Caregiving isn’t always easy, and each situation is very different. You may be providing care for your 32-year-old spouse, a 17 year old child, or your 87 year old mother. As a family caregiver you may have a job, other family members who depend on your support, or be retired and have plenty of time. No matter where you are, or who you are caring for, it helps to have help. If you’re looking for some simple hacks that make your life a little easier, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn more.
There are apps available on your phone for almost anything. If you already have a to-do list that is a mile long, then detangle everything and start using your phone or computer to organize that list so that it is more manageable. You can create a chore list, a pill list, an appointment list, and so much more. This way reminders come to you when they’re needed, and you can focus your attention on more important matters.
Network With Other Caregivers
If you are not the only person providing care for your loved one, and you share the responsibility with others, you may want to consider a centralized location for documents and notes that is easy for everyone to access. You can use Google Docs to keep all family caregivers up to date on health, appointments, when grocery shopping was done, and so much more. This tip is especially useful if you have family members who provide care long-distance. You can set up a document for each category of tasks, and family members can track and engage with those lists simply online.
Food Prep Party
If you plan and prep meals for your loved one, then it can be rough to spend all day cooking alone. Even if you enjoy the time you have cooking with your loved one, it can be a task to complete this job, simply because it takes time. You can minimize the time it takes by inviting neighbors, friends, and other family members over to help prepare meals and snacks for the upcoming week. Since many hands make light work, it’ll be easier to get this done quickly and efficiently.
You can purchase a whiteboard, then use paint pens to create permanent lines on the board. You may want to do this so you can create a large planning calendar and have a place for quick lists. Don’t forget most whiteboards are magnetic, meaning you can use it as a place to tack up important documents that need to go with you to your next doctor’s appointment. Make the whiteboard a centralized planning place for the caregivers in your loved one’s life to provide and receive updates.
We don’t like to think about an instance where our loved one may need emergency assistance, but if you prepare properly, then you’ll be glad for how smoothly things go if there is an emergency. One such instance might be the need to call an ambulance or see emergency physicians that aren’t a normal part of your loved one’s healthcare team. Make a kit that includes a current and accurate list of medications, allergies, and physician information. Also include nitroglycerin or any other emergency medication that is prescribed and may become necessary. Finally, make sure any DNR or advanced directives are included in this kit and it is easily accessible and noticeable in your loved one’s home, or on their person. You may include this kit on the white board mentioned above, and you may also want to create a digital copy that you always carry with you and is accessible on your smartphone.
Don’t forget that if you are looking for more help and resources to help you become a more organized and prepared caregiver, or to make it a touch easier, then Homewatch CareGivers of Woodbridge is here for you! We can help ensure that you have respite care so that you can continue to stay organized, or simply give you a little break so that you can get things done quicker. We are also ready to help provide advice and resources. Contact us today to learn more.