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10 Key Items for Caregiver Ready Bags

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Home caregivers should be prepared for the unexpected, and ready bags provide a quick way to grab everything they need when leaving the house. Since you never know when a visit to the doctor or hospital could turn into an overnight stay, it is best to have everything in one place.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Bloomfield Township Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

As you pack your ready bag, consider adding these items to ensure your loved one’s safety and comfort.

1. Change of Clothes

A travel bag for seniors should include a change of clothes in case of spilled food or incontinence. Pack comfortable clothes for your loved one since he or she might have to sit or lie in bed for long periods. Throw in an easy change of clothing for yourself, in case you have to spend the night too.

2. Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

It is important to always have a two-day supply on hand of any medication your loved one takes. Use pill organizers to keep them organized, and label each with their expiration dates. Rotate the medicine occasionally so it does not go out of date.

3. List of Emergency Contact Numbers

If your senior loved one has a serious health issue, you will need to be able to contact everyone quickly. In addition to storing numbers in your phone, have a printed list in the ready bag. This way, others can help you make phone calls as needed.

4. Toiletries and Personal Care Items

Having a few personal items on hand helps you and your loved one freshen up. Include travel-sized shampoo, hand sanitizer, and toothbrushing supplies in your ready bag. Sanitary napkins, adult incontinence products, and wipes are also helpful when you are stuck away from home.

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. West Bloomfield Township families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.

5. Eyeglasses or Contacts

Seniors feel secure when they are able to see clearly. Clear vision is also important for preventing falls. Make sure to add an extra set of your loved one’s eyeglasses to the bag along with contacts and solution.

6. Cash for Vending Machines

During long waits at a hospital or other venue, you may need refreshments to keep you fueled. Add some pocket change to the bag so you don’t find yourself hungry with only large bills in your wallet.

7. Cell Phone Charger

This item is often left behind when people leave in a rush. Keep your phone charged at all times by adding an extra charger to your bag. If you routinely carry a laptop or other electronic device, include chargers for those as well.

8. Writing Materials and Folder

A new health diagnosis involves receiving new information that may be difficult to remember. Use your writing materials to take detailed notes, and put any printed instructions and billing information in your folder. Having all documents in one place will make it easier to review them once you return home.

9. Healthy Snacks and Water

This tip is important for seniors with diabetes and other health conditions and who need to eat on a set schedule to manage their health. However, just having a snack can also help your loved one relax if food is not readily available. Pack nutrition-rich snacks that won’t spoil quickly and such as granola or cereal bars.

10. Hobbies or Books

While most of the items you pack in your ready bag are designed to keep your loved one comfortable and safe, you don’t want to overlook the importance of entertainment. Books, craft supplies, or music players can help reduce anxiety while alleviating the boredom associated with waiting.

To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of a professional caregiver. In Bloomfield Hills, families rely on Home Care Assistance to provide caregivers who are expertly trained in various aspects of senior home care, including our holistic Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program focused on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental and social stimulation, and calmness and purpose. To learn about our holistic approach to caregiving or to hire a dedicated caregiver for your aging loved one, call us at 248.283.0835.