Items To Have On Hand – Not Your Typical Items
So the time has come for a little extra help for mom or dad at home. This is obviously not an easy decision but everyone is on-board and it’s time to start. This article will cover different things to consider to make life a little easier when utilizing homecare services. These are suggestions made based on years of experience in the homecare industry.
In the paragraphs below you will find many different ideas that may or may not be applicable to your situation. I have personally either used these methods directly or have had clients that have used them. They are all tools that can make the entire caregiving process run a bit smoother. You will find that there are many challenges to keeping a loved one at home. Making it is little easier on those that can’t always be there is an ongoing challenge.
We will discuss 7 different areas or categories to consider for items to have in the home when beginning with a home care provider. These are things that have been repeatedly been brought up through years of being in the industry. Again, links are provided for your assistance and we are a Amazon Affiliate. One of the best tools to utilize as listed below is the Amazon Dash buttons. These are a very effective tool for caregivers to use.
1. Can I Come In?
First thing to consider is how will the caregiver get into the house? This is a often a small detail that is overlooked. If mom or dad are going to be in bed when the caregiver arrives or they are unable to come to the door, what should the caregiver do for entry? You have to be at work each morning so driving over to their house to let the caregiver in just isn’t practical.
The easiest solution to this often-overlooked challenge is a lockbox. The advantages to using such a device is that the key always remains on the property and is not mistakenly taken by the caregiver. Is all the caregiver needs is the combination and they are able to get access to the house key. Another possibility is a wall mount version listed here.
When using homecare services, peace of mind is oftentimes a concern. By attaching the key to the lockbox device, the caregiver is reminded to return the key to the box before entering because of the size. It is not easy to put a key in your pocket when it has a big metal block attached to it!
The other option to consider for entry when mom or dad is unable to answer the door is a remote garage keypad. Obviously they would need a garage door opener in order for this idea to work, but it also keeps the caregiver from mistakenly taking keys with them.
Again, the arriving caretaker only has to know the combination for entry and they can gain access through the garage. This is a very easy solution for allowing the care staff into the home without someone being able to let them in.
2. I Can’t Hear You!
An ongoing challenge often faced when new to the homecare game is the fact that mom insists on letting all visitors into her home! She will not have a caregiver using a key of their own and entering. She will absolutely go to the door and let them in!
One problem; she can’t hear the doorbell! No worries…there is a simple solution. This wireless, expandable doorbell system takes care of that. Mom will no longer miss visitors that stop by because she just didn’t hear the doorbell ring. You have the option of adding additional receivers that simply plug into a standard outlet to assist with hearing the bell.
The same problem is solved when missed telephone calls are an issue by updating your cordless phone system to a amplified phone with visual indicator. How can you check on mom and make sure she is okay if she never answers the phone? Easy fix but not always a solution people think of.
So mom and dad are both still around but you truly wonder how they ever hear each other? Dad has suffered from hearing loss for years and if mom really needed him, would he even hear her calling for help? He can hear her if she’s standing right next to him but that’s about it! This next solution is awesome. It is definitely not one that most think of for using around the house, but it is more than effective.
What is this easy solution you ask? This fog horn is essential if mom needs his attention from across the house. This works very well when trying to get dad’s attention from a different room. We have attached these to walkers as well as motorized wheel chairs and they work fantastic.
The last item we will discuss in regards to hearing and communication issues in the home is an intercom system. Placing a base unit in a common area such as the kitchen and the other unit elsewhere, makes for a very easy solution to a difficult challenge. It allows either direct communication or just the ability to play a loud tone in order to get the others attention.
3. Are You Okay Mom?
Many challenges arrive for families when mom or dad are declining in health but insisting on remaining at home. You have caregivers coming in for homecare services but the problem is they may not be there 24 hours a day!
One possible solution for families to be able check in on mom is by utilizing a webcam, similar to this. With internet access being such a common convenience today, it is an easy way to check in and make sure mom is okay by just logging into her webcam. This is an unobtrusive way to just look in on mom and make sure everything is okay. She doesn’t even know when you have looked in on her.
