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Know Your Medical History: Checklist for Documenting Your Loved One’s Information

If you’ve ever completed paperwork for a medical appointment, then you know how challenging it can be to remember every single detail of your medical history—from diagnoses and illnesses to operations and hospitalizations. Each new provider asks these questions, and the answers get more complicated as time goes on.

Why You Should Keep an Accurate Medical History

Although all medical providers keep their own records, documenting this type of information for each family member is important for many reasons. 

As we age, we have more conditions and medications to keep track of. Medical practices often change their documentation system, requiring patients to fill out new paperwork with years of information. A medical history is typically required for each new specialist you see. 

It’s especially critical to have an accurate, up-to-date medical history when memory begins to fail. Above all, it makes the process easier for family caregivers taking turns escorting their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia to medical appointments.

What to Consider to Protect Privacy

When a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important for at least one additional person to be able to answer questions about their medical history. Take the time to identify the caregivers who can make healthcare decisions and who has access to personal medical information. During this time, you’ll always want to designate a health care proxy who can be relied on to have the information and make decisions on the individual’s behalf.

Checklist for Documenting Personal Medical History

This checklist is a starting point for creating your own family resource for booking medical appointments, coordinating care, and deciding when it’s time to move to a senior living community or assisted living memory care facility. Prepare for your family’s future by documenting the following information:

  1. Personal Medical History
    • Allergies (what, when, and severity of reaction)
    • Major illnesses
    • Significant diagnoses (diseases, cancer, mental health, etc.)
    • Surgeries (what, when, where, outcomes, and any complications)
    • Hospitalizations (why, when, and where)
    • Implanted medical devices
    • Menstrual history, pregnancies, and live births (if applicable)
    • Anything else that a healthcare provider or resident care assistant should know
  2. Family Medical History 
    • Diseases and diagnoses
    • Cancer
    • Allergies
  3. Medications
    • All current medications with frequency, dosage, and pharmacy where filled
    • List of past medications and reason for being discontinued
  4. Healthcare Providers
    • Specialty
    • Contact information (phone, email, portal)
    • Office location
  5. Patient Portal Login Credentials
  6. Insurance information
  7. Healthcare Proxy Documentation
  8. Living Will (if relevant)

Willow River is Here to Help

If you are ready to speak to a professional, Willow River can help answer your questions and provide the resources you’re looking for. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 to start the conversation today.