If you’re juggling a job and caregiving, you need to be prepared for anything, anytime – working in between doctor’s appointments, sleeping in the ER, and caring for yourself no matter how hectic your day gets.Keep these 5 essential items handy at all times.
1. A laptop and mobile hotspot
Caregiving involves a lot of waiting – waiting for your patient to wake up from a nap, waiting in the ER, waiting to see the doctor, waiting for the test results. As a working caregiver, you can take advantage of that time if you are properly equipped. Carry a laptop or iPad and a mobile hotspot at all times so you are ready to work wherever you are
2. A smart smartphone
Your smartphone is only as smart as you make it. Make sure your contacts are up to date with the names, numbers and email addresses for family, friends, coworkers and clients.
3. A water bottle
When you are a caregiver, every well-meaning coworker, family member and friend will urge you to take care of yourself. You’ll assure them you will just to appease them but you will have no idea how to make that happen. Food will become optional; you might be too stressed to eat, or too busy. But one thing you can easily do is stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you at all times.
4. A paperwork pack
The medical world and the corporate world are very different. You cannot expect that files will be shared electronically among healthcare providers so now is not the time to go paperless. Keep the following documents with you at all times:
- Healthcare Proxy
- DNR or Do Not Ressucitate (if appropriate)
- Power of Attorney (if appropriate)
- Insurance Cards
- List of meds (the patient’s and your own in case you are away from home and need a refill
5. A personal care kit
Be prepared to spend the night in an ER or squeeze in a client meeting in between treatments; time is one of your most valuable commodities. Keep a personal care kit in your car with the following items:
- A sweater for chilly emergency rooms
- A toothbrush and toothpaste for unplanned overnights
- A mouthguard if stress causes you to grind or clench your teeth
- A client-ready outfit and toiletry bag
Juggling work and caregiving isn’t easy. But with some organization and planning you can eliminate some of the stressors.