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If you’re like many people, you struggle to remember all the medications and supplements you are taking, or maybe you have a pile of medical records and bills that desperately needs to be filed. Don’t panic. There are a variety of ways to organize your medication information that will save you time and your sanity.

List Medications and Allergies

A simple thing to organize is your list of allergies and medications for each household member. These can be typed up and printed out to fit in your wallet or purse for easy access when you visit your doctor. There are many websites and blogs that offer free printables for logging medications and allergies, and some pharmacies even offer this service for their customers. It also helps to keep a backup copy at home with the rest of your medical records.

Compile a Medical History Notebook

Using a binder or a plain notebook, list in chronological order all your operations, medical procedures, and acute and chronic conditions. When it’s complete, this will make filling out doctor’s office paperwork a breeze, because your entire medical history is already compiled. If you’re compiling records for all family members, make sure each person has their own notebook or file. These can include immunization records, blood types, organ donor information, allergy and medication lists, and legal paperwork such as advanced directives.

Sort Medical Bills and Receipts

While going through your medical paperwork, you may find medical bills and receipts mixed in with test results. It’s important to separate actual records, such as test results, from bills. Both tend to pile up fast, especially if you’re managing any chronic conditions. Whether you file your bills in a hanging file system, a binder, or online, it helps to keep them in chronological order. You’ll probably have copies of Explanations of Benefit (EOB) from your insurance company for each medical service that was filed to your insurance. When possible, place them with your medical bills for each service. Separating medical receipts from other records will help during tax season if you are able to deduct them on your taxes.

Digitize Your Records

Once every family member has their own medical records folder, then it’s a good idea to digitize your records. You can do this by scanning documents to your computer in your spare time or ask one of your tech-savvy children to do this. If you don’t have an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier, then you can purchase a small scanner especially for saving paperwork. They can range in cost from $80 to $400, depending on your needs. It’s important to save the records in easily recognizable file names, such as John Smith Appendectomy March 2016 or Kaitlin Smith Tonsils July 2017. After they’ve been digitized, save them in multiple places, such as a flash drive, CD, or a cloud program such as Dropbox or Evernote. Once they are backed up, shred the papers you aren’t required to keep, and this will free up valuable space in your home.

Organizing paperwork, especially medical paperwork, can be confusing and overwhelming, but it can be made easier. If you focus on one thing at a time, before you know it your medical records will be easy to access. And the next time you get sick, you can focus on getting better instead of dealing with all the paperwork.

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Winter Skincare Tips For Farm Girls

If you’re a farm girl or a keen homesteader then you’ve probably realized by now that winter wreaks havoc on your skin. The cold weather, harsh wind, and snowfall can quickly dry out your skin and lead to redness and discoloration in your face. If you’re really lucky then you’ll also get the trademark chapped skin that turns your hands and face into a painful, unsightly mess. It would be nice to wrap up warm and stay inside all winter, but that’s not an option when you have to trek around gardens, barns, and fields every day. However, there are some ways to minimize the damage that winter does to your delicate skin.

Use Oil-Rich Moisturizers

Your skin needs extra moisture in winter so it’s important to lather on the lotion more often when the weather goes south. Dermatologists recommend that you use moisturizing creams that contains oils like olive oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil to give your skin an extra moisture boost during the winter months.

Cut Down On Hot Showers

I know, I know, this one sucks. Steamy showers feel so good after a long day in the cold outdoors. Unfortunately, hot showers dehydrate your skin by stripping it of its natural oils – this makes flaky, chapped winter skin even worse. Go for shorter, medium-warm showers instead and save long, steamy soaks for days when you really need them.

Shave Carefully

If you don’t ever shave or you take winter as a time to let your hair grow wild and free, then you don’t need to worry about this one! However, if you do want to shave, use a good shaving cream and moisturize well afterwards. Shaving can be rough on sensitive winter skin so you need to be extra careful to avoid cuts and rashes.

Stock Up On Aquaphor

Aquaphor is a lifesaver for dry, cracked skin and you can use it all over your body, so pick some up in shops or online for winter. Rubbing a layer on your nose, cheeks, and lips before you head out onto the farm will stop your face from getting wind burned. If you can’t find Aquaphor, then any product that’s rich in petrolatum (like Vaseline) will do the job.

Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to remember to drink lots of water when the sun is blazing in the sky, but most of us significantly lower our water intake during the winter months. Your skin still needs the extra moisture during winter, so stick to drinking eight glasses a day even when it’s getting cooler outside.

Avoid Scented Products

Try to stock up on unscented or fragrance-free skincare products during winter. Perfumed soaps, moisturizers, and lip balms can be too harsh on dry skin, so unscented products are the way to go. This also counts for laundry detergents – try to find something hypoallergenic to soothe your delicate skin once winter hits.

Wind-burned red skin and dry, flaky patches aren’t a good look for anyone. Winter skincare is particularly important for country girls, so try these tips if you’re regularly out on the farm. Your skin will thank you for it!


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