Facebook and Twitter are such great resources for the Sandwich Generation. While catching up on my Facebook messages, I spotted a post by Susan Avello recommending Karen J. Rinehart's new book on the topic of caring for the elderly parents and relatives in your family, Knitting with Hospital Gloves: The How-To Guide for Becoming Instant Caregivers. Written with the unexpected emergency in mind and primarily geared for newer caregivers, I found plenty of useful tips written in a very interesting manner. Ms. Rinehart is well-experienced with both caregiving and the Sandwich Generation and it really shows. Here is part 1 of some of my notes from reading through this entertaining and handy little book:
- She has several great tips for flying on airlines, often at the last minute. One airline she did not mention is my favorite, Southwest, which is wonderful as it allows you to change your flights with no penalty fee. But they don't fly everywhere, so I really appreciated her extra tips.
- I thought her idea for making sure you use a GPS, whether purchased or in your rental car, was very practical. As she pointed out, "stress does crazy things to your brain, including your sense of concentration" AND with it "you can find the hospital, hotel…gas, lodging" and more. I actually use the Google maps app in my iPhone and that gets me through most situations. It's not perfect. My friend and I still laugh at the time it led me to the "Apple Store" that turned out to be, instead, a full-on residential area – no Apple store in sight. Overall, though, it generally works very well and I always have it, even for a middle of the night emergency.
- She had an excellent tip about keeping your medications at a national pharmacy chain, like Walgreens, Walmart, etc. – so if you have to travel unexpectedly and run out of your medications, or forget to pack your prescription, you can usually get another with one-two phone calls. I've had to do that twice and was so grateful for having done that as well. (If you use Target, make sure they have a pharmacy in the location you are traveling to. Most areas do, but not all!)
- The book has a great packing list for the hospital that I'm going to keep on hand for all times, along with my own hospital packing list. To it, I would add Halls regular, fruit-flavored Vitamin C drops. They are full of extra Vitamin C – always a plus in a stress situation, and will help in case of any kind of cough that may pop up. When you are spending a few days at a hospital with a sick relative, you are at more risk of catching colds and other germs and these can be a big help to fight that OR help with it if it happens.
All in all, good news for boomers and seniors caring for elderly parents and a very good book on caregiving that was written in an interesting and humourous manner. It's a short and easy read that is available for the Kindle and at the time of this writing, it's only $2.99. Check back next week, for part two of this review for the Sandwich Generation. And…