Caregiving Journal - Planning for Absence (Part 1)

Intro - Tomorrow my husband and I leave for New York for the weekend, as Ma cannot stand long enough to cook and wash dishes, and has trouble managing all her supplements, I must plan ahead…

Food - Before the trip I head to Fred Meyer to pick up 3 days worth of food. I focus on items that are pre-packaged and ready to eat like veggie trays with dip, sliced up pieces of cheese, 2 boxes of rice crackers, cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes, prepared seaweed packs, and three packs of protein drinks (the low carbohydrate ones without sugar added). I also boil 1 dozen eggs and place them in the fridge in a clear glass dish. All the foods are low carbohydrate (low sugar) foods with high nutritional content. What is in the fridge gets labeled, so as easy to identify. Most items are in clear translucent containers for the same reason.

Medications/Supplements – All supplements are prepackaged up per day in empty (amber) prescription bottles. They are labeled 2 per day with the day and AM or PM below the day (e.g. Wed. AM). I give Ma all the bottles on 1 tray on her desk so she can take them accordingly.   Ma manages her own prescription medications, as she has just a few and the dosages seldom change. I mainly manage the supplements required, as those change based on how she’s feeling between visits and or based on new blood labs that Kaiser has run for her. Ma sees Kaiser for main medical issues but also has her care managed with a Naturopathic Physician (which I help to coordinate).

Lesson LearnedBuying pre-packaged serving packages really simplifies meals when you can’t be there to prepare food for your loved one or if he/she cannot prepare food for himself/herself.

Have you ever had to prepare a loved one for your absence? What helped you prepare? Please share here!