Does anyone keep a log of the care they give?

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A long time ago way way back before my mother became ill (about 15 years before) she cut my brother out of her will. There are justifiable reasons for this and she wrote a letter to him to explain them which she lodged with her solictor (attorney to you guys I think). Nevertheless it was pointed out to me that it wouldnt stop him challenging the will or the care I give her. Then the social workers were concerned I was incapable of looking after mum. I was furious because all I was asking for was 3 weeks respite a year (something that in the UK is an entitlement providing the social worker thinks you have a case).It's not like I wanted to go anywhere other than to my bed to sleep uninterrupted for a few nights now and again. So I started a log...I do a minimum of 56 hours one to one care of my mum every week. That's excluding laundry cleaning shopping gardening painting decorating calling ot the doctor or paramedics making appointments for her. When I could actually prove the amount I did they reluctantly agreed that not only was I a good carer but did deserve respite. My doctor is impressed that I keep a log of when she takes and when she refuses medication and how much she drinks urinates etc. It all works really well if she gets poorly because we can see what she has had/what she has done which helps build a picture for the professionals of her life and any contributory factors that might need to be addressed. Thoughts anyone - ps its really easy once you have set it up I do mine on a spreadsheet throughout the day and just see how much I have done at the end of every day. It is illuminating and is a real reminder to me that this is now my job - albeit unpaid.....

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Yes, keeping receipts is important. More important, I think, is to keep a log of little changes you notice. Things like Mom has misplaced her keys several times lately, or she seems overly tired, or not interested in doing some activities she used to love, or she has no appetite, or she complains of upset stomach or heartburn a lot. Little things that seem like a normal process of aging might be symptoms of a bigger problem like depression, diabetes or dementia. If this type occurrence is addressed earlier rather than later, that person could very well have a longer and better quality of life.

Just be aware of the little changes you notice - they might mean Mom is getting older, or they might be something serious that needs medical attention now.
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I do keep receipts of anything I buy for mom and staple the check she writes me onto the recipt. For all.the other things I rely mostly on our cell phone records (we are on same.plan) and I am amazed at how often, and how long we talk. Also I try to jot down details during doctor & therapist appointments, on my phone,.for future reference.
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As a retired caregiver, keeping just a spiral notebook can be extremely helpful, not only to you, but to physicians and family relatives living out of the area. You can go back and review your notes to document changes or deterioration of mental and physical functions. Not a good idea to leave it lying around or write notes while the person you are caring for is present - if they realize what you are doing, they will feel violated - and rightly so.

Make sure you guard your notebook - there are privacy laws (HIPAA) protecting their privacy and they ARE enforced. These notes are primarily for YOU, the caregiver, and those health professionals who need to know private information to develop a care plan for the person you are caring for.

Families can be a bit touchy if they realize you are keeping notes - but, in the case of a paid caregiver, it is a requirement of the job.

Just my two cents from my 24/7 caregiving years. Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless you all.
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Oh windy great tip for you - I am not remotely Do it yourself orientated but even I could manage to knock a very large nail into a square of wood then I glued another piece of wood to the base so I didnt scratch everything and then some felt on the bottom to make sure the wood didnt scratch either and voila a perfect bill holding utensil. I put each receipt on in order of date and then staple then together every 8 weeks or so. Anyone who wants to check let them. I refuse point blank to keep a full entry set of accounts. ut of course if they wish to pay for an accountant to check and agree I have kept everything in order then they are free to do so!
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Good point loo regarding questions. I am also POA and taking care of bills and finances. My family , at this time, is not distrustful of me but who knows what may come up down the road. Another reason to keep a record of bills payments etc.
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Yes, I've been doing this for about 8 months now, as things ramped up with my mother. It's very useful to track everything, since it becomes a blur by the end of the week. Also good to have, just in case what you do is being questioned.
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Great idea! I'm caring for my mom and dad long distance. I call each day and check on things and keep a written log each day of any events, meds, illness, bills etc. they are still in their home but probably for not much longer. The log book helps me chart the overall situation . Plus I have a time line of meds etc as they become more forgetful.
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I keep intending to journal mom's delusions & our conversations & things that happen, but I haven't done it yet. It really would help at Dr. visits. Good job Jude. You sound like you're doing everything right. Hope you get more respite hours. You earned it!
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Jude, that's an excellent idea, especially if for some reason there are questions at a later date.
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