Being Efficient with Documentation and Communication When Providing In Home Care Services

Published February 23, 2017 in In-Home Care  By  Covered Caregiver Information Desk
Long Distance Caregiving

When an elderly person requires in home care services, there is usually more than one person that is responsible and involved in the caring of your elderly companion’s needs.  It is extremely important that each caregiver involved, whether it be doctors, family members or an in home care service provider be efficient in their documentation and communication amongst each other. Each person involved should maintain any changes in the elderly companion’s schedule of doctor appointments, social events and client’s files.

As your elderly companion’s health starts to deteriorate one of the first things we see diminish is their memory loss.  Your senior client may have several medications they need reminder of or have multiple doctor’s appointments or social events they need to attend.  There are several things you can do to reduce any stress and anxiety for all the parties involved in the care of your client.

  • Calendar of events – It is important for anyone in the caregiver service industry to keep a large calendar with plenty of room for notes in a visible space in the house. The calendar should list any doctor’s appointments or significant events.  You will want to include the contact names and phone numbers when scheduling an event or appointment.  By doing this, we are making it easy for anyone involved to contact the correct party for any changes that may occur in your elderly client’s schedule.   Included on the calendar could also be medication reminders.  Remember, as a caregiver service provider we are not authorized to dispense medication, but strictly remind our client when to take the medication and at what dosage.  A caregiver may want to add the days the monthly bills are do, as well.
  • Client’s File complete and visible – Any charts, medication, care assessment plans should be in an area of the home that is visible to any person involved in the care of the client. There may be many involved in the caregiving service of your elderly client, so we want to ensure the notes are legible and documentation is kept current, as different people will be reading these entries. Try to review the notes that are made by the visiting doctor or nurse prior to them leaving the home, that way if you do not understand their entry or have any questions about what is documented, they can be addressed immediately. This will assist in the efficient continuation of care of our senior client.
  • Communication – It is important that the family members and the professionals are kept in the loop with the care and well-being of your elderly client. Working with the professionals, such as the doctor, we as the caregiver, need to ensure the client is adhering to the medical orders and instructions.  Many times we will be working with a son or daughter of our elderly companion and they want to know their elderly parent is in good hands and being well cared for.  You can start by keeping them up to date as to the schedule of events and letting the family know of doctor instructions and any health updates of their elderly parent.  We must ensure we are meeting the needs of not only the client’s family, but more importantly the elderly client. By keeping both the health professional and family member in the loop of the changing need of our senior companion, we are showing we truly offer a strong caregiving service.