Are you prepared?

You never know what tomorrow will bring. Anyone’s personal health history can change at any given time, but as we get older or our loved ones get older, the chance of this happening becomes more significant. Statistics from the National Council on Aging tell us, 92% of all retired age people will, at some point, have at least one chronic disease, and 77% will have at least two.  

If you can lessen the load for your loved ones down the road, wouldn’t you be willing to get their medical records organized, so you have the critical information at your fingertips when there is a medical crisis. R&G Medical Legal Solutions has developed a factual, chronological medical history customized for you or your loved one.  

Some items for consideration: 

  • If your loved one was incapacitated today – would you know what medications they take, the dose and when they started taking it, and why they are taking the medicines?  
  • Are you overwhelmed with multiple records filled with treatments or procedures? 
  • Can you or your loved one access or navigate their doctor portals? 
  • Would you know what allergies a new doctor should be aware of to minimize any complications or interactions?  
  • When was their last surgery? 
  • If you have this information, is it current?  
  • Is the information somewhere secure and available to you when you need it most?  

R&G Medical Legal Solutions has developed an innovative Personal Medical Profile with one basic idea in mind: a vital document for continuity of care or medical crisis. Don’t leave your caregiver or loved ones guessing.   

Our Personal Medical Profile is an easy-to-read, factual document for you to access or share with your physicians, healthcare proxy, or family members of your choice. All vital information will be outlined on the first page, followed by individual doctors’ visits, facilities, or hospital admissions. Our Personal Medical Profile has a minimal fee to get started, and all plans are subscription-based depending on the level of care your loved one receives. We will update the profile when you notify us of a new medical visit or admission. You will always be up to date to be the best advocate for your loved one. 

Whether you work with us or not, we encourage you to have this vital document. Please click here if you would like more information on the Personal Medical Profile from R&G Medical Legal Solutions. 

Coordinating Care for a Loved One from Afar

Being involved in the care of a loved one can be both rewarding and joyful. Providing love, physical and emotional support along with companionship is a noble thing to do. Some acts of caregiving are easier than others. Coordination of medical care is one of the more challenging tasks. Many caregivers find this aspect time-consuming and frustrating. For example, managing medication refills, follow-up appointments, and post-visit instructions can be overwhelming.

Sometimes a loved one can have difficulty articulating their complex medical history to a new medical team member. The caregiver is often called upon to assist. A chronological document that outlines the loved one’s past medical history can make health appointments much easier in terms of providing medical information efficiently. A computerized document is recommended given the ability to edit /update information. For example, the weight of the loved one may fluctuate. However, not everyone has access to a computer therefore a handwritten history will suffice.

As a layperson knowing what aspect of medical history to document is a challenge. For example, is there a need to document medications the loved one no longer takes? Why are height and weight important? Should every medical appointment be logged are a few questions to consider.

Below is a suggestion of important historical information to consider. If dates of diagnosis are known, include.

·      Name and date of birth

·      Do you know the patient’s height and weight?

·      Do you know important blood relative family health history (any significant medical history such as heart, lung, cancers, mental health disease)?

·      Are you aware of all past surgeries including dates and reasons?

·      Any past hospitalizations? Also to include reasons and dates.

·      Any chronic and ongoing medical history to include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease, chronic

pain?

·      What are the current medications and dosages? Include medications recently stopped taking, including supplements and over the counter.

Information contained in the document is meant to be helpful to a medical team member, if there is other information the caregiver believes is important and significant, it should be included.

In sum, a well-written document containing significant medical history can assist a care provider working with the loved one’s medical team. The document is meant to be flexible in that information may be added or sometimes even removed. The document should be taken to each health care appointment.

R&G Medical Legal Solutions, LLC is rolling out a new program related to providing clients with a “Personal Medical Profile”. Please visit our website at www.rngmedcons.com/pmp for more information.

Personal Medical Profile

Do you take care of any family members, and not know their medical history?

Overwhelmed with multiple records to keep track of treatments or procedures?

Do you or someone you know have a complex medical history?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, R&G can help! R&G has recently launched a new service called “Personal Medical Profile”.

R&G will provide your medical information in one easy to read factual document, that can be used for sharing with a new healthcare provider, family member, or caregiver.

