Geriatrics

A Guide for the Unprepared Caregiver: Tory Zellick’s Medical Day Planner

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No one is ever prepared to become a caregiver. There is no amount of life experience or academic training that can prepare someone for the terrible, transitional moment when you realize someone you love requires help.

 

No one is ever prepared to become a caregiver. There is no amount of life experience or academic training that can prepare someone for the terrible, transitional moment when you realize someone you love requires help.

Approximately 28.7% of the US population, or 65.7 million Americans, serve as unpaid caregivers to family members. Thirty-six percent care for a parent. Family caregivers account for 80% of at-home care services, with the typical family caregiver devoting an average of 20 hours per week.

According to a survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, family caregivers find themselves involved in a full-range of tasks including:

  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping
  • Meal preparation and grocery shopping
  • Managing finances
  • Medication management
  • Assisting with personal care (bathing, feeding, dressing

A recent report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute also revealed nearly half of family caregivers perform medical and nursing tasks for loved one with multiple chronic conditions.

With such a dizzying array of duties, how can a caregiver keep it all together?

Tory Zellick, author of The Medical Day Planner

This was the situation a young California teenager found herself in several years ago when her mother delivered heartbreaking news: She was dying of breast cancer. Tory Zellick, now a pain management massage therapist, is a beacon of strength and inspiration to caregivers. Her book, the Medical Day Planner, was born out of her experience as caregiver to her terminally ill mother. It now serves as a blueprint to help others “navigate the medical maze”. 

The Medical Day Planner is a sturdy book that instantly provides a sense of relief, security, and control in an otherwise overwhelming situation. Conveniently formatted as a ringed binder with colored tabs separating sections, Tory’s book is essentially a comprehensive “fill-in-the-blank” organizational guide to tracking a loved one’s care.

When we received a complimentary copy of The Medical Day Planner, we instantly thought, “ Wow, I wish I had a resource like this when…[Grandpa’s dementia took a turn for the worse, Mom got sick…].

Each chapter helps caregivers document important information in a centralized place and begins with a thoughtful introduction outlining key points. The planner contains sections to record patient information, a procedure history, medications and supplements, medical appointments, treatments, tests and scans, and even hospitalizations. It also includes a phone book to house relevant contact information for family, friends, physicians, and other healthcare providers. A 52-week day planner is the perfect tool to help busy caregivers stay organized and on track.

Tory has created an extremely useful tool for anyone that finds him or herself caring for a loved one with a chronic or terminal condition, regardless of diagnosis. From a personal experience with breast cancer has come a fantastic distillation of health and medical advice that undoubtedly “pays it forward” to help others who find themselves in the “caregiver” shoes.

Pick up your copy of the Medical Day Planner today and read Tory’s blog at allthingscaregiver.com.

 

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