My Hospice Experience – Schie Family

I was aware of Hospice because I live in the area and because my husband’s family used the Hospice services for his grandparents. Still, until I experienced the Hospice service first-hand, I really never appreciated what they do.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer and spent most of her last 1 ½ years in and out of the hospital. Finally, we decided to move her the day the hospital said she wouldn’t make it through the night. After the social worker talked to the Truman Hospice house, they made all the arrangements to make her comfortable. She was surrounded by family during her last hours. Everyone was wonderful and compassionate throughout the entire short-term process. Still, it wasn’t until my father started declining and needed Hospice did we fully understand everything that Hospice does for their patients and the family.

My dad had past stroke history and dementia. Unfortunately, his health started to fade quickly. During this time, the hospital recommended using our local Palliative Care for in-home service. After meeting with our wonderful nurse, my dad started having seizures and another stroke…things were simply getting worse. Palliative Care made all the arrangements for my dad to move into Hospice care, and it was seamless, with no extra stress on my family and me.

The Hospice nursing staff came immediately to assess my dad, and it amazed me how quickly they came…the same day! Each and every nurse was absolutely wonderful! They made me feel confident that I could continue to honor my dad’s wishes by keeping him home and being the primary caregiver for him. The nurses always reassured me that I was doing things correctly and always gave me encouragement. Being a full-time caregiver takes a lot out of you, and you need that encouragement to do your best! I can’t tell you how much that meant to me personally! The nurses were also always at my fingertips during the middle of the night when dad had very restless nights. They walked me through administering the correct medication. If I lacked the confidence needed, they would send a nurse out to help me! Again, that’s just a lifesaving part of what Hospice does daily.

During one of our most challenging weeks with my dad, his nurse recognized that I needed a respite break. I was burning out and running on empty. He made the necessary calls to the Truman House, and that evening, they sent an ambulance to pick him up and get him to the Truman House! Relief, something I immediately felt, was instant for my husband and me. I knew he was in great hands. They walked me through the process of what respite was and how much we needed it. Upon arriving at the Truman House, the entire staff welcomed my dad and treated him with love and compassion.

After five days of respite care, they assessed again and recommended further care. We all knew his time was short but didn’t know just how long he’d last here on earth. This extra time there was so needed for both of us! He began to recognize each nurse, and he would light up when they walked into the room! Can you imagine how that made my heart feel!! I was thrilled that he didn’t mind being there and not being at home. He’d wink at his favorite nurses too! He just loved them!! And, each of them made sure they were giving him the absolute best care and watching them at times, I realized that they loved him too!

Dad received such excellent care at the Truman House that they had to release him. It was time for him to come home. They also helped me with that decision and reassured me that they were only a phone call away and that the nursing staff and aids would be coming in and assisting as they did before. Once dad got home, he had a true rally for almost two weeks! He was sitting up, eating again, laughing, looking at pictures and books, talking to everyone. It seemed like a miracle, but deep down, we knew this was most likely his rally time, but we simply enjoyed each minute we had with him.

Within two weeks, he started to go downhill again. The nurse came to our home and knew in an instant that he required more care and transported him again to the Truman House. Upon dad’s arrival, the nurses rushed to his side to welcome him with hugs and love. Seriously, the entire staff at the Truman house and the nursing staff and aides for in-home care are truly angels on earth!

They reassessed him. After several days, he went into non-responsive mode. The staff was simply amazing to my dad and to my family and me during all of this. They walked beside us every step of the way. They explained things to us in a compassionate way, with empathy for what we were experiencing. This transition was more manageable and lighter because of everything they did. They understood my tears and my pain. Each of them is special with extraordinary gifts and talents, and they lovingly share it with us…each and every day.

We are truly humbled by what Hospice does and will forever be grateful to all of you!

Sherry Schie and family

When Father’s Day Hurts

Article adapted for the Bridge to Healing Newsletter

It’s hard to turn on the TV or scroll through social media without seeing references to Father’s Day. Ads everywhere for the perfect gift, sweet articles highlighting a father’s sacrifice for his family, even memories about the comical side of parenting can hijack us, bringing us to a painful place. Reconnaissance work from the greeting card aisle provides evidence to support that our society views Father’s Day as something we should be celebrating. There is no typical section labeled “For Grieving Dads” or “For the Death of a Father.”

