No matter the day or situation, caregivers have lots of questions when they prepare to step out of the house.
Do I have everything? Are there kleenex in the car? Do I have what “x” needs?
To simplify the question, I echo that of this post on Music Clout: “what should I carry as…”. For purposes of this post I’ll give my answers as a caregiver of a senior. In a future post I’ll answer as a mom and a music therapist. The Music Clout post listed ten items so I’ll do my best to limit myself to this magic number.
My answers for caregiver of seniors is based upon my experiences working in senior living communities. Whether it is one or many, a family member or a group, these items can come in handy:
1. Cell phone – If an emergency arises you want to be able to call without having to locate someone with a phone.
2. Basic contact/medical information for those in your care – Trust me, falls and accidents can and do happen. Having starter information as to doctors, diagnosis, emergency contacts saves a lot of trying to connect party A to party B. Plus, if I went prepared I rarely needed it.
3. A plastic bag – Whether it was needed for wrapping up clothing that had gotten soiled, gathering trash, or cover for an unexpected rain storm, a plastic bag came in handy.
4. Kleenex – Sneezes and other issues required this.
5. An extra set of briefs – Not that I needed these on a regular basis, but it saved a great deal of embarrassment if I had some with me.
6. A sweater for those in attendance – Whether it was the air temperature, the AC, or the breeze, someone was always cold. Having a sweater along often was a help.
7. A bottle of water – Whether it was dampening a napkin or a drink if someone was getting dry mouthed, a bottle of water took little room but was helpful.
8. A sense of humor – True, you can’t package humor but it is helpful to remember the role of humor. It is best paired with the next item.
9. A listening ear – Listening to the words is important. Also important is the tone and delivery of the message. Seeing sites can trigger memories – both positive and negative. When traveling in groups, people may need a break from sitting by someone if they become irritated.
10. A bag appropriate for carrying the above mentioned items. After you pack a couple of times, you’ll know how big or small it needs to be. Be sure it is easy to carry. If traveling with a group, separate bags for some items such as water might be appropriate depending on the setting to which you are traveling.
Share what you would add or subtract from this list in the comments below. Looking for ideas to carry you through the day while providing care? Sign-up for Bright Ideas filled with easy to use ideas.