Part II: A Caregiver’s Christmas Wish List

While the intangibles in my Caregiver’s Christmas Wish List post last week are at the top of my list, there are, of course, some pretty darn tangible items I’d also love to have as a caregiver! Here is a sampling of items most caregivers yearn for, Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney with these goodies:

1. A new car (might as well start big!): OK I’d love to have a new little red sports car, but what I need desperately is a crossover (light blue) with easy front passenger seat access for my Mom, easy back seat access for my Dad (whose hip makes it tricky to get in and out of the tiny back seat we have now.) I dream of built-in GPS to help me find new doctor’s offices, technology ports so I can charge up my ipad and safely make phone calls via Bluetooth while driving (caregivers have to multi-task to survive.) It needs to have plenty of room for the things I’m constantly carting back and forth – my bags for staying overnight at Mom and Dad’s, groceries, walkers, wheelchairs…and Jackson of course. Oh – and excellent mileage please!

2. An electronic home monitoring system: There are lots of high-tech options for older adults popping up in the market these days. I’d like a system that doesn’t cost an-arm-and-a-leg in which cameras can easily be set up at my parent’s apartment so I can remotely check in from anywhere via my ipad or phone and make sure they are ok and are receiving the quality care they need.

3. A video phone: My Mom has Aphasia, which makes it difficult for her to communicate on the phone. It would be great to have an easy-to-use (a must) video she and Dad can use to talk to family members without having to coordinate ahead of time and set up the computer for a web chat. So we need a video phone at their apartment, one at my house, my sister’s houses, my nieces and nephews at college, my aunts and uncles’ houses…a dozen video phones `oughtta do it, Santa!

4. A talking watch for my Dad: Dad has Glaucoma, and his vision is rapidly declining. He needs a simple watch please, no bells and whistles – just an old-fashioned watch face with big numbers and a voice that announces the time when an easily accesible button is pushed (or can be programmed to do so every hour). It needs to actually be loud enough for him to hear (we’ve been through 3 of them now!)

5. A mobile caregiver’s “app: One application I can use on my iPad2, computer and phone that allows me to take and catalogue notes at doctor appointments, list and look-up information about my parent’s medications, track their medical history and share updates with other family members. I have separate applications and devices I use now for these purposes, but, oh Santa, I drool over the thought of one coordinated tool to do all of these things in one place!

6. A Research Assistant: I’d like some help doing the research on these products to determine which models are best for my parents, me and my family! Gone are the days I could look through the JC Penny catalogue and pick out the items for my wish list. As consumers, we now we all need to do lots of legwork, searching, and testing to find out about the options, prices (including hidden costs,) warrantees, etc. So Santa Baby, can you plop my own personal researcher under the tree this year, pretty please?!

Last but not least, there is one more item that isn’t exactly a tangible, but not an intangible either. I feel compelled to include it on my wish list, so here goes: I wish for two solid weeks with no doctor appointments! I know it’s a tall order, Santa; it’s a much more difficult request than any of the other items on my lists. But after all, it is the season of miracles.

Happy Holidays to all of you – my readers and fellow caregivers! Please let me know what is on your wish list this year – and may all your wishes come true!

Photo Credit: Clip Art