6 Tips When You Become The Caregiver
Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Sam’s Club, but the content and opinions here are my own.
I never thought about my mom getting older. She is one spry lady that doesn’t miss a beat. Until lately, when things seem to take a little longer to do, harder to remember, or just forgotten all together. I guess this puts me in the sandwich generation. I still have children at home while being the caretaker for a parent.
Even though my mom doesn’t require a full time caregiver, she does need help with a good number of things that take time and planning, such as doctors appointments, medicine, housework, and shopping.
Because she still lives independently, I am not able to be with her all the time. Right now, this isn’t an issue but I am anticipating the time when the need will be greater and I have started preparing with the following steps.
Make sure you understand what the needs are for your parent
Our parents often will not ask us for help. Just like us with our children, they feel that they are the ones that need to be the caregiver. As their needs increase, try to look for ways to make their life easier by making sure you understand the issues that cause them stress or struggles. This usually means attending doctor appointments and meetings with home health services if the needs are greater than you can provide at the current time.
Make sure you learn about the illness and progression
Understanding as much as you can about the illness (if one is a factor) will go a long way in understanding the struggles that are coming in the future. This will help you prepare in advance for certain changes that may come sooner than later. It also helps you to know what to watch for in symptoms and when the symptoms warrant additional medical attention.
Make sure you have help available
For those in the position that I am in with children at home and a parent needing more care, there are times that I can’t be there when she needs me. I have enlisted my grown children in the roster for care giving and for emergency help as needed. Another source maybe through the insurance company for home health care services.
Make sure you have all medical and contact information available
When an emergency happens, this is not the time to try to remember what medicines your parent is taking or when they last took their normal dosage. Nor is it the time to be searching for phone numbers and directions to the office. Make a list of the medicines and dosage requirements as well as a list of the phone numbers for all medical providers. I have an envelope with a printed list of medicines and contact information that is kept in each of our glove boxes of our vehicles as well as one in my purse. This way I can, or anyone else that is responding can reach the help needed right away and not have to take our attention off our parent.
Make sure you take care of yourself
While I may want to be the sole caretaker for a parent, I also have family demands and other responsibilities that I have to take care of on a daily basis. Trying to be all to everyone is tiring and can wear you out. When you are worn out, you are not at your best and this is when accidents and illness creeps in. Make sure to take time for yourself and schedule backup care givers on a regular basis even if you don’t feel the stress or need yet. Don’t wait until you just are exhausted to ask for help.
Make sure you are being efficient in your time
Time is a high commodity for everyone. We all have the same 24 hours or 1440 minutes in a day. When you add caring for a parent into the daily time needs, you may need to rethink some of the processes you are using to make more efficient use of your time.
For me, this means automating as many things as possible. I use online shopping for most of my personal needs and was thrilled to learn about the Sam’s Club Caregiver Program at my local club. Now I can add the items my parent needs to a shopping list and it will be ready when I arrive. Talk about not only a time saver, but now my parent doesn’t have to have everyone see her “personal” needs products which can be embarrassing.
The Caregiver program at Sam’s Club was created to offer support to those who care for their loved ones. Sam’s Club through their Caregiver Program has set themselves up as the destination for caregivers, through the right assortment of essential products and additional online resources to support you and those your care for.
Some of the biggest benefits of the Sam’s Club Caregiver Program include:
Discreet Shipping – Maintain a sense of peace when ordering sensitive items knowing that once it is delivered, you and only you will know what’s inside.
Free Shipping – is available on select items from and to select locations. Check to see if you live in an area that offers this option.
Club Pick-up – Shop online and look for the items marked with a “Club Pick-up” sticker.
Easy Reordering – You can also use the “Easy Reorder” option and select from a list of your past in-club and online purchases
Easy Pick-up – By using the online ordering, your order is filled by a Sam’s Club team member and is ready for pick up either at the kiosk or customer service desk or through the drive thru area (this is available at limited locations with more being added daily).
Another awesome benefit of the program is the Sam’s Club Scan & Go App. This App can be downloaded here and can be used for ordering, payment, and to avoid the long lines at checkout.
Using the Scan & Go App is easy. While in the store, simply place the items needed in your cart and scan the barcode. When finished, complete your payment through the App and head for the exit. How simple is that!
Now shopping for things like Depend, Poise, Centrum, Advil, and Ensure products that my mom needs is easy and private.