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How to Pack Your Caregiver Ready Bag

Caring Hearts caregivers recommend you keep crucial items in your own caregiver ready bag, just in case you need to head to the hospital or a doctor’s office without notice. 

Last week, we offered some suggestions for creating a Ready Bag in case your older loved one needs to make an unexpected visit to the hospital. Usually, these unplanned excursions start in the Emergency Department of the hospital, but it can be difficult to predict whether the stay will last a couple of hours or a couple of days. 

That’s why our caregiver professionals recommend being ready to leave quickly to accompany your loved one on a sudden trip to the hospital and to be prepared for a stay of at least a day or two. 

Caregiver Go-Bag Packing List

Here are some of the most frequently recommended items for a caregiver companion’s ready bag: 

  • A change of clothes – focus on comfort and don’t forget underwear and socks.

  • Toiletries and personal care items, including:

    • Deodorant

    • Mild hand wipes (which can be used to freshen your face as well)

    • Sanitary products

  • Two-day supply of any prescription medications you normally take

  • At least a day’s worth of travel medications like:

    • Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other pain reliever

    • Antacid

    • Antidiarrheal

    • Eyedrops

  • Eyeglasses, glasses case, and/or contact lenses and solution

  • Notebook and pens

  • Bottled water or other beverages

  • Your preferred healthy snacks

  • Cash in small denominations for vending machines

  • Phone charger (don’t forget your phone!)

  • Family contact lists for keeping in touch and arranging relief if needed

  • Reading material

  • Hobby items (knitting, crossword puzzles, Sudoku)

Having these items in an already packed bag can eliminate at least a few of the smaller inconveniences of being away from home unexpectedly. What works best for you will vary according to your own needs and preferences, as well the particular situations you’re likely to be called away from – home, office, gym, etc.  

What’s in your ready bag?

If you spot something we’ve missed or have a suggestion for others, please join us in the discussion on Facebook

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