The year 2022 will be here before you know it. If one of your resolutions next year is to be healthier both physically and mentally, then you might want to add a health journal to your life. There are many advantages to keeping a health journal. Health journals allow you to keep a record of your overall health to present to your medical team and your family. In a medical journal, you can record your mood, so that you can notice triggers and better manage those triggers. You can also list medication you take, and your food diary. Keeping track of your health history helps you to be an informed patient.
If you want a little of everything, it’s hard to find something better than My Health Journals. These journals are beautifully designed and created with the person in mind. Specifically created by Licensed Practical Nurses, this useful tool can help any person, whether you are a senior, live in a care facility, recently had a surgery, or simply health conscious. My Health Journals will serve as a central gathering point for key information. Rather than forgetting key details when visiting your doctor, or neglecting to mention something, My Health Journals will allow you or your family member to create a detailed, holistic portrait of your health.
The journal includes a page where you can fill out your complete medical history including: Full name, health card, sex, date of birth, health wishes, allergies, special and needs and medical devises required.
There are also pages where you can record your life story to be passed on to your grandchildren or be left for other family members to read.
Included in the health journal there is a section to record your daily bowel movements, weight, food sensitivities and food intake. There is also a section to record important dates you need to remember like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. This section is very beneficial to my daughter who is living with a catastrophic traumatic brain injury.
Sleep tracker: We all know more sleep is usually better, but do you know how much you’re getting? The sleep tracker section allows you to record the time you went to bed, wake-up time, hours of sleep and if you had trouble sleeping. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, this can help find potential causes and solutions.
Medical Appointments: This section allows you to record appointment times, questions to ask your doctor and doctor notes from your appointment.
Mood tracker: It is easy to get lost in the daily struggles of life. The mood tracker helps keep track of your mood and record your emotion, along with the time you experienced that emotion. Not only will this help you improve your mood through mindfulness, meditation or going for a walk if you are physically able to. Keep a record of your mood is also beneficial to your physician if you are seeing your doctor for your mood.
The Care plan section is beneficial to your health care team, as well as to your family. Here you can list your current health concerns.
For example: Medical Diagnosis: High Blood Pressure. Current Health Concerns: Risk of heart attack or stroke. Plan of action: Exercise daily, reduce stress, take prescribed meds, monitor blood pressure at home, and eat a healthy diet. Expected outcome: Weight loss, reduce risks and lower blood pressure. Medical team: Dr. Strange, Pharmacist Jamie, Dr. Funk-cardiologist and My Wife.
Health Care wishes: It is important to make your health care wishes known, be it you are a senior or middle-aged. In this section of the journal, you can record your health care wishes, your medical team, specific wishes’ and safety measures you have taken.
Here is an example:
Health care wishes: stay independent, help in home, and stay in home.
Medical team: PSW Christine, Dr. Strange and Dr.Funk
Specific Wishes: Someone to take me shopping, help with cookies, someone to clean home and help bathing.
Safety Measures: Walker, railing in the bathtub, bed rails, shower chair and raised toilet seat.
You can also include in your health journal:
- Conditions that run in your family.
The journal isn’t dated, so you can start it anytime and use it whenever. It’s best to include as much health information as possible in your journal.
Our daughter, Megan, sustained a traumatic brain injury in an ATV accident in 2014. After three months in hospital, she was discharged to a senior assistance living facility. She lived there for seven years. In 2018, she was deemed legally incompetent due to not having the mental capacity to make decisions that are important for daily living. In 2021, she entered into long term care.
My Health Journals will make it easier for her to share significant information with doctors, us, and nursing staff. Jotting notes about level of confusion, behaviours, or ability to complete tasks will help determine if her cognitive function is declining or staying the same. Taking notes and looking for patterns and possible triggers in her behaviour may also help her overall mental health too.
While my daughter may not be in charge of her care, My Health Journals will allow her to keep her own personal record of her care.
If you have an aging parent, grandparent or love one with medical conditions then you might want to add a health journal to their life. It is a gift that really makes a difference.