Proactive Preparation in Eldercare

Proactive preparation in the care of elders is one of the less-traveled approaches in the caregiving space. Mainly, because we live in a reactive society. There is truth to the statement” being ready, so you don’t have to get ready”; it is required when caring for our loved ones. It can be a matter of life and death and safety or calamity. There will be situations out of our control, even emergencies, during the caregiving journey. The game-changer is how prepared you are. Incidents that could happen are numerous. Caregivers need a working knowledge of nutritional needs, medical problems, medications taken, mobility needs, and a game plan.

Are you prepared for electricity outages, oxygen failures, food supplies, water disruptions, or unable to make it to a life-saving treatment? What is your plan? Who knows the plan? Putting together a prepared plan and sharing it with family and friends in advance is vital.

Sidebar: My sister shared that going to the grocery store during the pandemic and pondered an interesting observation. She states,” Going down the bread aisle, all the bread was gone, but going down the flour aisle, flour was in massive stock. Hmmm, I guess nobody knows how to make bread for survival.”

Being prepared can sometimes take you out of your comfort zone, but it can save a life, prevent an injury, and conserve normalcy in times of uncertainty. We should never wait until a situation occurs and try to correct it amid a storm. That is NOT the time to start preparing. I want to share a few tips that helped me during my caregiving journey, and I pray they support you.

Eldercare Basic Supplies

Family information and medical practitioner numbers should be readily available. Supplies needed for proactive preparation should be stored away for times of situations beyond your control. Collected items should be enough for at least 3–5 days. This list is not exhaustive but helpful.

Your supplies should include:

Dry goods

Canned fruit food items

Canned tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon

Peanut butter/Honey/Jam



Canned milk

Gallons of water

Medication (a week’s supply)


Incontinence Supplies

Body wipes


Warm Clothing



As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, I want you to know that caring for a loved one can be challenging in normal circumstances. It is still possible to care for them in times of uncertainty through simple steps of proactive preparation. Be safe! Be well!

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is a retired registered nurse and case manager, CEO of Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate and author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers.

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