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As a caregiver, it can be challenging to keep up with your friend’s or loved one’s healthcare records, appointments, prescriptions and insurance along with many other personal needs. While it might seem daunting at times, it is a very important job and a vital part of your loved one’s health success. A little bit of organization, problem-solving and patience can go a long way in taking care of someone who’s living with wet macular degeneration. Here are a few tips to help you stay balanced.

Develop a system for tracking appointments and managing prescriptions.

Your loved one likely takes multiple medications and sees several doctors. Create a system to stay organized so your loved one can communicate important information to you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Create a dedicated master calendar to store all important medical and eye-care appointments, as well as prescription refills. If you prefer to use your personal calendar, highlight your loved one’s events in one color so that they stand out. You may want to use an electronic calendar so you can set alerts and reminders ahead of important dates.
  • If you’re driving your loved one to appointments, tell them when you will be there to pick them up so they can be ready. Perhaps set a specific time so they know when you’re arriving. Try to plan it so you arrive a few minutes early to appointments, to get the most out of them.
  • Set refills for prescriptions to take place about a week before your loved one runs out of them to account for any potential delays, such as inclement weather or insurance issues.
Male doctor speaking to older patient and caregiver, all wearing face masks
Stock photo. Posed by model.

Prepare for unexpected needs or emergencies.

You can’t be in multiple places at once, so identify other friends and family who can help. This can include appointments that you can’t make it to, as well as help picking up prescriptions. Planning ahead for emergencies can help you and your loved one remain calm if this type of situation arises. Sharing key information—such as a list of medications and doctors’ phone numbers—with someone you trust in advance can save you stress in an emergency situation.

Keep a journal.

It isn’t easy to remember details about your loved one’s wet macular degeneration diagnosis and treatment, especially over time. Rather than trying to keep track in your head, write down the important details in a journal or notebook. These can include information on prescriptions, medical history, doctors’ advice, insurance information and changes in vision. Remember to bring the journal with you to appointments.

Find time for yourself.

Taking care of your own well-being will only strengthen the care you provide your loved one. Be sure to attend your own medical appointments, enlist help when you need it and set boundaries to keep healthy and well rested. You may consider joining a support group to connect with others who are in the same position, keeping a personal journal or setting side a specific amount of time for yourself each day. Click here for tips on prioritizing your wellbeing.

Being a caregiver can be very rewarding and allows you to make a positive difference in your loved one’s life. Remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect caregiver,” and it’s normal to feel like you’re falling short from time to time. By taking these steps, though, you may find it easier to navigate being a caregiver for a loved one with wet macular degeneration.

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