By : Gigi Gabriel- Education and Outreach Manager
What is it, how can we use it, do we need it, is it worth the effort?
I don’t recall such a thing existing 10 years ago when I first became a caregiver. All I had was a notebook and a folder filled with notes from doctors, illegible handwriting and flowers drawn in every empty space. Torn slips of paper or post-it notes taped to pages, along with business cards and pamphlets were shoved in the pockets of folders. Organized? Not even close!. In the midst of your life completely changing and having to adapt to becoming a caregiver, we do the best we can. At that moment, the notebook and that folder was all I had.
Fast forward to now. There are many options and ways to get organized. Sometimes too many which can be overwhelming and frustrating. In the midst of all the fancy calendars being created, planners, journals, and smart watches. We have the tools; we must learn how to use them. Most importantly we must find the right one for us. Something that fits OUR needs…caregiver needs.
(trumpet flair) Now let me introduce you to the Alzheimer’s Arkansas Carebinder!
What is this magical thing you are speaking of, you ask? It is a deep breath out… in binder form.
Nothing fancy, just a binder with forms of information you need to protect and care for your loved one. Pretty much everything I had in my “Folder/ notebook” concoction— just organized. A simple way to track important caregiver information related to your loved one.. Sections for emergency, medical, family history, events, appointments, and even one for caregivers.
When searching through the internet you can find many varieties of “Caregiver Binders”. Ours is specific to what we feel our caregivers may need ranging from emergency cards to keep in your wallet to caregiver relief forms. Will you need to print out every page of the Carebinder? You never know what can happen. Having resources on hand is always best and as a busy caregiver, it will be worth it. You can easily scan through and see which forms fit your needs right now, then print out more if needed. As for binders, you can find them everywhere. You can search online, retail and specialty stores… definitely check thrift stores as well.
You can view the carebinder HERE