Learn the dual purposes of journaling for family caregivers.

Many of us are making notes for ourselves all the time: to-do reminders, shopping lists, meetings, appointments, events…the list goes on and on. If you’re a family caregiver, you have additional reasons for writing, while you manage another person’s life along with your own.

Journaling for family caregivers is a perfect technique to keep everything together in one single concise location. Yet we recommend taking it one step further by making use of two journals for two specific purposes that are equally important to your role as caregiver.

A Journal for Organizing

An organizing journal is great for tracking everything related to an aging loved one’s health and wellness. It could include things like:

  • Information about any concerning symptoms and what could be having an effect on them (i.e, Mom has been feeling lethargic the past few days; it seems worse on the days that she skips a mid-morning snack)
  • Any condition changes
  • Prescriptions being taken and any potential side effects the individual may be experiencing
  • A list of any questions you need to remember to ask the doctor (along with their answers and recommendations)
  • Contact info for the pharmacy, health care professionals, etc.

You could even be sure to take the journal to doctor’s appointments to reference if need be.

The Venting Journal

Caring for your own mental health is important when caring for an aging adult, and journaling for family caregivers can help with that as well. A private journal used only for venting your feelings and thoughts can be extremely helpful, as studies have shown that documenting our experiences minimizes our risk for depression. This is a journal that only you will ever see.  There’s no right or wrong approach to how or what you write down, but these guidelines might help:

  • Abstain from any self-judgment; the goal is just to empty the contents of your mind.
  • Don’t censor your thoughts or be worried about proper grammar – just let your thoughts flow.
  • Write as often as you need, but only evaluate what you have written after a period of time has passed, enabling you the chance to gain some emotional distance from your thoughts.
  • Include drawings or doodles if you would like.
  • Unsure where to begin? These prompts can help.

There are many ways a caregiver can practice journaling; select what works best for you!

  • Electronic documents
  • Traditional pen-and-paper notes
  • Specialized caregiving apps, for example,:
    • CareZone – This free app is an excellent medication management tool, but also includes a journaling section.
    • Balance – Designed for Alzheimer’s caregivers, find prompts to write down common symptoms with simple yes/no answers to create a shareable log.

Atlanta Home Care Partner’s professional caregivers offer reliable senior care services to allow as much time as you need to invest in journal writing and any other activities you love that help restore and refresh you. Contact us online or at (404) 228-0103 to find out more about our senior care in Buckhead and the surrounding areas.