When I was caring for my parents, I did it old school: paper-based all the way. I purchased a standard three ring binder to use as my notebook. Initially, I used a one-inch binder, but very quickly discovered it didn’t have nearly enough room. The final notebook I used was a three-inch binder with several dividers and three-hole punched pockets that were double-sided. If you want to recreate this version, you can find a notebook, the dividers, pocket folders and business card holder sheets at most office supply stores. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a standard notebook will work.
I created a cover for the notebook, incorporating pictures of Mama and Daddy, along with the title, “Caregiver’s Notes.” Your cover can be as simple or elaborate as you wish; you can use a program such as Microsoft Word to typeset the basic information and print from your home computer. Or, you can download the forms as described here from www.caregiverstrainingprogram.com.
You’ll want to create tabs to separate the sections of your notebook with the following topics:
- Identification References.
- Explanation of Benefits.
- Medical Forms & Personal Health Record.
- Community Resources.
- Facility Information.
- Important Contact Numbers.
- Business Cards.
You can create several different “notebooks” within the app, so each section of the physical notebook can be created here. The great thing about the app is that it will let you collect snippets from the web, scan and upload physical documents you have or receive or type notes as needed.
For more information on creating a fully functional Caregiver’s Notebook, either paper-based or electronic, check out my book, The Caregiver’s Training Program: What You Need to Know to Take Care of Your Parents in their Golden Years, available on www.amazon.com.