Be Prepared: 6 Tips for Caregivers

Here, from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a caregiving list that can prove lifesaving:

1. Keep a list of medicines for each person you care for. Include over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs. Keep this list with you at all times. Bring this list to doctor visits. Remember to ask any questions you may have.

2. Give the right amount of medicine. Ask the healthcare provider how much medicine you should give and when you should give it. Use the measuring cup or device that comes with the medicine.

3. Lock up medicines. Make sure medicines are taken by the person it was meant for. Keep medicines out of reach of children, teens and older adults who can harm themselves.

4. Make food safety a priority. Those you care for may have a higher risk of getting sick from bad food. Ask your doctor if there are certain foods that you should not give to your loved one. Also, remember food safety when preparing meals. Follow four easy rules: clean, separate, cook and chill.

5. Use home medical devices safely. Talk to a doctor about how to safely use medical devices. Ask the doctor to show you and your loved one how to use the device correctly.

6. Be prepared for the unexpected. Make a plan for how you will care for your loved one in case of an emergency. Have backup supplies and medical information. Notify your electric company and fire department if you have a medical device that needs power. 

Reprinted courtesy of the FDA. For more from the FDA on health and safety issues, click here.


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