Two kinds of people read this post right now, those who have never had a significant death and those who nodded along with the first few lines. Both groups of people should continue reading.

If the concept of Father’s Day being difficult never occurred to you, that’s okay. By reading this, you help create a safer space for the second group by spreading awareness that it can be a sad day. It can be something other than a celebration. Maybe the thought is crossing your mind, “well, not everyone experienced a death – can’t you just be happy for them – they deserve to celebrate.” Everyone deserves to celebrate, just like everyone deserves to feel their feelings and educate the rest of the world on how difficult something can be. Let Father’s Day be both.

If you have been nodding along, then the twinges that go along with the ads and the memories are not foreign to you. Father’s Day can be hard. Maybe your step-or grandfather died, or maybe you’re a father whose child died. Maybe you and your partner are experiencing infertility. Maybe you’ve never even had a dad. Father’s Day may be tough, then.

It’s much more common than you realize how complex this time of year can be. Not enough people acknowledge it, and perhaps it is because of the societal pressure to celebrate this day. Without recognizing the grief Father’s Day can trigger, we quietly oppress. It is an act of omission, overlooking sadness on holiday. If it’s in your heart to celebrate, then celebrate. If it’s in your heart to grieve, then grieve. If you have feelings, feel them, talk about them, acknowledge them, experience them. Ignoring them will only prolong the grief process.

If you know someone who may be having a difficult time on Father’s Day, say something. It does not have to be greeting card-worthy. Just a simple: “Hey, I was wondering how you were feeling about today. Thinking of you.” This validates the person’s grief, allows them to talk about it if they choose, or simply thank you for your sentiment if they choose not to go into it. It also spreads more awareness that grief is hard and that it’s okay not to be OK sometimes.

Keep in mind that Father’s Day is just that, Father’s Day. You decide what it means for you. This year, it may mean one thing and next year, it may mean another. On this Father’s Day, I wish one thing for all, peace of heart.

Here are suggestions on how to approach this Father’s Day:

  • Make plans that are meaningful to you

Try to stay busy to get through the day, keep company with understanding people, spend the day reflecting on your own, maybe even celebrate the bond you had, and honor the sadness that goes with the new normal you have to live now.

  • Make new memories

Do something completely different than you’ve done before. Maybe the things you’ve done with them are too difficult right now.

  • Make plans with safe and understanding people

Spend time with people who are okay with a last-minute cancelation if you’re not up to it or with whom you feel comfortable sharing these bigger emotions.

Remembering Our Military and Veterans

Memorial Day is a day of observance, not only acknowledging but remembering and thanking millions of Military Veterans who gave their lives for our county. I take seriously our freedom provided to us by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. As Hospice Volunteers, a group of fellow Veterans and myself visit our service brother and sisters entrusted under Community Hospice’s care. We meet with them at the Truman House, in hospitals, nursing homes or their family residence. 

While visiting the Veterans, we talk and share memories. Sometimes, we can get individuals to open up and talk about events they had not shared with anyone else. I have learned a lot from these individuals, not only military history but about life through their eyes. It is a gratifying experience for all concerned. I am proud to be a military veteran and a Hospice Volunteer.

Through my years of volunteering, I have met some great Veterans. One that stands, in particular, was a gentleman who I met in passing. He was a WWII B24 Flying Tiger Bomber Pilot. Though we never exchanged names, we would run into each other periodically at different Veteran events in the area and share stories. One day, I volunteered at a pinning ceremony, and as chance would have it, this pilot was to be the recipient. I continued to visit him for another two years, and we remained good friends until his passing last year.

If you are a military veteran and are interested in becoming a Hospice Volunteer, we can use you. Please contact Pixie Furbee, Volunteer Coordinator, at pfurbee@myhospice.org or call 330-627-4796.

Pat Antonelli was enlisted in the Army from 1968-71 and was awarded Sergeant E5 upon discharge. He has been a vital component in our Veteran Volunteers program.

Community Hospice is a proud participant in the We Honor Veterans program. This national awareness program focuses on strengthening partnerships and networking with other Veteran organizations to enhance Veterans’ and their families’ care and availability of services. Our goal is to recognize our Veterans’ unique needs and challenges and guide them with a respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment leading to a more peaceful end-of-life journey.

