This post is sponsored by Depend, Poise, Ensure, and Glucerna but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
As a healthcare provider, I’ve encountered many caregivers over the years. But no matter how many caregivers I may come into contact with, nothing is the same as actually being a caregiver. My mother-in-law retired earlier this year, and she has been a primary caregiver for her aging father since her retirement. After several months of caregiving, the exhaustion from the responsibilities is becoming evident. Other family members are now trying to pitch in and give her relief, but anyone with caregiving experience knows that this isn’t always easy.
Oftentimes caregivers new to any caregiving experience are not sure the best way to pitch in. They may be nervous or have a fear of doing the wrong thing. They desire to help the primary caregiver, but what is the best way to do this?
As in any case, preparedness is key when it comes to helping caregivers. Here are a few ways to get and stay prepared.
#1 Help stock up on caregiving supplies. Shopping for essentials is often not a luxury that caregivers can afford. Getting to the store can be difficult. For my mother-in-law, her father struggles with his nutritional intake.
Depending on the needs of the family member or patient, Depends, Poise, and Glucerna products are also items that the caregiver may need to have on hand. All of these items, plus Ensure in various flavors, are available at Sam’s Club. Sam’s club offers convenient options like club pick-up and discrete shipping. Buying in bulk at Sam’s Club makes sure that the caregiver never runs out of needed items. For any questions regarding these items, see the pharmacist at your local Sam’s Club.
#2 Take the caregiver a meal. I know in my mother-in-law’s case, she rarely eats full meals due to her schedule and responsibilities. We try to have her over for dinner for take her a favorite meal for those days where she may rarely eat.
#3 Shadow the primary caregiver. For those who may be hoping to pitch in and relieve the primary caregiver, shadow the caregiver for a day and make a list of all their responsibilities. This will help calm anxiety if you are nervous about caregiving on your own. This will also help you to know what items the family member/patient needs if you are heading to stock up at Sam’s Club.
#4 Assist with appointments. Medical appointments are a good time to give the primary caregiver relief. Be sure to gather together any necessary medical information prior to heading to the appointment.
Are you a caregiver? How have others helped you best in your caregiving journey?