If you have any questions or would like to hear more, call us today at 1-623-566-3333.

Assisting with the Care of a Loved One – What does Care Mean?

It is not uncommon to have to assist aging loved ones with their care from time to time. Our loved ones are “family,” and we want them to be healthy, safe, and comfortable. Moving into the role of the caregiver may be sudden or unexpected. With elders, it generally begins as part-time caregiving responsibility but can progress to a time-consuming activity, eventually becoming an overwhelming role. Over time, the caregiver may develop feelings of resentment and compassion fatigue, which in turn leads to guilt and shame for both parties. 

Many variables go into assisting with care. Honest and clear communication with the loved one can often clarify needs and expectations, which will decrease disagreements and arguments. For example, what does “care” really mean to the loved one? Do they want/need simple reminders concerning medication? Can they make their own appointments and drive themselves? Do they need housekeeping assistance? How about help with bathing and grooming? Conversations around these subjects may be awkward. The loved one may be in denial about needing assistance or be ashamed to ask for help. The caregiver may not realize how much help is needed or may overstep boundaries. The concept of “care” should be congruent between the loved one and the care provider. Otherwise, untoward issues may arise. 

Quality of life is a suggested area of the initial discussion. What does the quality of life mean to the loved one? Do they have preferred activities that bring them immense joy? What would create misery in their daily life if they were unable to participate? It is a critical area of discussion because the quality of life is tied directly to the loved one’s goals. Missing out on this crucial conversation before a caregiving arrangement is made can build a wall between the loved one and the caregiver and cause bad feelings.  

A good place to start in terms of a conversation with a loved one needing care is exploring what their daily goals are and what “care” means to them. Most people will agree that the goal of care is to assist another person in living as independently as possible. Harder conversations include where the care takes place, who provides the care, and the frequency. 

Exploring daily and monthly routines is essential when determining caregiving needs. Is the living environment clean and safe? Are finances managed adequately? When do meal preparation/eating, dressing, bathing, toileting occur? How easily are the activities of daily living accomplished independently? How are groceries and medications obtained? Are treatments for specific health conditions required? Answers to these questions provide a general understanding of the loved one’s needs. 

Respecting the rights and the autonomy of the loved one is key to building a solid foundation for care. Controlling, rigid, and dictating behaviors on the part of the caregiver can be demoralizing for the loved one.  

Taking on the role of caregiver for a loved one can be both rewarding and anxiety-inducing. The likelihood of a successful partnership is based on honest and clear communication regarding expectations. Ask them about their goals, what “care” means to them, things that enhance their quality of life, and what their daily routines look like. To reiterate, consider the rights and autonomy of your loved one when providing care. Remember you are not alone!  

Legal Nurse Consultants… Put them into action

A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is a subject matter authority on nursing and healthcare matters much like how an attorney is an expert in legal matters. They are state licensed, detail-oriented healthcare professionals, working on behalf of the litigation team.  

Legal nurse consultants apply their knowledge, education, and clinical training to medical legal cases. Supreme is their ability to interpret medical records. Using their nursing knowledge, LNCs can quickly evaluate medical records and distill them into comprehensive summaries, or chronologies. Their attorney clients can then quickly read, understand, and put them into action. 

The primary role of LNCs involves the identifying, analyzing, and evaluating medical records while providing their professional opinions regarding health issues in medical legal cases. This field of study is composed of evaluating the standards of care, causality, and other medically related issues through the examination of medical records, healthcare literature, and legal documents. Their expertise extends to multiple topics, including: long-term care, medical malpractice, personal injury, worker’s compensation, and mass-tort litigation.  

Legal nurse consultants will also be able to establish a chronology or summary of medical records, and prepare evidence for trial. Additionally, they act as a liaison between the attorney, the healthcare provider, and medical experts. In brief, legal nurse consultation is a valuable asset to the litigation team. 

R&G Medical Legal Solutions has an extensive team of certified legal nurse consultants, that are available around-the-clock, 24-7, to assist you with anything you need. We are agile, in that we can scale up or scale down the project workload to adapt to your needs as they change. Please give us a call today to see how legal nurse consulting at R&G can solve problems for you, dial 1-623-566-3333 or send us an email: rngrfp@rngmedical.com