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10 Items a Caregiver Needs in a Ready Bag

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

Caregivers should always have a fully stocked ready bag, which can be a big help if their senior loved one needs to make an unexpected trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room.

Unexpected health emergencies can be overwhelming for caregivers. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Palm Desert Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Include these items in your caregiver ready bag.

1. Medications

Pack enough of your loved one’s prescribed medications to last a few days. Fill a pill organizer, write down when and how the prescriptions are taken, and put this information in the ready bag. Also, you may want to include a bottle of an over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen in case your loved one gets headaches.

2. Fact List

Pack a fact list in the ready bag. The fact list should contain pertinent details about allergies, chronic conditions, insurance, and other information the hospital may need to effectively treat your senior loved one. 

3. Toiletries

Don’t leave for the hospital without a few basic toiletries. Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and wipes in the ready bag. These could come in handy if the hospital stay is longer than expected.

4. Change of Clothes

Pack a comfortable change of clothes for you and your loved one. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, and yoga pants are ideal.

5. Healthy Snacks

Don’t neglect your own health while tending to your loved one. Pack energy-boosting, non-perishable snacks like trail mixes and protein bars to tide you over during your time in the hospital. Unplanned trips to the hospital can be stressful for caregivers, who may have other responsibilities to take care of. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Palm Desert, CA, caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

6. Water Bottle

Don’t go anywhere without a bottle of water. While it is essential that you and your senior loved one stay hydrated during a hospital stay, water can also serve other purposes during an emergency situation. Use it to get a stain out of clothing, clean your hands, or even as a car coolant if needed.

7. Phone Charger

A working cell phone is a must during unexpected hospital visits. Keep a charger that is compatible with your current cell phone in the ready bag. 

8. Favorite Pastime

Liven up hospital visits by including some items your loved one can use to pursue a favorite hobby. This could include items like yarn and knitting needles, a book full of crossword puzzles, or a pack of cards. 

9. Cash

Keep some cash in the ready bag. Have small bills for vending machines and a few $20 bills for larger purchases. If you don’t carry cash, keep a small stash of emergency money in the ready bag for expenses like parking fare and midnight snacks.

10. Family Contact Information

If you aren’t related to the senior you’re caregiving for, keep a list of family contacts in the ready bag for the trips to the hospital so you can notify them of their loved one’s condition. 

Caregiving is a noble yet demanding role that requires commitment and organizational skills. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Palm Desert, CA, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our Care Managers at (760) 345-0001.