Of course one of the things to consider here is that mom or dad needs internet access for this method to work but assuming that is taken care of, this is a very easy way to keep tabs on mom.
Please keep in mind privacy issues when considering this option. It is critical that you explain it correctly to your mom or dad before utilizing this option. You do not have to bother mom with a phone call and she doesn’t even know you are checking in on her. This is a very easy way to look in without needing someone to physically go to her home.
Another tool to utilize for peace of mind is a wireless security system. Installation is a breeze with these and reports are sent through text and email. This allows you to see if a door has been opened, etc. and allows for you to monitor those coming and going remotely. Simplisafe is a system I currently use and simplicity and ease of use can’t be beat.
4. How Can I Leave A Message For Dad’s Caregiver?
So you have a ‘communication’ notebook for the caregiver(s) to take notes in and for you to leave notes to them. One problem; they forget to look at the notebook!
For critical messages to be read, the easiest solution is to use a whiteboard such as this one. This is easily displayed in the home and you can be sure that the caregivers see your message each time you leave one. This is a very basic method of communication but VERY effective. One creative option when using a whiteboard is to color coordinate your notes. An example of this might be all items that need to be delivered before the next scheduled visit, such as caregiver gloves, can be listed with a red marker and communication issues with black.
It is a good idea for caregivers to leave notes on here of things they may observe during their shift that are of importance. It is easy to forget to check the notebook each time but this form of communication is hard to miss.
5. Meds, Meds, and More Meds!
How will we ever keep them straight? Mom has so many different medications and different days have different requirements. The easiest solution for medication management is by using a medication dispenser.
It is statistically proven that anyone taking more the 2 prescriptions at any given time will have some form of medication mishap. By using a simple pill box this helps eliminate this mistake. Have either a family member or a nurse set the meds up at a set time and then it just becomes as simple as the caregiver reminding mom at certain times to take her medicine. Medication is a big issue if not taken and controlled correctly. It is important that everyone understands their role in the administering of meds.
When it comes to medications, there are a number of possible tools to assist with this challenge. This Medcenter is also a solid solution depending on your needs.
6. Good Ol’ Basic Supplies
Bathing, toileting, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, errands etc., etc., etc.. The caregiver has a lot they will be responsible for. Here you find some basic ideas and suggestions that will make things a bit easier.
One of the more important factors to be prepared for is the personal care side of homecare. The caregiver will need gloves when performing personal cares and you do not want to be caught without these on hand. This is probably the most important item to make sure you consistently have.
The remaining basic items I will list are common but necessary. One thing to consider that works well is the idea of using Amazon Prime in combination with their DASH buttons. This is an excellent way for the caregiver to have the ability to make sure the necessary items are always on hand. He or she can simply press the button when dish soap is needed for example, and you receive the email that the order was placed. Two days later, the product arrives at mom’s house. How simple is that? This is a very effective way to make sure the necessary items are available.
Other items to make sure are readily available for your caregivers include: furniture polish, glass cleaner, vacuum bags, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, sensitive skin treatment, Vaseline, cleaning cloths and other general housekeeping items.
7. Things To Make Life Just A Little Easier
A couple notes to include on things that work well for those in need of homecare. Personal hygiene is by far one of the most taxing tasks that mom and dad have to perform. This electric toothbrush makes this not-so-simple task a little easier. No need to waste energy on the little things.
Another popular tool in assisting in making life a little easier is this hand held shower head. This allows mom to still take her shower but it makes it easier in getting the more difficult areas clean. Again, the idea of making the little things easier is adds to the quality of living each day.
Having caregivers come into the home is not always the easiest idea to get used to. There is a lot of thought that needs to be put into being prepared so the services run smooth. The ideas above will hopefully provide you with a good starting point to get the ball rolling. The easier the process, the better the care mom or dad will receive. Having supplies on hand when needed helps tremendously.
I hope this article has helped in your personal situation in obtaining and being as best prepared as possible for an in-home caregiver.