7 Caregiver Tips for Traveling

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Are you a caregiver or do you have one in your life? Here are 7 tips for traveling, and covering all of your caregiving needs at Sam's Club #ad #ConquerInco

‘Tis the season to get away, right? Today we’re talking about travel – specifically as a caregiver.

As a young adult, I used to jump into my car with wild abandon – happy to drive north, south, east, and west. I think that’s the case with many people, but it gets harder as we get older, or if we’re sick, hurt, or with someone who requires care. Wanderlust hasn’t changed with kids – it just requires more thought now. As a mom, and as a daughter, granddaughter, niece, daughter-in-law, etc. For some people – MANY people – travel requires a LOT more thought than anything.

Luckily my tips include many ways to provide caregiving help for travel.

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As much as I am able-bodied right now, I’m always aware of how that can change – whether it takes years, or not. I’ve been a member of the sandwich generation for eight years now. My parents are in good health, but my mom lost both of her parents within the last five years, when both were over 100! My dad’s parents are in their 90’s, and require constant care. And my uncle is younger but has an illness in which we help to outfit our home to accommodate his needs. He needs help with many aspects of life, and it has changed the way we look at travel. It’s changed the way we look at EVERYTHING.

As caregivers to loved ones, we rely on a world that will give us the tools to help. We rely on products and services that give our loved ones the flexibility to live life with freedom. Luckily we find flexibility and freedom with Member’s Mark Total Protection products from Sam’s Club. These are a smarter choice for my family economically, and emotionally for us too.

There’s something at Sam’s Club for everyone, and for many people out there, this is everything. Year ago, when we had settled in western MA and I knew I was going to be a bit in-between everything – whether that’s with generations or geographical distance – I did the research. I wanted to know exactly where to go for myself, and my loved ones. After doing some research and spending some time there, I was happy to learn that Sam’s Club has products for personal care and caregiving needs, including pick up, subscription, and additional health and wellness services. It’s one-stop shopping for Caregiving. There are premium quality products at a great value, and many exclusive member benefits at Sam’s Club.

Here are our 7 Caregiver Tips For Traveling:

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1 – Have essentials on hand! If you’re going to be sitting in a plane, train, or car for extended periods, you want to be prepared. Pack light, layered clothes, seasonal needs, snacks, water, and necessary personal products. We buy Member’s Mark Total Protection products like Member’s Mark Total Protection Adult Briefs for Men & Women, Large. Sam’s Club will be the first retail store upgrading to these adjustable briefs. Their products are every bit as good or better than more expensive and more highly advertised brands. You can Conquer Inco with this amazing product – giving confidence to users. Adjustable side panels give a secure fit, and breathable material helps keep skin cool, dry and comfortable.

2 – Get doctor clearance and have important medical info on hand. You should have documents and medications, such as emergency contact info, a list of current meds/doses, food allergy information, physician information, and an ID bracelet for you and/or your loved one. Also you can label clothing and put important info in your loved one’s (and your) wallet.

3 – Plan your accommodations beforehand. If you’re renting a car, think about more easily accessible vehicles, and plan for wheelchairs, walkers, or other pieces of mobility equipment. If flying, request accessible seats. Also limit layovers and connections. Plan meals with dietary restrictions in mind, no matter how you’re traveling. Be in contact with your hotel for special needs in mind – like ramps, first level floors, elevators, etc.

4 – Stick to a routine whenever possible. Instead of staying with family, consider a hotel. Allow extra time for your loved one (and you) to feel comfortable in your new surroundings. Set realistic expectations about the trip.

5 – Outsource. Consider hiring a medical transport service if the situation calls for it. Plan caregiving shifts with other family members or friends, and consider bringing home health aides/nurses, or researching adult care centers.

6 – Communication is key. Before and every activity, tell your loved one where you’re going and what you’re doing in detail, but without overwhelming them.

7. Pace yourself and scale back. Build in extra time for frequent breaks. Don’t rush! Good luck.

Now, head on over to your nearest Sam’s Club to see all of the Member’s Mark Total Protection Products that they have to offer for you and your loved ones! And don’t forget to leave an online review when you visit Samsclub.com.

Happy Trails!

A Bliss of Another Kind.

The other night I snuck (freed) my parent’s puppy from his bedtime crate and he fell asleep in the crook of my arm, resting his paw on my stomach. Then we watched HBO together. It was so blissful that I couldn’t move him for hours. I couldn’t move myself.

My parents got two dogs on Friday, each with a unique story. With both kids kicking small colds and with such crappy weather on the weekend horizon, I did it. I packed up both kids and drove for four hours on a rolling country route, passing where Massachusetts meets New York, and where New York meets Sussex County, New Jersey. It’s all so blissful and easy. Scarlet slept through two hours of Des screaming, the lucky girl. She’s very talented but I can top her having slept through Des screaming AND two earthquakes.

It was just so impractical. We were supposed to hit Jersey the previous weekend for my sister’s big surprise party but with Cassidy in so much pain and both kids having either cold or stomach ailments, we could not make it. We are also hitting Jersey next weekend for a wedding. So what possessed me to get in the car on Friday morning? The prospect of seeing my visiting uncle and my nearby grandmother, sure. Very much. I also couldn’t resist the power of saturated puppy time. I think puppies are the purest life forms.

They are wicked cute, playful and loyal from the start. Not only that, when do you get to play with one for hours upon hours?

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I’m guessing not often, unless you have one. And even if you do, they grow like liquid through your arms. They change in an instant.

This is Diesel. I call Desmond “Deezy Do” so having a puppy named Diesel confused me a lot. I took to calling him, “Deezy Don’t” or “Deezy Two.” His story starts in Kentucky. His mother’s owner was not pleased to find out she was pregnant and he shot her in the head and left her for dead. Everyone, including me, recoils in horror to hear that story and questions whether that man was found and/or punished. Unfortunately this is about as much as I know about that. I believe someone found the dog and rushed her to the vet where she had an emergency c-section to deliver three babies, before she passed away. The three puppies (all survived) were then sent by many good people up to New Jersey, and my parents were lucky recipients of one of the miracle puppies. Sweet Diesel.

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And then there’s Chase. He’s a short-haired collie who was in search of a family. He’s fast as lightning and is a tattle-tale. He seems to be constantly telling us that “Timmy’s in the well!” (Lassie reference) or more realistically – that Scarlet pinched Des or that someone shouted or looked at him the wrong way. We’ve only ever had northern dogs so it’s nice to meet this gentle-natured dog.

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The absolute best..is the two of them together.

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The delicious mischief, the cuddles, the sound of paw nails clicking on the floor. May they all be so, so happy together.

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The morning after we arrived, we visited my 99-year-old grandmother at her home. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my pro camera but the iPhone will do in momentous times like these..

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On our second night, my parents had friends over that they have known for years. My uncle remembered a powerful memory of one of the women who came over. After my father died when I was nearly four, many people came over to bring food and help my mom. When my uncle came to Jersey and walked into our house, he remembers seeing Fran playing on the floor with me. I hadn’t seen her in several years. There were also other friends over who had known my mom since before I was born. I was a bit staggered by the amount of history contained in one room. 40-50 years of friendship. And how the history mixed with the new. Not just the pups.

With this guy:

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And this girl:

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An emotional overload – of the best kind. It always takes me awhile to come down from moments and days like these..