Being a primary caregiver for both my parents takes lots of time, patience and assistance from loved ones. It requires me to be organized, timely and flexible, especially when unexpected circumstances arise (the unexpected always happens when time is limited).
Leveraging technology aids me in caregiving, and I also take advantage of other resources that simplify our lives. I initially was hesitant about some of these conveniences, but I have since found them to be game changers.
I once balked at grocery delivery because I didn’t think the shoppers would pick items like I would. I still am dubious about the grocers selecting some meats and produce, but I have no reservations about them grabbing items we usually need.
I still appreciate going to the grocery store occasionally to peruse the aisles for new items and brands, but I find it very convenient to have groceries delivered to my parents — and sometimes to us. Our regular orders include eggs, bread, bananas, milk, apple sauce, tomato soup and snacks my parents enjoy and can easily grab or prepare between meals.
I shop by adding items to my cart via the app on my phone and can easily select a delivery time when a relative is with my parents. Notifications alerting me when the groceries are in route and have been delivered make the process smooth and worry free. Grocery pickup also is convenient, but I still must drive to the store.
PRESCRIPTION DELIVERY AND PILL PACKS
We use a wonderful local pharmacy for momma’s prescriptions because they provide the pill-pack service. This may be my favorite convenience. Instead of us sorting the pills into the traditional, multi-colored container, the pharmacy packages the pills, labels the small packages with the date and time the pills should be taken, along with the description and dosage, and places the packs in a box.
This service was such a relief. There was no more stress about refilling the pill box on Sundays or calling in a refill, and gone are the days of worrying about someone else filling the pill box properly while I’m away.
We use the mail-order service through insurance for daddy’s pills and supplements. I have them delivered to my home so I don’t spend time tracking down where my parents may have placed the packages. The constant calls about refills and delivery notices from the online pharmacy are a bit annoying, but the service is convenient and timely.
We have not used apps like GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc. to send meals to my parents because they can’t answer the door quickly enough to receive them. However, we do utilize the meal prep and delivery service offered by a friend’s restaurant. We can select from the menu of the day and pay before or after the meals arrive. Someone we know brings the food, and I can remotely unlock the door to let my parents receive the deliveries or have them placed in the living room, where they usually eat.
We take advantage of telehealth whenever we can. This option means we do not have to leave work as early to wrangle my parents out of bed, search for a good parking space and slowly meander to the office. I hope the telehealth platform will keep improving and doctors will suggest additional equipment that can be used during a visit to check vitals in a similar way to in- person visits.
Auto-delivery of personal items that we routinely need is very helpful. Instead of adding these items to the big box store’s shopping cart, we can enroll in auto-delivery online and cancel or suspend service at any time.