Margaret Mintz tells the story behind this innovative care organizer:
My business partner and I created this notebook for keeping track of information, referrals, medical visits and tests, based on our own experiences of caring for our parents when unexpected emergencies occurred.
We are long-time friends and after these difficult and exhausting periods of dropping everything to help our parents and coordinate care with our siblings, we would take a deep breath and talk about how we had to go through piles of notes to find that doctor’s referral, or notes from medical appointments or anything else.
These conversations motivated us to design a notebook-style organizer that would have been great to have if it had existed.
We took a lot of time considering the most convenient formats.
Both of us wanted a notebook that was portable, to carry to appointments or the emergency room, and easy to write in for taking notes and recording information.
We created six clearly labeled tabbed sections to keep information organized and easy to find.
For the “Emergency Information” section we thought about what a physician would want to know about a patient when he or she arrived at the emergency room, so we included a format to enter information about Medical Conditions, Recent Hospitalizations & ER Visits, Current Medications, and Recent Surgical History and Medical Procedures.
We take special pride in our unique “Contacts A to Z” section, which is an alphabetical directory where contact information can be entered for all types of practitioners that might be needed, as well as facilities, support groups and programs and helpful websites.
And we hope that the list might serve as prompts for ideas of types of providers and services that might not have occurred to someone before.
For example, I had never heard of a Care Manager until a hospital social worker suggested one to me.
Although the impetus to create “The Care Organizer” came out of caring for our parents, as we developed it we realized that it would work well for ourselves as well, to keep track of ongoing medical care and to have available for family members in case something unexpected happened.
So we consider it helpful for managing the care of others – family members or friends – and yourself, and for keeping those who are sharing care of someone else up to date.
Here’s a look at one of the emergency information pages:
And here’s a page in the notes and records section:
To learn more about the organizer and/or to purchase one, visit the website here.
Giveaway: Margaret is giving away an organizer to one Friend for the Ride reader. Thanks, Margaret! To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment by June 15 saying that you’d like to win. (U.S. only due to postage rates.)
About herself, Margaret writes: I was a painter and graphic designer and after raising my children, who are now young adults, I am a small business owner. I live in New York City with my husband and cat, and my children from time to time. In the last few years, whenever I see old friends in my age group, I find that our conversation keeps circling back to the care of our parents.