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Journaling - Keeping a Daily Log

Whether a family member or a hired caregiver, we serve as the eyes and ears for our aging loved one or client. When we spend protracted periods of time with an elderly person we may notice changes, however subtle, in their overall health and well-being. By keeping a journal, a daily log, accessible to family members and the client's caregivers we can journal our daily interactions and observations with them - noting positive observations as well as our concerns, which can then be followed up with by a member of the family, lead caregiver, and/or nursing staff.

A three-ring binder can be divided into multiple sections, such as: Daily Activities/Meals (make a check list with an area to write additional details), Medications (day, time, dosage), and sheets for writing personal Notes. By keeping a daily journal of all their activities, the administering of all medications, and personal notations, the caregiving team has access to everyone's interactions and observations, and can then take action to address any changes or concerns as needed with the family and/or their primary care provider. Keep the binder and pen handy where everyone can find them.

Family input is very important to non-family caregivers, as we depend on you sharing your insights and observations to help complete a fuller picture of the overall physical/mental health and needs of our client, especially if they are diagnosed with or show signs of memory loss and may have a difficult time expressing themselves or remembering.

By keeping a log, the information provided helps prepare the next caregiver for what to expect or keep and eye out should the client, even their pet, have some kind of event or difficulty. In the binder, be sure to include the client's physical address and phone number, and all emergency contact information. Know where the client's Health Directive and POLST Form are kept.

Consistency and continuity of support are very important to our clients. And if they are having an especially good day, as caregivers we want to help to reinforce that positive energy and outlook as well. Leaving notes in a journal along with an activity log for the family and care team to review at the start of their visit of shift helps ensure the quality of thoughtful compassionate care our clients expect and deserve.

Please let us know how we can best serve you and your loved one. We offer a free consultation. Serving Lane County, Oregon. (541) 816-1730.

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