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As many of you know, I assist my mom with taking care of my 93-year-old great aunt. We struggle with the best options to care for her. As she gets older, her need for round the clock care increases. But how do we make sure she is receiving quality care but also keep some form of “independence” in her life?
My mom, husband, and I struggle with this question often. My aunt is healthy, per se, but her mind is getting worse. So our biggest concerns are not what she does in the daytime but more so at night when she is home alone.
How can we help the daytime nurse prepare my aunt to be at home alone at night?
It is important to us to make sure she has everything she needs to eliminate her getting scared or hurting herself at night.
Our ultimate goal was to create a seamless bedtime routine for my aunt and to give us a peace of mind that she would be ok.
So what would that look like?
We knew we would need to visit Sam’s Club to purchase the items she would need for her night basket. The beauty of being a member of Sam’s Club is the option to order online and use the pickup service. Most importantly, the ease of shopping at Sam’s Club eliminates a million calls my husband would make to me when I send him to shop for my aunt.
Thanks to one-stop shopping option, we are able to purchase the all the items she would need for her night basket.
This night basket would be placed on her nightstand and include the following items:
- Member’s Mark Female Maximum Absorbency Underwear
- Crossword puzzle book and pen
- TV Remote control
- Plastic bag for disposal/trash
- Napkins/wet wipes/ Member’s Mark Washcloths
We go twice a month to Sam’s Club and purchase the items she needs.
We created a bedtime routine checklist for the day nurse to use to create a sense of structure, security, and control for my aunt’s night routine.
The checklist has two columns: One that lists the tasks to be completed and the other one is to check if items are needed. The nurse places the checklist in a folder that is kept in the living room. We review the checklist weekly and replenish the items from Sam’s Club as needed.
Bedtime Routine Checklist:
- Place the walker/wheelchair at the side of the bed
- Place mobile phone/house phone in basket on nightstand
- Make sure cell phones are charged completely for the night
- Place a glass or bottle water in basket on nightstand
- Place a snack in basket on night stand
- Turn on TV and set timer to turn off in 90 minutes
- Set TV to turn on at 8 am
- Place a Member’s Mark Female Maximum Absorbency Underwear in the basket on nightstand and place one in the bathroom
- Make sure path to bathroom and kitchen is clutter free
- Place a Member’s Mark Underpad on the bed
Creating this checklist and working with the daytime nurse, my aunt’s (and our) stress level has decreased tremendously. She’s able to stay living in her apartment. We are able to get her the things she needs from Sam’s Club. So it’s a win-win all the way around.
To download a copy of the bedtime routine, click here.
We love her so much and just want to keep some normalcy in her life.
How do you prepare your love ones for bedtime, travel, or even a trip to the doctor?
Share your tips. If you need more tips and/or resources, check out Sam’s Club Family caregiver site.