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I have to bring in more caregivers and I plan on having a notebook out where I can write instructions. I currently have one awesome caregiver who comes in during the day to care for Mom. We text frequently throughout the day and often meet up in the middle of the road when she is leaving and I am coming home. Communication has never been an issue. There will be three different caregivers working 4 hour shifts. What type of stuff should I include on this form? Here is what I have so far - tell me if I have missed anything: Wake time Did she eat breakfast time AM pills taken Blood sugar (time and results) What did she have for lunch Did she eat Bowel movement? exercise (completed P/T) Naps - length and time Dinner bedtime notes/comments/observations Can you think of anything I missed?

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This was something I started off with my aunts caregivers. They only come for two hours each morning due to her not remembering to take her meds and getting severely constipated. I wanted her to be groomed (hair combed, teeth brushed), take her thyroid meds on an empty stomach, have a walk, eat a healthy breakfast, take the rest of her meds, have her miralax, have lotion put on her arms and legs, rotate any laundry, vacuum the den once a week, steam clean the kitchen floor once a week, keep her bathroom clean, help her decide what she's having for lunch, keep the kitchen clean. It sounds like a lot but it's really not. They have plenty of time in two hours. The only thing she really needs is to have help remembering the pills but since she has to pay for two hours, we need it to count. She has a separate aid (through home health) that comes twice a week for her bath and shampoo and to do her sheets. She has a home health nurse once a week. I come once a week (stay overnight) to prepare her meals, take her dog to the vet, take her on dr apts., do her shopping, pay her bills, clean her house and pay the aids and lawn care. I have a housekeeper periodically when I feel like I'm getting behind. When I started I had a page for each day with all the chores listed and then asked them to put a check besides the things they did that day. After a few months with the same aids, I felt it was a formality and not necessarily what they actually did that day. Plus the focus changes with health issues, etc. Today our practice is that they simply put the time they arrive and the time they leave on a calendar notebook so I have a good record of their time worked. If anyone came by, jot their name down, if there were issues, text me or jot them down.Then they sign for their pay at the end of the week. Actually it's one person M-F and another Sat and Sun. When my youngest was in preschool, we had a daily report with a circle representing a face. Each day they would put a straight line for the mouth if it was that kind of day. A smile if that was the case and a frown if that was the what happened. I might decide to add that to the calendar. To me something that makes the helpers reflect for a moment is beneficial. A check becomes too routine over time. My aunt is easy to care for and not very handicapped so my system might not work for you but in trying to keep things less routine and more relevant I find it helps to change the routine from time to time. This works as your helpers become more in tune with your mom and you have a need for different input and confirmation of how things are going while you are away and they are in charge. I'm glad you have a great caretaker to help you with your mom.
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Rainmom, there will likely be an overlap between morning and afternoon since I know Carol will always be early. I have "promoted" her to my Chief of Staff (our little joke) and I am giving her a raise. She will be overseeing the other caregiver(s). The two main reasons for the form are: to have some sort of a timesheet (time in/time out) to help me keep track of paying them and also to make sure that what was told by caregiver 1 to caregiver 2 is not missed when caregiver 3 (me) takes over.

I would really hate to discover that She hadn't pooped in a week and we didn't notice because no one wrote it down.

I might be building in an overlap later, partially so that caregiver 2 has time to run errands.
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I've always thought it a good idea to have a 10-15 minute overlap when there is a changing of the guard. That way they can communicate what's going on with the person, where things are at - like a load of laundry needing to go into the dryer etc. Then you've got a smooth transition without anyone working off the clock- which can have legal complications if someone gets disgruntled. Also - I have to believe a smooth, informed, not rushed transition would be better for the care recipient.
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The Agency I used had their own notebook where everything about the patient was written down, their likes and dislikes, medical information, what not to feed Dad, etc... and each day pages for each shift to write down what they did and how the patient was doing. Wish I would have kept the notebook so I could pass along what was on the sheet.

Don't be surprised if there comes a time when the caregivers will stop writing down the information especially if it is the same thing each and every day, or they become too busy and it was time for the next caregiver to show up.
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We are on the same page. I have a comments from me at the top (to be filled out daily) where I will list specific tasks, doctors appointments and other notes.

I have a comment section at the bottom as well as a shopping list. I have a check off box on the shopping list for myself or my lead caregiver to note if an item was ordered or purchased.

I don't really need to know the results of each bathroom trip but I need to know if she has not had a BM in several days. I think that can be accomplished with a simple check off box. There will be a space to write notes if they notice anything unusual.

I really like you suggestions about mood and participation level. I will incorporate those. Thanks
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This is a good one for me. My son has autism and is completely non-verbal. Rainman goes out with caregivers five days a week and they come home about 15 minutes early so I can put the caregiver through the drill.

So - not being sure if how you listed things here is how you're going to list them in the notebook - I'm going to make that assumption and base my suggestions accordingly.

Some caregivers may just answer your questions with a "yes" or "no" - that wouldn't be enough for me but on the other hand you don't want to make the filling out of the form overly cumbersome. Whenever possible ask open ended questions. 

I would write out complete questions that might look like this: "Breakfast time:
What was served? How much was consumed? What was appetite level?" Repeat format for each meal.
"Bathrooming. Time: voided results?" Allow multiple lines for this to be filled in each trip. "Overall mood". For mood you can list things to be checked if your are looking for something specific. "Happy" "Engaged" "Confused" "Frustrated" etc. Also who's doing the daily grooming/dressing and most importantly showering? I'd include those things. I would also want to know how the day was spent. "Activities": "Time spent on activity". "Level of participation"

Make a spot next to every item for the caregiver to initial.
I would begin the form with a space for you to write in - "Things you should know for today:". I verbally tell Rainmans caregivers things like - he's over due for a BM, he's been stemming on his hair - please redirect, he's been grumpy all morning at home, etc. Make sure you write something everyday- it shows that the form is important to you and you are requiring it to be filled out by each shift.

Lastly, I would put a place at the bottom - before the "addition comments" and have "Any supplies needed?" That shows you are relying on them to pay attention.

It's early and I've only had one cup of coffee - if I think of more I'll add with a new reply.
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