Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus really are great resources, including for those of us in the Sandwich Generation! I got the greatest idea earlier this week via Jenn Fowler and her Pinterest site. It listed 10 pictures to keep in your iPhone, including photos of your medications!
How handy is that! And how could I NOT have thought of it before. Hmmmm, perhaps because of all the interruptions due to multigenerational caregiving? Thanks to Jenn, though, I have the idea now AND expanded it a bit.
I took the photos of my senior mom's and my own medications – both prescription AND over the counter. Those photos would be quite handy "as is" and you can easily save them in your photo roll. But since I also LOVE Evernote (one of my most useful iphone apps that I've written about before and will be writing about again, soon), I added the photos to that app as well.
Now, when I am at the doctor's office or hospital, and they ask me what medications she or I take, it'll be a breeze to whip out my iPhone, open the page in Evernote and write down each item, complete with the name, the amount, and, if necessary, the prescription number.
That's so handy for all caregivers and especially those of us in the Sandwich Generation who are often juggling medical and medication info for several family members from aging parents and ourselves on down to young grandchildren. This is a big help for routine doctor appointments and even better for emergencies when our brains don't always want to cooperate.
Make sure, when you do this, that each photo comes out clear, unshaky, and readable. Even if you or your loved one primarily take over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, the hospital will definitely want to know about those. And in a crisis, your mind can just go blank. So we definitely need those photos to be easy to read!
This is just as handy of an idea for long distance caregivers – especially if your aging parents also have an iPhone or other cell phone that they can use to take photos and send them via text. If they ever have to be admitted to the hospital, you can then communicate fully with the doctor about their medications via phone. (If they don't have the ability to send you the photos easily, it is still wise to have them write out a list of their medications and mail it to you to add to your iPhone. I would read it back to them when you get it, to try to avoid any errors due to misreading, typos, etc.)
And while you are doing all this, don't forget to find a pharmacy near your elderly parents (and yourself) that is open extra hours and/or delivers and add that info to your iPhone contacts. Then you'll be prepared for emergencies, even if you are caring long distance or away on a trip. As I love to say, being prepared is one of the best tools around for all of us in the Sandwich Generation!