A big part of being an effective and efficient caregiver is organization. Caregivers have a lot to keep track of and often have to accomplish a long “to do” list in a day. By staying organized, they can work their way through tasks more quickly and ensure their aging relative is getting the best care they can possibly offer. If you’re a caregiver struggling to stay organized, here are 5 ways you can stay organized.
#1: Use Your Smartphone
Most people carry their smartphones wherever they go. That makes them readily available when you need to remember something. Consider putting your to-do list on your smartphone, allowing you to add to it and check items off as you go. You can also use the calendar feature on your smartphone to keep track of appointments and the older adult’s care schedule.
#2: Keep Medications Organized
Many older adults take multiple medications, which can get confusing. Keeping medications organized helps to avoid medication errors. There are lots of different ways to organize medications. One of the most popular is using pillboxes that have compartments for each day’s pills. Look for a pill organizer that has enough compartments for each day’s pills, such as one for the morning, noon, and night. Set time aside each week to fill the pillbox. Touching pill bottles only once per week saves time and makes it easier for seniors to take the right medications each day. In addition to organizing medications, it’s important to keep an updated list of medications that can be shared with doctors and pharmacists on a regular basis, which helps to prevent dangerous interactions between medicines.
#3: Use Apps
There are many apps designed for caregivers. There are apps that help keep track of medications. Others help to track symptoms, medical records, and more. Take advantage of apps that make it easier for your to organize information about your aging relative. However, only use them if they truly make caregiving easier for you, not because someone says they should. If old-school methods of organization work better for you, like keeping a notebook, then stick with that.
#4: Keep a Complete Contact List
Seniors may see a number of different health care providers. In addition, there can be several family caregivers involved. It can be helpful to keep a list of all the parties involved, including notes about what they do and their contact information. Provide the list to all family caregivers, so everyone can stay in touch.