As a caregiver, there is a lot involved in ensuring your loved one receives the very best care. It depends on many things, including finding the right health professionals, advocating for the best possible care and services, arranging payment, and following up on everything that occurs in the process. It can be a full time job in some cases.
It’s also easy to get overwhelmed.
In most cases, the job falls to the primary caregiver. But sometimes he or she needs a little support. That’s where things can get lost in the shuffle. Managing care in the most efficient way requires:
Have a single point of contact for all things medical
Depending on the health of your loved one, you may have a broad range of treatments and therapies in place. That means regular outings to a variety of different facilities, all with different strategies and treatments in place. The easiest way to control it all is by listing one person in the family as point of contact for all providers. That way there is never a mix up for who is notified for what. Everything goes to one person who can track services and ensure everything is in place.
Establish a routine in your healthcare
Medical visits and treatments can be stressful even in the best of times. For the person you are caring for, they can be an extreme source of anxiety. And because you may be attending appointments on a regular basis, that means the stressors in your life can become insurmountable. Whenever possible, use routine to your advantage. Can you schedule appointments all at a certain point during the day? Can you meet certain professionals at the same time every week? Establishing as much routine and consistency as you can reduce the stress of everyone involved, which results in a higher level of care.
Treatment and Diagnosis together
With most chronic illnesses, life becomes a never-ending process of diagnosing a problem and finding a treatment that can increase quality of life. And just when you think you have it figured out, the nature of the illness changes. When working with a professional, be sure you ask about all phases of the condition. If you’re still undergoing tests, what can you do to make life better now? Remember, change is inevitable. The best thing you can do is address today.
Keep your own set of medical records
The more medical professionals you see, the more convoluted the process can seem. Sometimes telling a physician about a previous issue isn’t enough, and it can be difficult to get the right paperwork to bring it into the process. Instead, keep everything together in one place. Ask for copies. Keep records of what forms you fill out and where you send things. Get access to everything you can and keep it safe together for easy access.
What else have you found helps to coordinate your care?