I take care of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, and I’ve been in serious need of a system to help me track the myriad activities, service providers, and expenditures involved in her care. I happened to come across an ad for a free tool kit for organizing health care expenses, so I checked out their website. It turns out that Goodcare is a woman run health consultancy in New York state that works with people as well as businesses, to help them plan for, and figure out how to pay for their health care needs. They specialize in pre-retirement and retirement planning, and have a wealth of free information, checklists, tracking tools and other resources on their site.

Since I live in Hungary, thankfully I don’t need to wade through Medicare or insurance copays - a great benefit of socialized medicine - the state handles the paperwork! We pay a monthly fee, and a small fee to the neighborhood doctor who makes monthly home visits to check up on my mom, and that’s it. But I digress. What I did need, and have found useful, are spreadsheets that I customized to track monthly expenses, clinic visits, medications and caregiver fees, etc. The Health Care Out-of-Pocket Expense Worksheet has given me a useful overview of the whole spectrum of activities associated with her care that I can track at a glance. I also customized it, creating a column for unusual behaviors or symptoms. Best of all, it’s a great communication tool for family members, who can take a look at it and instantly see what’s going on.

I also downloaded and added to their Legal forms checklist, as well as their Healthcare Services Contact Organizer. You can download any one or all of the tools in the kit, and you’ll find more detailed instructions inside each tool. A little expert organization can go a long way towards making sure you’re getting the healthcare services you need. I can recommend these tools, they have made my life easier.

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