Caregiver journal

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Just recently had a discussion with one of my siblings regarding placement in an ALF for my Mom. Ultimately, we decided we will not be placing Mom anywhere right now and will continue to care for her. Later though, my sibling informs me that if we had placed Mom, she would have just gone and gotten her out and taken her to her home. Now she has contributed nothing to my Mom's care over the past 40 years and she has continually milked the money cow during that time. She, herself is disabled and can barely care for herself. I have both the financial POA and healthcare POA for my Mom, but she informed me that she would have the State intervene and remove her. I guess she was thinking of guardianship. But living with my sister would be the worst possible scenario for my Mom due to the sibling's erratic behaviors, financial irresponsibility and her own physical disabilities. Clearly she is only thinking emotionally. But that got me to thinking, worrying a little really, so I checked out our State's process and requirements for guardian and conservator of an adult. Actually it was quite scary, in our state they require audits, regular reporting, no compensation, etc. and the Guardian/Conservator bears the entire burden of proof regarding the well being of the person as well as their finances and property and this information is reviewed by the court.

So I decided to develop a Caregiver Journal today. In it I provide a Summary Background that explains how Mother came to be living in our home and how she began to require assistance with activities; then, I provided a Summary Status that describes her current condition, general health, medications, recent illnesses, physician visits, diagnoses and caregiving. Finally I give a Summary of her Financial situation, assets (there are none) accounts and balances as well as recurring monthly expenses and any prearranged discretionary spending, before I completely took over management of her affairs.

On an ongoing basis, I have created a weekly medication chart and then will record daily meals along with notes and comments as necessary, including any behaviors that are out of the ordinary, doctor visits, caregiver visits, etc.

Perhaps this has turned into extreme paranoia on my part, but I figure the record will be useful on doctor visits, in emergencies and if I am ever called to account by Adult Protective Services or if there is ever any guardianship battles.

Useful?

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I love the idea of this journal and I should have kept one, but will be starting this week. They have all kind of organizing journals, this is a great idea you should create it and sell them....I would buy it!
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Veronica ... thanks for the encouragement. Have all of our important docs, including Mom's, secured in a fireproof lockbox. I also have two separate offline digital copies of each document secured as well. These are good steps for anyone to take to maintain the security of important information.

Regarding the journal, I learned long ago that a written record will hold up in court especially if there is supporting documentation.

Personally believe that as the public becomes more aware that our aging population requires caregiving, they will become more aware of the issues. What I see that the media usually focuses on elder abuse; there seems to be a total lack of awareness concerning difficulties that the family caregiver experiences or any inclination to provide support or encouragement.

Representatives from the Adult Protection Services should read some of the same stories that I've read on this site and they will begin to wonder what kind of moral fiber caregivers are made of that allows them to lose their lives and themselves to become immersed into the needs of an aged person.

Anyway, thanks for the sage advice, it helps me to realize I haven't gone over the edge yet. :-)))))!!! LOL
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Useful I should say so! Absolutely vital if you are run over by a bus. ( I hope not) Separately include SS#, bank account # any insurance policy #s Any funeral home pre arrangements and copies of important papers like DNA, POA and birth certificate. this kind of journal should always be kept by caregivers so there is a written record when someone else takes over later in the day,especially important when there are outside caregiver and a replacement comes in at short notice. That way they can look back and find when meds were given and usual behaviors. nursing notes are kept in hospitals so that the next shift can check on new orders for patient etc and Drs can see what the nurses are observing. record normal things too. For instance "Jenny (grand daughter came to say goodbye because she leaves for college tomorrow" Mother crying after visit and said she did not know if she would ever see Jenny again. Reassured her Jenny was only going to ,insert name of college and she would be home every other week end. That way when the evening caregiver comes in and patient starts crying and can't remember why she is upset the caregiver can read the note and offer reassurance. keep this daily journal separate from important stuff like financials. most people just use a regular notebook at the bedside. this is vital evidence but if you want to copy this onto a computer for your own use that is fine but never destroy the notebooks. You had an excellent idea and not just for the reason you are creating the records
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