the art of caring for your aging loved one

Important Information Checklist

You may wish to print this page and work with real paper. Go ahead! We want whatever is easiest for you.

Note: An empty circle (*) beside an item on the lists below reminds you that this is an important document. It should be photocopied.

The copy goes in the appropriate spot in The File and the original in a locked location. This could be a safety deposit box or a metal file box at home. Office supply stores sell metal file boxes.


  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Immediate family members' full names and their relationship, including step-children
  • Names and phone numbers of close friends and neighbours
  • Medical care card number
  • Drivers' License number or Personal I.D. number
  • Dietary habits—favourite breakfast time and food; ditto lunch and dinner
  • Meal routines—timing of meals and snack
  • Sleep routines—bedtime, naps
  • Fun list—favourite foods, music, clothes, TV shows, hobbies, good friends
  • Un-fun list—food allergies and dislikes, things that annoy, unpleasant topics
  • List of personal items and special bequests
  • List of any unions, fraternal orders, automobile club ... any organization or club to which there is or has been a connection
  • Funeral Home if pre-arrangements have been made
  • Funeral plan
  • Other? Add as necessary


Create a Personal Medical History for your Aging Loved One. (Create one for yourself, too.)

Here's a comprehensive guideline:

  • Family doctor: name and phone number
  • Medical card number ("Yes, it's already in "Personal")"
  • Name of health insurance carrier and contact phone number
  • Blood type, if known
  • Representation Agreement for Health Care document
  • Doctors/specialists with whom your Aging Loved One becomes involved and their phone numbers
  • Pharmacy location and phone number
  • List of medications (prescribed or over-the-counter), diet supplements, etc. This may change; always update the changes.
  • Eye doctor: name and phone number
  • Eye glasses prescription written by ophthalmologist/optometrist
  • Dentist: name and phone number
  • Hearing aid provider and phone number
  • Drug sensitivities and allergies ... describe names and symptoms

Has your Aging Loved One ever been told he or she had one of the following conditions? Answer yes or no.

  • Lung disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart trouble
  • Nervous disorder
  • Disease or disorder of the digestive tract
  • Any form of cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Hepatitis
  • Kidney disease
  • Malaria
  • Disease or disorder of the blood (describe)
  • Physical defect or deformity (describe)
  • Vision or hearing disorders (describe)
  • Life-threatening conditions (describe)
  • Contagious disorders (describe)

Has your Aging Loved One been treated by a physician or been disabled or hospitalized during the last year? (describe)

Has your Aging Loved One had, or been advised to have, a surgical operation within the last five years? (describe)

Date of last physical:

Date of last tetanus shot:

Family history—note any known important medical problems of your parents:

  • Mother
  • Father

Any other special medical information.


  • Community health care nurse's name and phone number
  • Home care providers
  • Spiritual advisor
  • Long-time neighbours and good friends—find the Christmas card/birthday list
  • Meal providers and phone numbers
  • Telephone Tree or call-out list members and phone numbers
  • Other


  • Investment manager
  • Accountant
  • Union/Superannuation number, if applicable
  • Pension(s), RRSP information and beneficiaries
  • Financial accounts, locations, account numbers, and names of co-signers, if applicable
  • Credit cards—list all the names and contact phone numbers
  • Safety Deposit box location, list of contents; who has keys?
  • Bank cheque books
  • Life Insurance policies
  • Disability Insurance policies
  • General insurance policies
  • Stock or bond certificates
  • Other
  • Lawyer
  • Will
  • Location of Will
  • Power(s) of attorney: names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Executor(s) of Will: names addresses, phone numbers
  • Beneficiaries of Will; list all
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Separation agreements or court orders requiring support payments
  • Real Estate Deeds - documents that show the name on the title of any house or real estate. Yes, a piece of "dirt" in Stubble-Jump-Flats counts.
  • Legal paperwork if your Aging Loved One owns or operates a business, a company, or a partnership
  • Others

Our Veterans: DVA/VAC/VA

  • Military Regimental Number
  • Dates of service
  • Veterans' Affairs health ID Card
  • Name of area counsellor/representative
  • Other

House and home

  • Deed/Title
  • Mortgage papers
  • Property taxes
  • Home purchase records
  • Home inventory
  • Home improvement records
  • Home-equity loan
  • Automobile registration and insurance forms
  • Gardener: name and phone number
  • House cleaner: name and phone number
  • Electrician: name and phone number
  • Plumber: name and phone number
  • Chimney sweep: name and phone number
  • Other

Spouse's information

Consider doing the same thorough job for both Mr. and Mrs. while you're at it. It's just a thought and it won't take much extra time.

  • Full name, address, phone number
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medical care card number
  • VAC/DVA/VA if applicable
  • Other


A current calendar with large squares for appointments also serves as a diary. Should anyone be so bold as to question the hours and days that you've been involved, produce the calendar.


It's helpful to date and enter your observations of—and reactions to—certain situations. Don't be afraid to express your feelings but try to avoid criticising others. Here are some ideas for the "Observations" section of the file:

  • Jan.1 Today, Mum called to tell me her best friend died. Not a good way to begin the year. I expect Mum to be upset.
  • Feb.3 Dad and I shopped for Mum's birthday. He talked about her failing health and he worries about how he'll be able to cope.
  • Mar. 1 I phoned my sister to give her an up-date. She wishes she lived closer and could help us out.
  • April 10 Brother (who lives out of town) called Dad, then called me to say how well Dad sounds. I wish he could see Dad on a regular basis as I do.
  • May 8 Bad day. Mother and I had a blow-up. I regret losing my temper with her. I'm tired. Note to me: avoid introducing the topic of in-laws.

Don't write it down if you don't want anyone else to read it.



  • Blank lined paper
  • Post-it notes


This might be a good place to file something that simply must wait. In these two sections, the handle-it-once or silly questions and polite phone calls rule may not always apply.

Isn't it helpful to have a place to put stuff? It sure beats having things pile up on the hall table or the kitchen counter. At the least you'll be able to say, "It's in here somewhere and probably in Misc. or Other."