want you or anyone else near them, the days when your emotions are running high but your patience is running low.

 

You need help. Caregiving is a 24-hours a day, 365 days a year responsibility. Whether you have assumed the position willingly, grateful for the opportunity to care for a loved one who cared for you, or if you assumed the position by “default” and have a strained relationship with the caree, you cannot do it on your own.

 

Besides the exhausting aspects of providing full-time care, there are a myriad of details that a caregiver must manage: when the caree must take certain medications (and subsequently when prescriptions need to be refilled and picked up), a running list of doctor’s appointments, banking information, medical records, power of attorney and living will specifics, and more. Especially in the case of an emergency, a caregiver will need quick and easy access to vital information about the person in their care. If you enlist the help of family and friends (as you should), you’ll need an effective system for managing who is handling what tasks and when (i.e. my brother will bring Mom to her therapy appointments; my sister will do the laundry every other Thursday; Mom’s best friend will come to visit on Monday afternoons, etc.), or delegating doctor’s appointment transportation needs or a meal rotation. During a hospital stay, a number of people may want to be notified and updated on your caree’s status.

 

Thankfully, living in a digital age has its benefits, and the Family Portal is one of them. Designed by caregivers to simplify the process of managing care and encourage the participation of others, the Portal allows you to create a secure personal website. You, as the creator, will have full control over what is displayed and who can access the information on the site.

 

Other features of this free resource:

  • Communicate with your caregiving village through email alerts and announcements.
  • Keep a “Journal” (electronic diary) to track, categorize and share information on medications, hospital stays, health status, and legal & financial information.
  • A calendar feature is helpful for keeping track of family meetings and get togethers, appointments, and more.
  • Upload and share (securely) important documents and records (estate plans, living wills, etc.).
  • Create a contact list of those involved in your loved one’s life (dentist, barber/hairdresser, friends from church, financial advisor, etc.) to send them updates and notifications.

It only takes minutes to set it up, and it’s a completely free resource that will become priceless to you in the throes of caregiving. Sign up here and now: Family Portal.