Community Hospice has been awarded the “Level Three” status in the We Honor Veterans program for our ongoing Veterans Service and Outreach Activities. As part of education and honoring our Veterans, Community Hospice hosts multiple pinning and recognition ceremonies throughout the year and across our service areas for all military Veterans, thanking them for their service to our country. These ceremonies include our Veterans Team and Community Hospice staff recognizing the Veteran, thanking them for their service, placing a pin on their label and presenting them with a framed certificate of service and hand-held flag. Survivorship certificates are also offered, when possible, to honor the patriotism and sacrifice of the Veteran’s loved ones. 

A Letter to My Daughters on Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day After a Death

Taken from http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/mothers-day

Dear Girls,

You are probably vaguely aware that Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 9th. I want you to know I love the hot plate, or potted flower, or handprint, or whatever you made me. I will treasure it just as I treasure all the things you give me – every stick figure portrait, every impromptu song, and every short-stemmed flower you’ve stopped to pluck from the ground. I treasure these things, but only a fraction as much as I treasure you each and every day.

I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to mistake my lack of Mother’s Day enthusiasm as having anything to do with you. In fact, the only reason Mother’s Day is even bearable is thanks to you. This is just one of the many weird things about your mom that will make you scratch your head and roll your eyes from now until the day you understand.

As you know my mom, your grandmother, died before you were born. Maybe I’m being cynical, but for me, Mother’s Day is really just an agitating reminder of this. There are a lot of agitating reminders, but Mother’s Day is by far the most egregious. The brunches, the cards, the commercials, the flowers – they all make me feel like I’m the Grinch and the world is singing “fahoo fores” while I’m up on a frozen mountain with my self-pity and a dog in a reindeer disguise.

But I’m not alone on the mountain, there are tons of people up there. Some of them are trying to “make the best of it” and some of them are trying to ignore the day altogether. They’ve lost mothers, grandmothers, children, and pregnancies and most of them feel emotions ranging anywhere from a tinge of longing to a desire to stay in bed until the day has passed.

I must admit, I feel ashamed of my negative attitude because I truly have so much to be grateful for. I have you girls, I have a wonderful mother-in-law, and I have the love and support of many strong and beautiful mothers. Yet still, I can’t seem to shake my bitterness at other mother/daughter duos, my desire to “not make a fuss” over the day, and my tendency to “get my dates mixed up” and accidentally take a shift at work.

You know it used to annoy me when people blew off Valentine’s Day or other Hallmark holidays with the “I don’t need a special day to love and appreciate someone” excuse. I thought they were probably just trying to get out of buying a heart-shaped box of chocolates, but now I find myself invoking the exact same excuse.

Girls, I want you to know I’m thankful for you each and every day and I feel your love and appreciation in every smile, every kiss, and every embrace. You’re the reason I get up in the morning. I can’t promise you I’ll enjoy Mother’s Day this year or possibly ever, but I can promise you I will try and look for the joy…just as I ought to every day. Some things will make me sad, but I promise to try and balance this with the recognition of things that make me grateful and remind me that my mother’s spirit is all around.

You make me proud!

Love, Mom

We know Mother’s Day can be hard; still, we encourage you to look for signs of joy. Look for the symbols, the reminders, the things you still have to feel grateful for. Even if you only find one thing, take a photo of it and let it serve as a reminder of your search for strength and hope.

National Doctors’ Day 2021

Tuesday, March 30, marks National Doctors’ Day, a day established to recognize physicians, their work and their contributions to our communities. At Community Hospice, we are so grateful for the physicians on our team – Dr. Lori Kuehne, Hospice Medical Director, Dr. Anne Harper, Dr. Robert Gwinn, Dr. DJ McFadden and Dr. Maria Ryhal. We want to say thank you for everything they do for our patients, the community and us!

The first Doctors’ Day was observed on March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, wanted a way to honor physicians. She mailed cards to physicians and placed red carnations on deceased doctors’ graves. Almost 60 years later, President George Bush proclaimed March 30 as National Doctors’ Day.

March 30 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. On this date, in 1842, in Jefferson, Georgia, Dr. Crawford Long used ether for the first time to anesthetize a patient and extract a tumor from his neck without the patient feeling any pain.

