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Getting Started on Caregiving: Manage Information and Paperwork ASAP

Posted on April 8, 2019 by Ann

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Information, records and tasks will build up over time and are very important for managing your child’s care.

The first thing you will not want to put off doing is to set up an efficient and simple system for managing information right now. Doing this well and doing this early will really help you save time and energy in the long run.

1. File Your Paperwork

Get a few big folders.

Take a few hours to sort through the paperwork you have on hand and file them accordingly.

Here are a few broad categories you can consider:

1. Medical

2. Education

3. Finance

4. General information

2. Digital Filing

Have you ever showed up for a first medical appointment only to realise that you have forgotten your child’s birth certificate or a doctor’s referral letter? I have! Absolutely! This is where digital filing can be really useful.

Where to store the files:

It is best if your files can be easily accessible from different devices. You could use a cloud file storage system. Do be mindful that each cloud storage solution may either comes with a price tag or security risks.

If you are paranoid and low tech like me, you could do what I do, which is to simply take photos of important documents (e.g. birth certificate) with my iPhone and keep them in the Photos folder forever.

How to scan the files:

Using an actual scanner is just so passé nowadays (so I say; because I am a stay-at-home mom with no access to a state-of-the-art officer scanner, and the scanner at home is 10 years old and so slow that I want throw out of the window).

There are a number of awesome apps available that allow you to scan using your mobile phone, edit the images, and save in various formats. These are great.

If you are concerned about security however, you know you can just use your phone camera!

3. Prepare Information to be at Your Fingertips

You will find it a lot more convenient if you have the following information at your fingertips:

1. Contact list for medical service providers, caregivers and others:

You may find that you have to work with an entire team of people. Other than adding each of them to the contact list in your mobile phone, I find it worth maintaining a contact list for the entire family. Download a template for contact list here: Contact List

2. Communication log:

Keep track of your communication with various medical professionals, service providers and other vendors with a communication log. This will help you with tracking, evaluating and eventually getting the right services for your child. Download a template for communication log here: Communication Log

3. Keep track of events:

Keeping on top of things in terms of medical appointments, therapy dates and application deadlines can be challenging so keep your schedule somewhere convenient and accessible.

There are a great number of apps and systems for this and what works for each individual differs greatly. I use the Bullet Journal method myself.

4. Medical documents and prescriptions:

Place these in a folder, and save a digital copy in your phone.

4. Maintain the momentum

Like our MRT, it’s really no use setting up an awesome system if you don’t maintain it! You must schedule for sorting, filing and processing the papers.

How often you maintain your paperwork is really based on your personal comfort level. It could be done daily, weekly or monthly.

For me, I let all non-urgent papers build up in a magazine folder. Then at the end of every month, I put aside an hour or two to file and process them all one go.

 

Image credit: Office photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

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