When you think of a toolbox, you probably picture everything you’ll need to finish a task, especially those things to add To Your caregiver toolkit. Even the loss of just a couple of tools might cause significant delays or even derail an entire operation.
When you have confidence in your abilities as a caregiver and the resources to satisfy your loved one’s requirements, things will move more smoothly for everyone involved. However, no matter how well you think you have planned, unexpected things could come up when providing care.
Each caregiving situation is unique, and so is the toolkit that goes with it. The best set of tools will be extensive and functional without becoming burdensome.
Start by ensuring that your caregiver toolkit has everything you need to deal with any unexpected problems that may arise when taking care of a loved one.
Let’s take a look at things you should add to your caregiver toolkit.
Things To Add To Your Caregiver Toolkit
So, here is a list of the 10 top things you should add to your toolkit as a caregiver.
1. Care medication organizer
Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. take at least five different medicines. As a result, almost 700,000 trips to the emergency room and 100,000 stays in the hospital are caused by bad reactions to drugs every year.
Making a medication log or spreadsheet can help stop a life-threatening situation. It will also make things easier for you.
It is best to create a document and write down each drug and including the following:
- Who gave the drug to them?
- When the drug was given.
- Why was the drug given?
- How often the drug was given, including the number of refills and when the refills were made.
It would help if you tried to work with only one pharmacy or write the pharmacy’s name for each drug. This can make your documentation easier.
Dietary supplements and over-the-counter drugs can affect how prescription drugs work, so write them down as well in your log. Bring a copy along to every doctor’s appointment.
Use alarms and a daily pill organizer to remind you when to take your pills. Make sure that all drugs are kept somewhere safe.
Collect important papers and put them in a safe or file box. It will save you time and trouble later on.
Here’s a list of things to put in a safe or file box:
- Information on how to reach family and friends.
- Health insurance information and other insurance policies.
- Information about doctors and other health care providers.
- Information about banking and other financial matters.
- A timeline of your living will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and testament.
- Make a “bookmark” on your computer to quickly get online information. Installing a password manager is an excellent way to keep your usernames and passwords safe.
3. Checking the home’s accessibility
Accessibility in the home should be a part of the things you should add to your caregiving toolkit for many reasons, but one of the most important is to keep people from falling.
A Certified Aging Place Specialist (CAPS) or an occupational therapist can do a safety check to ensure the home is easy to get around in.
They can make suggestions based on your needs now and in the future, such as installing grab bars, a walk-in shower, or a chair that glides up and down stairs.
You might also like: 9 Important Tips For Working With Special Needs Kids
4. Solo time
Putting other people’s needs before your own might happen gradually without you noticing. After three months, many family caregivers who enrolled their loved ones in adult day care reported decreased stress, anger, despair, and greater overall well-being.
A friendly phone call can go a long way toward easing the burden of carers. Depression in caregivers is common; hence, caregivers can benefit from increased social support.
Taking time for oneself isn’t a sign of selfishness. The quality of your caregiving even increases as your health improves.
5. Caregiver Calendar
As a caregiver, you need to be well-organized to be effective. Having a planner or calendar handy might help you keep track of things such as work deadlines and medical visits.
Having family members pitch in to help is essential to ensuring that everyone is aware of and concerned about the health of the person they care for. A caregiver calendar helps make that happen.
In this case, it is necessary to know specifics like when appointments and other significant occasions will occur.
You can schedule meetings with the care team the old-fashioned way by using a paper copy of the calendar or planner.
The good news is that several apps are available to make this process much simpler and more convenient for you. You may also set up particular chores for the whole gang to perform together with the help of several calendar apps.
6. Respect one another
Research shows that a caregiver’s well-being might be improved when they bring a patient happiness and pleasure.
The person under your care needs you and can’t function without you. People feel safer around you when you listen to them and validate their emotions. Being friendly to patients can make a huge difference in their moods and alleviate their worries.
Please don’t ignore the person or treat them like a child. Just avoid condescending language, as it can be very disheartening. Because of this, they may feel worse inside and lose motivation to improve. In private, when they are not watching, you can feel free to express your emotions.
7. Create balance and Limits
Caregiving is a highly demanding occupation. The more you accomplish, the more work awaits you. Don’t underestimate the emotional toll of caregiving; otherwise, you may find yourself unable to cope.
Recognizing that you have too much on your plate is crucial in balancing every aspect of your life.
Seek assistance from other members of the family as well as professional services. Having a care plan where you have addressed future care arrangements with your loved one and the rest of the family makes it much easier to let go.
Learn to say “no” when necessary because you have a life to live. Your health and other relationships are also at stake. If not, anger could get in the way of the relationship.
8. Apps for your mental health and well-being
Caregivers worry about their mental health. As a caregiver, you can improve your mental health by adding tools for mental health to your toolbox.
There are a lot of apps for mental health and well-being, which is a good thing. The bad news is that there are so many options that it can take time to choose. So first, think about what you need.
Do you need something to cheer you up or help you overcome anxiety and stay calm? Some apps do both, and many of them are about being more aware and learning how to meditate.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and that could be what you need to get through a stressful day. Laughter is good for your health. Among its many benefits, it boosts resistance to illness, eases mental stress, and lifts one’s spirits.
A sense of humor, and the laughter it may inspire, may seem hard to come by when you’re a caregiver, but it’s not impossible.
The most obvious way to create an atmosphere of cheerfulness and laughter is by watching movies, comedies, and podcasts, but your attitude can also help. Of course, some things aren’t funny, but if you look hard enough, you are likely to find humor in your daily life.
You may be worried about getting counseling, but working with a qualified therapist can help you learn how to deal with your emotional problems and talk about how you feel.
Therapists are offering more and more counseling for caregivers to support the growing number of caregivers who need help. Find out who your insurance covers by calling your insurance company.
If you can afford it, you can also pay your therapist privately. In recent years, it has become common to have therapy sessions online so you don’t have to leave your house.
Conclusion on Things To Add To Your Caregiver Toolkit
A caregiver tool kit is a flexible set of documents, strategies, and ideas to help you be the best caregiver you can be in terms of your health and your ability to help others. So put together your toolkit and make any changes you need to feel ready and confident for your journey as a caregiver.
It takes lots of hard work and commitment to be a caregiver. Caring for an older adult or a family member who needs medical help can be a big job, but it can also be rewarding.
If you are a caregiver, you should bring a toolkit to help you prepare for the demands that come with the job. In addition, a toolkit helps you stay organized, which is a big step toward being more productive.
We hope this guide helps you remember some of the most important things to check as you begin or continue in your job as a caregiver.
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