What is a good way to keep track of my mother's daily activities?

Denmother asked...

Since I am unable to be with my mom daily, I do a lot over the telephone. She has CNA's for several hours a day. Trying to keep track of who gave her what meds, food, bevs, and activities can be a real frustration. I thought I could make a log/diary that they could fill in each day. I can not rely on Mom's memory to be accurate. Right now we are using two calendars and they get neglected.

I was hoping someone has such a daily tracking aid. It would be a big help. Thank you.

denmother

Expert Answer

Helene Bergman, LMSW, is a certified geriatric care manager (C-ASWCM) and owner of Elder Care Alternatives, a professional geriatric care management business in New York City. She consults with nursing homes and daycare programs to develop specialized programs for Alzheimer's patients.

You are on the right track. As a Care Manager, I set up a Daily Log in my client's homes and the Home Health Aides write a daily narrative. I provide a model that includes: nutrition (specific meal foods- quantity and quality), liquid intake, medication administration, hygiene, activities, special events and behavioral changes. This log enables the team of aides to communicate with each other and enables me, as the coordinator, to pinpoint issues for in-home training of the aides to maintain wellness. Most importantly, it helps long distance family stay informed.

Agencies often provide checklists for CNA's on the job so it does take some training to get them to create a more descriptive narrative. This can be even more challenging if many different CNA's are assigned. Then you have to get the cooperation of the agency. It may take process and patience.