Job of a caregiver to elderly parents and patients is full of responsibilities and all of it is enormous. A caregiver is in charge of the life and all activities of the elderlies taking care of each and every little aspect of their day to day activities. It is not just giving them medicines on time but caring for their food, dressing up and all. Therefore, the job can be exhausting as well as overwhelming if not frightening at times.
However, you can excel as a caregiver and stay ahead of the competition if you plan things early and follow it diligently. Organization is the key to make a caregiving job much easier and less stressful. This principle is applicable for all caregivers, whether you are a first timeror you have been doing it for quite some time now.
There are lots of benefits to be organized in your work. It will eliminate unnecessary things such as:
- Miss outs
- Wasted time.
Yes, you may be reluctant initially because it will add another thing in your “to do” list, but believe it or not you will soon find that this little extra effort is worth it and will pay your rich dividends.
Tips to get organized
Here are a few easy to follow and effective tips that will help you to get organized and provide better service as a caregiver. These tips are helpful for both, a primary or a family caregiver as well as for any hired caregiver for any elderly adult or patient.
- Paperwork: You must have all the necessary paperwork ready and in hand. Therefore, gather all paperwork and keep it safe in one specific location. It will be very helpful if you use an accordion folder for this or a three-ring binder that has different sections in it. Place everything is different sections and make sure that you label each section properly and sort it accordingly. The different sections may include hospital bills, list of medications, dosage list, list of doctors or specialists phone numbers, what the medications are for, insurance and lot more. Label the binder clearly and keep it in an easily accessible and a safe location in the home. This will ensure that anyone else such as a home health aide or a relative caring for the elderly parent can quickly and easily refer to it as and if needed.
- To-do list: Always maintain a ‘To-Do’ list and always keep it up to date even if the condition of the elderly is comparatively stable. Since there can be changes anytime, updating your list is essential. Mention all the necessary activities and caregiving responsibilities in it along with any other work oriented or family oriented tasks. For maintaining such a list you can use an app in your mobile device or use a physical paper organizer daily or weekly, whichever way you feel comfortable.
- Observation notebook: You will be better off if you maintain a small notebook for daily observations as well. This will help you to be knowledgeable about the mental as well as physical health of the elderly parent or patient and at the same time will keep you well-informed about any changes in mental faculties, physical activities or eating habits for example.
- Calendar: You can use a large wall calendar so that you do not miss any appointments. Yes it is true that you can do the same with tablets and smart phone in this day and age but this old fashioned or seemingly unnecessary way of physical time management will help you to stay more organized. Display it in a prominent location so that it stays within view always. You can keep a backup of any appointmenton your digital device with a reminder set. A physical calendar will not only benefit you but also others caring for the elderly. It will also help the elderly as it will allow them to be involved in their own care.
- Utilize others: If you are a family caregiver then it is natural that you will find 24 hours too short to make a day. In such situations and if you can afford it, you must hire other services to take care of the smaller errands. This will help you to focus on other jobs that are more important. You can hire a housekeeper twice a month for cleaning, find a local person to mow the lawn for free or low fee, and sign up with a grocery delivery service or for meals. You may also hire an outside caregiver a couple of times a week as a second aide will share the work to free you to handle other responsibilities or spend some personal time. You can visit reliable and reputed places such as https://myallamericancare.com to get trained aides and nurses to hire for personal care and home health.
- Medical list: Maintain a list of medications and medical supplies and keep it updated so that you have enough time for restocking. This will ensure that you have everything that you need in hand and never run short of medication, bandages, or any other important supplies and get frustrated.
- Manage responsibilities: As said earlier, the job of a caregiver is full of responsibilities. Therefore, it is wise that you follow it in the right order and never let small tasks slide by as this will pile up your responsibilities making it unmanageable and frustrating in the end. Therefore never put any task off. If you take care of the tasks as soon as you can you will not find bills lying unopened, or dishes are not put away or left unclean or supplies are alarmingly low. You will never forget anything that way.
Lastly, make sure that the elderly is comfortable in the surrounding. If needed you should buy senior-friendly gadgets and accessories to make things easier for the both of you. All these will ensure a better life for the elderly and keep you more relaxed, prepared, and confident in your job.