Tips to stay organized as a caregiver

Getting ready for healthcare appointments

Getting ready for healthcare appointments

For caregivers, it’s vital to maintain clear lines of communication between you and your loved one. But it’s also very important to communicate effectively with his or her doctors and nurses. The following tips can help you both make the most of visits with the healthcare team.

Make a medication list

Make a medication list

It’s important to have an up-to-date list of all the medicines that your loved one is taking, including SUTENT. This list should include medication names, dosages, and the time each is taken. The list should also include over-the-counter supplements and/or vitamins. Keep it handy. It will save time during doctor and nurse visits.

Keep a list of healthcare contacts

Keep a list of healthcare contacts

Having a thorough, up-to-date contact sheet can help you know the best way to get in touch with your loved one’s healthcare team. Include the name, telephone numbers, address, and e-mail for each doctor and/or nurse—along with the best way to reach each one.

Set up access to your loved one’s medical records

Set up access to your loved one’s medical records

It is against the law for a doctor or nurse to share a patient’s health information with others without that patient’s prior written permission. This can pose a challenge to the good intentions of a caregiver (such as yourself). Remind your loved one to ask his or her healthcare team for a Caregiver Release. The release gives the doctor and/or nurse permission to discuss your loved one's health information with you.

Ask your healthcare provider

Ask your healthcare provider(s)

  • How can I best support my loved one during SUTENT treatment?
  • Are there any symptoms or side effects we should watch out for? If so, how can we best prepare for them?
  • Is there anything my loved one shouldn’t eat or drink during treatment?
  • Who can help us with insurance questions or claims about SUTENT?
  • Are there any specific health records we need for appointments?
  • If we have questions between office visits, what is the best way to contact you (phone, fax, and/or e-mail)?
Other handy tips for caregivers

Other handy tips for caregivers

  • Try to arrive early to all appointments, especially when meeting with a new doctor
  • Keep a binder that details your loved one’s cancer, treatment, and overall health. Bring it along to all appointments
  • Remind your loved one to take insurance documents and ID cards to all appointments. Make copies and store them in a safe place, just in case
  • Keep a pen and paper handy to take notes, if needed
  • Before appointments, make a list of any questions for the healthcare team plus anything you need to let them know, like new side effects, etc