Please share what our physicians mean to you in the comments below.

Trio of CNPs Recognized for Certified Nurses Day

Community Hospice celebrates Certified Nurses Day on Friday, March 19. We are proud to have three Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP) on our team – Lindsay Jackson, Ryann Wells and Taylor Moyer. In addition to becoming registered nurses, they have obtained a master’s degree and additional certification. This allows them to diagnose, prescribe and treat illnesses for their patients in close conjunction with the primary physicians and the rest of the hospice care team.

Our Nurse Practitioners focus on keeping our patients comfortable throughout their end-of-life process. They possess a strong sense of empathy to respect our patients’ wishes and needs and are expected to help families cope with end-of-life situations. Treatment plans are multifaceted and include physical, mental and spiritual interventions. Julie Smith, Director of Quality and Palliative Care at Community Hospice, explains, “nurse practitioners are a vital part of our palliative care program. For patients facing serious and chronic illnesses, our nurse practitioners provide the compassion and medical expertise to guide discussions on goals of care and manage symptoms as the disease progresses.”

Ryann Wells, a CNP with Community Hospice, recalls how she switched from a floor nurse to a nurse practitioner with Hospice. “When I was 18, my aunt died at the age of 40 from breast cancer. It was one of the most challenging days of my life. My grandfather died the same week, and the rest of my grandparents passed away about every three months after that. As a floor nurse, I would constantly see these patients who didn’t want to be there. The hustle of floor nursing was unfortunately not satisfying to me. I needed a deeper connection with patients. When I was doing my BSN in 2011, I called Community Hospice for a brief phone interview for a paper. I wish I could remember who I talked to, but they sold me then. In 2012 I took a PRN RN job with Community Hospice, became a nurse practitioner in 2015, and the rest is history! I really can’t see myself in any other specialty.”

At Community Hospice, our nurse practitioners are instrumental in determining a patient’s continuous need for hospice services. Because Medicare requires reassessment after a patient has been on care for six months, our nurse practitioners work hard to provide the detailed information needed to continue hospice care. During reassessments, nurse practitioners look for signs of progression of the disease and terminal illness.

Along with assessing medical conditions and managing symptoms to maintain quality of life, our nurse practitioners provide psychosocial support and advocate for their patient’s rights and wishes. “One of my biggest success stories with a recent Hospice patient was earning her trust,” remembers Taylor Moyer, one of the CNPs on staff. “This woman was independent, stoic, and she wanted to face her cancer her way. She did not want to rely on western medicine, for she preferred more natural holistic treatments. Our care team respected her wishes, boundaries, and independence. After months of caring for her, she began to open up more about her thoughts, feelings, and needs. She allowed herself to be vulnerable, which allowed us to provide the help she grew to need. She began to call us her angels, her family. She said we helped her out of some dark times and provided her with feelings of peace, safety, and comfort – feelings she claims she has never felt in her entire life. With that rapport and trust built, her last days were ultimately how she wished for them to be: surrounded by love, family, and peace. She really did go out her own way.”

Aside from the daily tasks associated with patient assessments, hospice nurse practitioners also hold the vital responsibility of knowing that their patients are approaching the end of life. “Every day is a success story,” says Lindsay Jackson, a CNP on staff. “All the little things that we do as a team add up and positively impact lives. Meeting people where they are, at their most vulnerable, is such a humbling yet rewarding experience not only for myself but also for our patients. This is such a unique career path that I am honored to be on!” Lindsay joined Community Hospice after watching her mother battle stage IV metastatic cancer. “She’s the reason why I am so passionate about palliative care. Symptom management is the foundation of what we do and is vitally important to any chronic illness, especially at the end of life.”

Our nurse practitioners have a “nurse’s heart,” genuinely caring for our patients and their families. “Hospice treats all aspects of a person,” explains Taylor. “This does not just mean treating the physical side of things, but also the considering the spiritual and psychosocial factors as well. In my entire nursing career so far, I’ve never truly appreciated how fulfilling it is just to feel “human” and enjoy the wild ride of emotions we feel and express until working in Hospice. Having these emotional connections with patients and their families allows me to share their joy, sorrow, fear, and love for the patient, which is amazing. Working as an APRN for Community Hospice is the most humbling and rewarding job.’

