Keeping daily notes is a must for any caregiver. My life as a caregiver is busy, especially trying to keep all the details straight regarding Mom and Dad’s daily care and health issues. When I’m tired, the days and nights sometimes run together. I need all the help I can get to remember things so I don’t have to keep it all in my head.
For the past three years, I’ve been using a spiral-bound notebook for most of my daily notes. I use the left side, or back of the pages, for Dad’s notes and the right side for notes on Mom. What to track depends on the person’s diagnoses and symptoms. For Mom, I keep track of bathroom and sleep patterns, and diet – for Dad, blood pressure and fluids. I also note appointments, visitors and events for that day, any current illnesses, fevers or temporary medications in the daily notebook. I also keep track of bath days, hair washing, and when to change the sheets.
I often refer back to my daily notes:
- when talking with the nurse or doctor about symptoms or new patterns I’m observing
- to check what was eaten if someone gets sick or has blood pressure issues
- to know if a symptom or pattern is getting better or worse
- to track sleep, toileting patterns, blood pressure issues, pain levels, fluid restriction
- to check back when the last time something occurred
- to remind myself of what’s coming up
My relief caregivers know to fill in the blanks for me while I’m out. When I get back, it’s easy for me to pick up where they left off, and vice versa, without us having to remember to tell each other all the details. It’s helpful to have it written down for both of us.
Daily Fluid Restriction Form
For Dad, being on a fluid restricted diet, I have used this daily form to keep track of his fluids until I had it in my head. I also use this form to let my relief caregivers know how much fluids, what kind and when he can have them so they don’t have to guess.
[Click on the images below to download or print]
Daily Blood Pressure Tracking
If you need to track blood pressure on a daily basis, you can use this simple chart. Tracking blood pressure is essential to help figure out why someone is having spikes or dips in their blood pressure.
Daily Activity Notes
You may want to use a simple notebook format for your daily notes, or if you prefer, I’ve made a form you can print for caregivers to use while you’re out. This form may be especially helpful if you work all day but are responsible for the care at night. This will give you a snapshot of their day and any notes you need to be aware of for the day or items you may be getting low on and need to order or pick up the next time you’re out. But be sure to punch holes and put in a notebook. Keep them dated and in order in case you need to refer back to them.
I hope you find these daily forms and tips helpful. Please share in the comments other tips you use on a daily basis that help in your caregiving – or anything else you’d like to share!
p.s. – Visit this page for a list of all caregiving posts and more free caregiving printables!
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