A question people often ask when they call us here at Green Tree Home Care is “what home care supplies do we need to have on hand?”
This question is important both for the caregiver coming to your home and your elderly loved one.
Each of the items on our list are easy to buy at your local store or on Amazon and will ensure that your caregiver has access to the necessary home care supplies that allow her to provide the best care.
The last three items on this list will become essential in case of an emergency or natural disaster. These tools are not often used, but it pays to be prepared.
First Aid Kit
As our loved ones age, the risk for falls, skin tears, and injuries also rises. Having a first aid kit on hand allows your caregiver to provide care for minor non emergent situations.
According to the Red Cross, a good first aid kit will have the following items :
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
The items in the first aid kit should regularly be checked for expiration dates.
Witch hazel and/or Alcohol
Witch hazel and alcohol are both mild cleansers for treating minor cuts.
Sanitary Personal Protective Equipment
Sanitary personal protective equipment that protect both the client and caregiver are essential to have on hand. These include:
- Gloves: Caregivers will need this if they are involved in providing personal care like bathing or toileting help to your elderly loved one.
- Facial Masks: These come in handy if either your elderly loved one or caregiver has an easily-transmitted airborne infection.
- Gowns/aprons to protect clothes.
Extra adult briefs and Chucks Pads (these are water-resistant under pads that can be placed underneath your loved one while they are resting in bed) are a must-have home care supply if your elderly loved one has had challenges with controlling bowel movements or urine.
Improper transfers can lead to injuries for both caregiver and loved one.Transfer or gait belts provide extra support for the caregiver to safely and easily transfer a client.
How a gait belt works:
- Put the gait belt around the client’s waist over his/her clothing and buckle it properly in the front
- Be sure the belt is snug with just enough room underneath it for you or the caregiver to maneuver your fingers
- Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and grip the belt tightly
- Lift or move the client using your arm and leg muscles
- Transfer client into the appropriate position
- Remove the gait belt once the transfer is complete
Adjustable over bed table with wheels
An adjustable over bed table with wheels is useful especially for clients who have limited mobility. You can serve food on a wheeled table to make meal times easier and more effective.
It is useful in administering medication and is handy in promoting independence even when your elderly loved one is bed bound.
Skin Barrier Creams
Skin breakdown is a common problem with our aging loved ones. It especially becomes a concern when they have limited mobility. Skin creams that protect the client’s skin are essential in this case.
Pressure ulcers (also called bed sores) are known to occur with limited mobility as well. Having caregivers apply the appropriate skin cream to areas that are most prone to pressure ulcers – typically the bottom area, heels, elbows and the back of the head – encourages blood flow to these areas and reduces the risk of pressure ulcers.
Rinse-free personal care items
On those days when your elderly loved one does not want to be moved into the shower or bath tub, rinse-free personal care items are great for maintaining personal hygiene.
Dry shampoos, leave-in conditioners and rinse-free body wash are all available from your local store or Amazon.
Electrolytes and fluids
Your elderly loved ones are at risk from dehydration and Electrolyte imbalances.
Having electrolyte fluids around the house allows caregivers to regularly encourage intake to prevent imbalances and dehydration.
To make sure you are giving the right kind of electrolytes and appropriate levels of fluids for your loved one, talk to your geriatric doctor.
In case of an emergency, have LED flashlight on hand. Make sure to show the caregiver where you store all the emergency equipment.
Extra cell phone batteries
In case of an emergency, your caregiver and elderly loved one will need to get and stay in touch with you or with local authorities. Backup cell phone batteries or portable chargers help prevent communication issues due to power loss.
A fire extinguisher to put out small fires is the last item on this list. If your home or that of your elderly loved one is not outfitted with one, today is the day to start thinking of doing so.
In this post you we gave you 12 home care supplies to have on hand for your caregiver for everyday use and in case of emergencies.
Each listed supply plays a role in keeping your elderly loved one safe and protected. Check out this article, San Diego Home Care – Everything You Need to Know, for more information about setting up home care.
If you found this post useful, please share it with somebody who needs it.