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I'm now in charge of caring for my grandmother who is on Medicaid. Since she doesn't speak English, I'm going to be in charge of everything related to her health, finances, living conditions, etc. I'm a bit nervous, and one of the things I'm concerned about is how to keep organized. I already am writing down her medications, doctors, but things are getting unruly. What information should I be keeping as I care for my grandmother day-to-day? Do you have any tips on how to stay organized? Right now I don't know what I don't know. Thank you...

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I make paper copies because it’s easier for me. I like paper lol
I like to flip back and see when I last bought certain supplies and make notes.
But the scanning is something my helper and I have been discussing doing on an annual basis.
I live a couple of hours away from my LO. I try to keep my ‘current’ notebook with me so I can more easily respond to issues as they occur.
I also keep a lot of info on my phone in notes section. Probably a bit redundant.
I want to insure that if something should happen to me that others can seamlessly take over.
I don’t always remember (three years later) why I made certain decisions so a quick note reminds me.
I think whether you carry in a binder or just have online is a personal preference. In my mom’s area internet access or phone access was iffy. So I developed my notebook as s result. 
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97yroldmom That's smart. You've made paper copies, or scanned to a computer?
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Pkpp
Wow, this is a great template
Thanks for Sharing.


Over the years I’ve noticed many receipts fade. As a result I’ve started copying them.
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Not sure if helpful for others here, but I found a reasonable document template online: springwell.com/docs/Resources/Caregiver_Notebook.pdf
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Thanks so much, GardenArtist. My uncle is starting on that right now so I didn't have it listed. But I'll post here for other folks too:

- bills/expenses. snap a picture, keep original papers in file.
- changes in medication, doctors notes, blood pressure / stats, daily wellness, etc. i'll post this into a binder or spreadsheet.
- important upcoming appointments and dates to remember on a calendar. i'll add this to an online calendar.
- list of phone numbers and names for providers. i'll post this into a binder or spreadsheet.
- list of investments (stocks, bonds, etc). add information / passwords to a spreadsheet and backup.

Anything missing here? Should I be carrying all this around with me in a binder as well?
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When I had time, I used spreadsheets for all medical expenses. When tax time rolled around, all I had to do was print them out and they were ready for input into medical expense calculations.

I haven't seen any mention of income from investments, if there are any. If so, I would also create a spreadsheet (password protected) with data on holders of stocks, bonds, etc., along with contact info, account numbers, etc. And be sure to print it out. When my computer took a long vacation, I had to have all the data on my hard drive backed up b/c I couldn't access it once the computer crashed.

I also keep all the investment data in my annual tax binder, along with expenses and other relevant data.
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Thanks rocketjcat. That's super smart. My list is getting much better now:

- bills/expenses. snap a picture, keep original papers in file.
- changes in medication, doctors notes, blood pressure / stats, daily wellness, etc. i'll post this into a binder or spreadsheet.
- important upcoming appointments and dates to remember on a calendar. i'll add this to an online calendar.
- list of phone numbers and names for providers. i'll post this into a binder or spreadsheet.

I really appreciate everyone's help on this.

Is there anything else? Do you use any tools besides a paper binder to track this?
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Also, I take photos of the items I buy my LO on my phone and keep them, just in case they get misplaced. This way they are easier to track and she can get reimbursed, if necessary. Some places may not have a problem with this, but, many do. And, remember to mark her name in all her clothes. I keep a Sharpie in my purse for this.
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Have you changed her address for mail to come to your house? That will make bills etc a lot easier to manage.
Also once a year she/you should be getting a statement from social security with the an monthly benefit. Perhaps yearly pension statements too. Make sure you keep them. She may need to file income taxes so keep anything related to that.
Keep a list of phone numbers of the charge nurses desk, social worker, dietician and put them in your phone. I also write down all the names of the cnas and Lpns so I can get to know them by name. These are going to be your allies.
I usually bring a small steno pad in my purse and write a simple dated notation when I’m there like “doing well but tired”. “Spit out meds”. “Great day!” or notes if she had fallen etc. It’s amazing how all the days run into each other if you don’t take a few notes.
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sunnygirl11 - that's helpful, thanks. So I should primarily be tracking and organizing:

- bills/expenses
- changes in medication, doctors notes, blood pressure / stats, etc
- important upcoming appointments on a calendar.

Look right?
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PKPP1233,
I'm not sure how your state handles Medicaid qualification, but, one thing that I would recommend is to find out the contact information of the case worker and obtain the date when your LO will come up for annual review. It's usually the same time each year. Find out in advance what information they will require and the forms that need to be be completed. After a couple of years, my LO's file was passed to someone new and the mail went to the facility and not me, EVEN though, I had requested otherwise. They forgot and the facility, just let it sit and didn't call me. AND the case worker had mailed it last minute and was due within about 48 hours. If I had not been on top of it and inquiring, we would have missed the deadline. I actually filled it out and hand delivered it to the case worker so we did not miss the deadline. Sometimes, you have to really be proactive. If I had waited on others to do their job.....
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Thanks Tothill. Does this sound right in terms of things I should be collecting and organizing?

- Bills/expenses. This is for reimbursement.
- Changes in medication, doctors notes, blood pressure and other stats, changes in behavior. This is to have a personal record of health over time.

Anything else I should be keeping?
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pkpp remember to keep the receipts as well. Page protectors for binders work well. You can save the receipts based on month, or break it down further to type of expense.

If a request is made for something for her, ie. AL asks you to bring her supplies, keep a copy of the request and staple the receipts to it.

For doctor's appt's etc., if you are attending, take notes in a diary/planner that has one page per day. Record any changes to medication etc. there too. If the doctor takes her pulse or BP, write those down too. You can also use this to write down changes you notice in behaviour. It is always hard to remember the dates and details after the fact. If someone else is taking her, ask them to take the planner and have the doctor record the basics of the visit. You will need to have a Healthcare POA for this, or a HIPPA release on file at the doctor's office.
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Thanks freqflyer, that's super helpful. The way I keep tabs on spending is by taking pictures of receipts with my phone, and then putting links to those into a spreadsheet.

Besides expenses, is there anything else I should be documenting? For instance, I've been trying to save information from doctor's conversations and such.

I'm just unsure of what I should be documenting now, so that we'll have it moving forward later in her care?
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pkpp1233, I was glad to read in your profile that Grandmother is living in Assisted Living or is she in a Nursing Home? Whew, that takes a major load off your shoulders.

To keep organized, I bought myself large 3-ring binders, different colors represented a certain items, such as green for bank statements. Put these binders on a shelf, so they are easy to find.

I assume Medicaid is paying for her nursing home room, board, and care. Thus, there won't be many bills to deal with.

Are you able to sign your Grandmother's checks? Or do you keep a tab on what you have paid from your own pocket and Grandmother will reimburse you later? If it is a reimbursement, keep a separate binder for those items. I use to xerox the bill with the check on top of the bill to keep in a binder. My Dad used the tab system, but there were times when months would go by before I was reimbursed.

Do you have Power of Attorney for Grandmother? If not, who does? If Grandmother needs to go into the hospital, will that other person be able to rush over there quickly? Hospitals usually have interpreters available either in person or via telephone.
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