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Caregiver Tool Kit: Packing a Day Bag for Your Aging Loved One

As a home care provider for an aging loved one you probably already know that being prepared makes a major difference in how well you are able to provide care for your loved one. Making sure that you have everything that your loved one may need will give you both peace of mind, particularly if you plan on being away from the home.

Consider the following items when packing a caregiver day bag:

  • Any prescription medications that your loved one takes along with copies of the prescriptions. Make sure the medications are in the official prescription bottles
  • Any over-the-counter medications that your loved one might need throughout the day such as pain relievers, antacids, stomach relief, eye drops, cough drops or allergy pills
  • An extra pair of eye glasses along with a case or reading glasses, depending on your loved one’s needs
  • Hard candy or gum
  • A non-perishable snack such as granola bars, trail mix or dried fruit
  • Medical information such as allergies, medical conditions and emergency contact information
  • First aid supplies including triple antibiotic cream, bandages, tweezers, and alcohol pads
  • Antibacterial gel and wet wipes for fast hand cleaning and germ control
  • Tissues
  • A paperback book, crossword puzzle book or other entertainment
  • Medical supplies for any chronic condition that your loved one may have such as diabetic testing supplies, insulin, portable catheters, incontinence supplies or oxygen

Keep all of these items in a lightweight canvas bag or messenger bag so that they are all easily accessible. Having these items at hand will help you to address needs as they arise with your aging loved one. By having these things readily available you can feel more confident about running errands or taking day trips with your aging loved one. Your loved one will also feel more relaxed knowing that he can enjoy his outings with you without worrying that he doesn’t have something that he will need. Don’t hesitate to talk to your loved one about things that he might want to include that you might not have thought of when putting together your day bag. Also remember to throw in a few things for yourself so you feel prepared for your own needs as well!

Home Matters Caregiving