We are so fortunate to have these three nurse practitioners on our team. As the Medical Director of Community Hospice, Dr. Lori Kuehne, states, “Our CNPs help make our hospice team complete. Their ability to spend time getting to know our patients and each patient’s goals and situation allows our whole team to better meet each patient’s and family’s needs. Our CNPs are hardworking and kind souls. Community Hospice is much richer for their work here with us.” We appreciate the contribution and commitment Lindsay, Ryann and Taylor bring to our community.

Navigating Grief Before Death

Understanding Anticipatory Grief

It is generally thought that grief only happens after a loved one’s death, but grief can actually take on many forms and occur at any time. Feelings of grief can occur when a loved one begins to lose their independence, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, begins hospice care or after a loved one has passed.

When grief occurs while your loved one is still living, it is called anticipatory grief. This usually happens when someone has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or has been dealing with a chronic illness for a long time. Those who have a close relationship with the dying person or the person who is dying themselves can experience anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief can take on many levels, including emotional, physical, social and spiritual. Experiencing anticipatory grief does not mean that grief after the loss will be easier, but it can provide opportunity for growth before the loved one’s passing. This could include finding meaning, reconciling relationships, offering forgiveness, seeking closure and saying goodbye. Just remember that grief is totally normal no matter when it begins, and everyone experiences grief differently. 

Whenever your grief begins, know that it is a normal process that everyone experiences in different ways. Finding healthy ways to handle your grief will help you along your journey. Here are some healthy ways to cope with anticipatory grief.

  • Express your feelings with family, friends and bereavement care counselors
  • Take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being
  • Spend quality time together
  • Stay informed – seek out additional resources and support when needed
  • Practice love, forgiveness and letting go

No one needs to grieve alone. Community Hospice’s support services team, including chaplains, social workers and bereavement counselors, is available to help guide patients and families throughout the end-of-life process.

Surviving Valentine’s Day with a Broken Heart

by Angela Morrow

We are a nation that loves Valentine’s Day. Maybe we feel a sense of loss when we take down the last of December holiday decorations and look forward to something else to celebrate. The heart-shaped chocolate boxes, red roses, and romantic dinners are nearly as nostalgic to us as Christmas trees and Santa. But if you’ve recently lost your valentine, February 14 can be a very lonely and painful day. The pain and loss you feel when you lose your life partner is magnified every time you walk into the store and see the romantic cards, flowers, and candy. How can you possibly make it through this holiday in one piece?

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day of sadness and mourning. You can choose to make it a special day on which you remember your loved one and celebrate the love you shared. Death may have robbed you of your loved one, but it can never take away the relationship you had and the love you shared. This year, find a way to remember, honor, and celebrate that eternal love on Valentine’s Day.

The way you honor and celebrate your loved one is as individual as our relationships were. You can look within yourself to choose the best way you can do this. Below are some ideas to get you started, but this ritual will be yours alone. Feel free to modify any of these to fit your preferences or create your own ritual.

There are special things you can do on Valentine’s Day to celebrate the love you lost. Examples include:

  • Make your loved one’s favorite meal and enjoy it in their memory.
  • Honor your Valentine’s Day traditions. If you always went to a movie or on a special walk, go alone or go with a friend this year.
  • Light a special candle in their honor, and place it with a flower near your loved one’s picture.
  • Buy yourself a gift that you think your loved one would have bought you, or one that you’ve always wanted them to buy for you, and think about them each time you use it.
  • Volunteer some time at a local shelter, food bank or non-profit organization. Doing something good for others can help ease your pain.
  • Listen to your favorite song and look back through picture albums of your life together.
  • Find a peaceful place to talk to your loved one, tell them you love them and ask for their help on this special day.

If you can’t bring yourself to do any of these things, that’s okay too. You might find it helpful to talk to others who are experiencing the same loss this time of year. Reach out to your friends or family who have lost their Valentine or think about attending a support group.

