Getting old happens. It’s part of life. As we age, we often experience more health related issues and sometimes require more assistance from family, friends and/or medical professionals. With the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, it may be financially burdensome to cover the costs of medical or specialized care by medical professionals (e.g. assisted living or nursing homes). Thus, home healthcare becomes something you and your family may need to prepare for. For those without specific knowledge of medical care, it might be difficult to take care of someone at home. To help you prepare, we have come up with a list of the basic medical supplies and equipment to have on hand when taking care of a loved one at home.
These can be things such as poles beside the bed, grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and shower, a gait belt – also known as a lifting and transfer belt, slip on non-skid shoes, and a wheelchair to have as needed.
These include soft seat cushions, air mattress toppers, and a mechanical bed that offers comfort in positioning as well as comfort in caring for your loved one. Other comfort devices include extra pillows – plan on at least 5 pillows.
Therapy can mean ice on a hot sore knee, or a warm compress to sooth a stiff neck. They also include a heating pad, and a high quality sensitive skin scent free lotion that can be used on itchy dry skin daily. Sponge bath supplies are also good therapy when getting up for a full shower is just too much effort.
Urgent Care Items
This can include your emergency contact list posted clearly where anyone can see it on the fridge. The most important urgent care is wound care. Have a first aid kit packed with 4 x 4 sterile gauze pads, bandages, and even window dressings which have come in handy many times. In the kit, also have adhesive remover, alcohol wipes, and a wound cleansing solution spray bottle. The spray is the handiest thing in the kit. Also have an emergency game plan, and enough food in the home for at least three days.
Personal Care Items
Clearly label all personal care items and keep them separate from general use. This prevents cross contamination. You will need an automated tooth brush, denture care supplies if needed, a box of gloves in each room where personal care is given, a good nail care kit, water resistant bed pads – these come in washable or disposable types, and a foot soaking basin.
This list will help you prepare the home for a loved one who will be needing care. Although you may find there are other things your loved one needs, this list is a good start to stocking what you need and preparing for emergencies.
Written By: Ivy Hunter (Guest Author)
For those with experience taking care of a sick or aging loved one, what were some of the medical essentials you had on hand? Share the home healthcare items you find useful in the comments section below.