Recently, EldercareABC.com published the following article in their newsletter:
Children caring for parents often assist in keeping track of their parent’s health records. This can be a daunting task as many seniors see multiple physicians who may prescribe several medications for a variety of conditions. Keeping good medication and medical records can help prevent dangerous medical and medication errors.
Those assisting seniors can help them keep an updated medication list (including over the counter medications) on a computer or in a notebook. An updated list makes it easier for everyone since the first question most doctors ask for is the patient’s list of medications and any changes since they were last seen.
Even if they are not available for every appointment, the caregiver can ask about any changes and update and print this list for their parent. Expiration of prescriptions might also be followed to avoid trying to get a renewal for a much needed prescription.
Another good record those providing parent care will want to keep is a good medical history that includes conditions, past surgeries, hospitalizations, doctor names, numbers and emergency contact information. These types of lists are vital for emergency visits as well.
They can take these lists to every Dr.’s appointment along with a list of any other issues they or their family may want to address. These simple steps empower the medical professionals providing geriatric care, those caring for their parents and most importantly the seniors themselves.
I personally found when mom was alive, that it was essential to have accurate records readily available. One never knows when you might end up in an emergency room with a parent and it becomes even more crucial then—since the medical team helping your parent most likely knows nothing about their medical history at all.
The last thing you want is some counter-indicative medication to be prescribed that will work against the meds already being taken.
There are many online services where you can input your parents’ medication schedule and set up reminders for them as well as print out their full schedule to take to all doctor appointments, etc.
Some of the services you can check out include:
- Vitality.net – uses light and sound to indicate if a pill bottle has already been opened or if it is time to take a pill
A simple Google search will give you lots of options to help with this very important issue.