Worksheets: Worksheet 6

Preparation Guide: Taking Care of the Details When You Become a Caregiver

If you suddenly become a caregiver, you will likely be in shock. This is a hard time to begin thinking about all the details you need to address. Use the list below to help you begin to think about what you need to do, what to bring to the hospital, and what to pack for yourself and your service member. Consider that you might be gone for 30 days or more.

What to pack

◻ Clothing, taking into account the weather and season (e.g., do you need a jacket?), and the need for comfort (sweatpants). Remember extra socks and comfortable shoes

◻ Comfortable pajamas and robe for yourself and your service member

◻ Prescription medication and toiletries

◻ Cell phone and electronics (e.g., laptops and cords), including chargers and special batteries

◻ Comfort items for yourself, service member, and children (special blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, braces, etc.)

◻ Important phone numbers addresses, and email contacts

◻ Glasses or contact lenses (including replacements and cases)

◻ Ear plugs or sleep mask, in case you need to sleep in the hospital

◻ Activities for children, if appropriate (small games, electronics, crayons)

◻ Calendars or journal to relieve stress or help record details

Documents to bring

◻ Power of Attorney (POA)

◻ Driver’s license and proof of insurance (in case you need a rental car)

◻ Immunization records for your children, if they come with you (in the event they need to attend daycare)

◻ Copy of your latest leave and earning statement (LES)

◻ Original prescriptions for yourself, your service member and children (including eyeglasses, contact lenses, EpiPens, etc.)

◻ Health insurance information (e.g., phone number, sponsor’s social security number)

◻ Important contact numbers

◻ Copy of service member’s Deployment Orders

◻ Bank information (e.g., routing numbers, phone numbers), credit cards, check book, account numbers

◻ Passport, if needed

Household preparations

◻ Stop the delivery of the mail and newspaper, or arrange to have someone come by and pick it up for you

◻ Work with your job’s human resources office to arrange time off from work (using vacation time or the Family Medical Leave Act), and let schools know of your plans if you have children

◻ Arrange care for pets (you may need pet immunization records and vet information)

◻ Contact insurance companies (e.g., homeowners, auto, health, long-term care) to make necessary arrangements

◻ Schedule bill payments (there are many agencies that allow for online payments)

◻ Inform a trusted friend or family member of your plans; they can be your go-between for information dissemination if you need them to be. Also, provide them with a key to your house or apartment in the event they need to get in to send you something

◻ Empty trash cans and dispose of perishable items (remember items in the fridge, too!)

◻ General household maintenance: Set thermostat at a lower temperature, arrange lawn care, lock car, secure doors and windows, and, if you rent, inform the landlord or property manager you will be gone