We all know caregiving is complex. So much to learn, so much to do and so little time. This may surprise you. But, through personal experience, I believe the most critical skill for a caregiver, regardless of diagnosis, is good communication. Understand that effective communication will always be a work in progress, a goal to strive towards.
You, as the family caregiver, are the super-connector for all your loved one’s physicians, service providers as well as family members and friends who care.
At times, you will feel as if you’re being pulled in 100 different directions by all these entities. They are not trying to make your life hard (although it may feel that way!) They are simply trying to get the information they need to best help your loved one. And, of course, there will always be their protocols and regulations they must adhere to. Remember this: you are all working on behalf of the best interest of your loved one.
So I offer up the following pointers for good communication….guidelines I try to follow. I’ll use communication with my husband’s neurologist as an example.
- On a daily basis, I keep a personal notebook (for my eyes only), recording vitals & other key info at each provider visit. (PCP. PT, OT. Palliative care team. Nurse manager at memory care.) I also record info related to each event (falls, unusual eating or sleep problems, dizziness, etc)
- Before each appointment, I set aside time to review my notebook and prepare for the appointment. I list key events & my top 3 concerns that I wish to discuss. Fortunately my husband’s neurologist is with UCHealth which provides a robust patient portal. I submit my top 3 concerns via the portal before the appt.
- Day of the appointment, I bring along a packet with printed copies of any additional relevant information. I ask to speak to…
This article was sourced from transitionagingparents.com.