A notebook helps a family member with TBI and his or her caregivers keep information they need together in one place. See the Caregiver’s Companion provided with the Caregiver Guides. The Companion will help you get started organizing your paperwork.
You may end up with several notebooks or folders like this. You should keep all medical information. You may even want to enter information into a computer file.
The notebook could include sections for:
- Personal information — This includes important facts, such as your service member/veteran’s Social Security number, military service record, emergency contacts, and allergic reaction to medications.
- Military service papers — Keep copies of military service records, etc.
- Medication log — Write down all the drugs taken, dosages, dates, side effects, and problems. There is a blank form at the end of this chapter that you can use.
- Medical reports, tests, scans — Ask for copies of all reports, scans, and tests, and file them in this section of the notebook. Put CT and MRI scans of the brain on a CD. Keep these to share with future providers.
- Notes and questions — Include a three-hole punched notepad in your notebook. You can use it to take notes and then insert the sheets in the right sections.
- Resources and information — This is the place to keep all the forms and information you have received at appointments.
- Calendar of appointments — Use a calendar with enough room to write all of your appointments.
You may want to keep another notebook or file with the records needed to apply for medical and family benefits or Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board (MEB/PEB).
This file will help when you apply for financial aid, a job, or more medical care. When you are not using this file, keep it in a locked place to keep it safe.
This file could include:
- Social Security card, military records, and insurance cards
- Power of attorney
- Driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage certificate
- School and work records
- Tax returns and assets