This Puzzle Called Hospice

Norm Mast, Community Hospice CEO and President

Over the last few months – actually, it’s been many months – I have been quarantined many times, several times for exposure to COVID and once for actually having COVID. I have been blessed that my family and I have had mild symptoms and have so far recovered reasonably quickly. During my times in quarantine, I have had way too much time on my hands to think about life and put many puzzles together – big puzzles, small puzzles, easy and hard puzzles. Some have been challenging – trying to identify and fit pieces together that seem to make no sense and others that you know exactly where it belongs when you pick up a piece. The more pieces that are added, the clearer the picture becomes. My puzzles have been beautiful Beach Scenes, Hostess Cupcakes, Holiday Doors, Bird Houses and many more. Some have sat on my dining room table for weeks waiting for me to finish them, and others for only days. One I actually put back in the box and never finished because it seemed impossible – I will come back to that one eventually. After I finish, I usually let them sit for a few days to admire my efforts. I have a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction that I overcame what often seemed like an impossible challenge.

I know that many of you have also been confined to your homes – often away from loved ones and with a very little sense of purpose. Many of you who routinely volunteer with us have shared that you miss interacting with our patients and staff – if you are like me, and I guess that many of you are – you need that human interaction. We were all created for relationships – whether with family, friends, pets or with our Creator. And during this time, it has been difficult for us to maintain those relationships. Just like puzzles – relationships take effort and time – some very little and some a whole lot of time. Sometimes we have to step away and come back to them for a fresh perspective and understanding.

Each person, pet or spiritual being is a piece of our puzzle called life. They make us who we are and give us a reason to live. I remember the one new puzzle I put together had one missing piece – it was so frustrating and disappointing not to see it complete even though it was just one piece. As I think about this and the puzzle that we call Hospice, I realize that some pieces are missing in Hospice right now. And the biggest one is our volunteers! You have all been a big part of who we are and how we function, and we miss the piece. When this pandemic is all over, putting those pieces back together will take time, understanding and patience. But oh, the satisfaction that will come when you all are back, and a part of the puzzle called Hospice. We will have to celebrate – and if I have anything to say about it, there will be food and desserts! I am looking forward to that day!

Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

Out with the old and in with the new. A new year is a great time to go through all of the medications and give a thorough look at the stock in your medicine cabinet. 

Keep a list of all of the medications used regularly and others kept on hand for less frequent use. Maintaining inventory is essential information when you visit the doctor. A doctor needs to know everything that is used daily or from time to time. It will come in handy when the doctor is prescribing medications. Also, check with your doctor on any herbal supplements to see if they are necessary and safe to continue use.

As you go through your medicine cabinet, check the expiration dates. Take stock of regularly used over-the-counter medication. If you have some medication that you tried but hated because of how it made you feel, there is no reason to keep it. Check to see if pills have been stored improperly. If it is growing mold or mildew, toss it out. Medications that say “keep refrigerated” and sit in a warm cupboard are also a cause for alarm.

To properly dispose of medications, check to see if there is a medication take-back program in your area. If not, the FDA has guidelines on safely disposing of medications. Empty the pills into something people won’t want to touch, such as a plastic bag filled with dirt or kitty litter. Seal the bag and toss it in the trash can. Before recycling prescription pill bottles, remove or blackout identifying information on the package.

Make sure to monitor the medicine cabinet properly. Keep it locked and out of reach so that small children cannot find their way in or others cannot seek out medicine for abuse purposes.

When stocking your medicine cabinet, it is essential to have the basics on hand in case of a headache or sudden case of allergies. Remember to store medications in their original packaging so that you can reference usage and check expiration dates.

  • Your prescription medications
  • Pain and fever relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin
  • Allergy medications, including nondrowsy varieties
  • Eye drops
  • Calamine lotion, an antihistamine cream or spray or hydrocortisone for itchy skin or allergic reactions
  • Ointments for cuts and burns, such as antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera gel
  • Decongestants and cough drops for cold or flu symptoms
  • Activated charcoal for accidental poisoning
  • Medicine for an upset stomach, like calcium carbonate for heartburn or antacids for indigestion

Not only are medications necessary, but it is also essential to keep medical supplies on hand.

  • Adhesive bandages, gauze bandages
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips
  • Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
  • Soap and disinfectant
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins and scissors
  • Medical exam gloves
  • Nail clippers
  • Pill cutter
  • Eyeglass repair kit or contact lens cleaner (if relevant)
  • Everyday dental basics, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss