When my husband was taken ill I very quickly realised that I needed to write down what the doctors were saying about his condition, as in a stressed and worried state I just couldn’t remember what had been said.
I continued to keep a journal, documenting everything from small changes in his condition, changes to his medication, admissions to hospital, and appointments with the various people that became involved in his care - physios, OT and others.
When I started writing I had no thought about how important the journal would be. A year after becoming ill my husband’s condition rapidly deteriorated and he went into a nursing home. Initially we thought this was just for respite, but after three weeks I realised that he was not going to come home.
I applied for Continuing Health Care funding. However the Social Worker dealing with my husband’s application was adamant he did not need CHC and made things very difficult. In desperation I booked a free 20 minute consultation with a local solicitor.
It was here that my journal started to become useful and continued to be instrumental in being able to accurately detail what had happened to my husband’s health. Recording changes in both his behaviour, medication and other key information helped to build a strong case for his funding, which he was awarded. Without the supporting written information we would probably not have been able to provide enough evidence.
We all know that our memories are unreliable. How often do we think something happened a couple of weeks ago, only to find when we check the calendar that it was over a month? When we try to recall past events we frequently muddle up the order they happened in.
When we are caring for someone, daily life can be stressful and busy, just spending a few minutes at the beginning or the end of the day writing down what the doctor said at the surgery, what medication has been prescribed and small changes in mood or behaviour all helps to produce an accurate record.
It may take a few minutes to log on to Care Companion to write your entry, but it is most definitely worth it. Sadly Care Companion wasn’t available when my husband became ill. When I needed to check dates and details, I had to trawl through pages of notes to find what I was looking for.
Care Companion will keep everything in one place and organised. It is easy to search for entries and can also be very helpful for taking to appointments or for hospital admission as you can either print off the relevant pages of the journal to take with you or log on for the doctor or whoever need to see what has been happening.
It really is worth regularly updating the journal so that when you need the information it is instantly available.
Make the most of it!