Caregiver Essentials

Caregiver Essentials

There’s no manual for being a caregiver — at least not if you’re caring for someone close to you. Your needs as a caregiver will be as unique as the person you’re caring for and may vary from day to day. There are, however, some essential items that most caregivers should have on hand.


Everyday Items

You might not think of it as a caregiving tool, but your smartphone can literally be a lifesaver — just make sure that a charger is part of your kit. Other everyday items every carer should have are an address book or contact list with important numbers like healthcare providers and a pocket calendar or planner for writing down appointments.


Medication and Related Items

Keep a list of all medications your patient is taking so you have it handy for medical professionals. If the list is long, consider printing it out and keeping several copies on hand. A medication schedule/checklist can also be helpful, as can a pill organizer.


Everyday Items

You might not think of it as a caregiving tool, but your smartphone can literally be a lifesaver — just make sure that a charger is part of your kit. Other everyday items every carer should have are an address book or contact list with important numbers like healthcare providers and a pocket calendar or planner for writing down appointments.


Vitals Kit

While it might not be part of your routine, there may be situations where taking vitals might be helpful or even essential. Keeping the basics such as a thermometer, blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, and pulse oximeter in your medicine chest is a wise idea.
And, of course, if the person you’re caring for has diabetes, a glucose monitoring system is necessary. If your vitals kit includes a mercury thermometer, be sure to include a mercury spill kit in case of breakage.


Protective and Sanitizing Equipment

PPE, gowns, hand sanitizer, wipes — both disinfectant and personal care types — belong in every caregiver’s tool kit. Travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer can be comfortably carried in a pocket or purse, or opt for a countertop pump bottle. If you are using sanitizer many times during the day, you might consider installing a refillable dispenser.


First Aid Kit

Every household should own a first aid kit. First aid kits typically contain antiseptic wipes, bandages and gauze pads, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, eyewash, and other items you may need to treat minor wounds. Make sure you know where your first aid kit is located, and restock any items that get used.


Incontinence Products

While not every caregiver will need them, staying well-stocked is a must if you’re caring for someone who is incontinent or who has the occasional accident. So ensure that you have on hand not only their preferred product, such as disposable underwear, but also a change of clothes, bed protectors, and a change of bedding.


Rinse-Free Personal Care Items

Even if the person you’re caring for is capable of bathing, there may be days when they — or you — are simply not up to the task of a bath or a shower. On days like these, dry shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and rinse-free body wash are a great way to keep up with personal hygiene without the physical stress of getting into and out of the shower or tub.
Being a caregiver is rewarding but can be overwhelming, too. Having the right tools in your caregiving toolkit can reduce the stress involved in this challenging relationship. For all your caregiver essentials, visit SimplyMedical today.