What They Need to Know

One day I may need people to care for me, and a friend suggested I prepare useful instructions, in case I’m not able to tell them what I like, hate, want, enjoy.

Minor things make a difference in whether I am comfortable, irritated, serene, or cranky, so I’ve penned this letter for my future helpers.

Dear Caregiver(s):

Here is a list of my desires, some mandatory, others optional, and then those behaviors that will make your life lots easier if you do or don’t do them while taking care of me.

This may not be a complete or comprehensive listing, but are the top 10 items necessary for my mental, physical and emotional well being.

  1. I want to be dressed in soft and loose pants and shirts. Bamboo t-shirts in the summer and fleece sweatshirts, corduroy and flannel in the winter will do nicely. No dresses, no earrings, no makeup, no lipstick unless a good looking doctor plans a visit. Oh, and make certain my hair is brushed daily and is kept out of my eyes. Speaking of hair, keep the pink in it until Trump is out of office and hopefully in jail. It has become a visual symbol of my opposition to his lunacy.
  2. My chin hair MUST be plucked regularly. Please, don’t allow any white or black grizzly spikes to jut out damaging anyone who might dare to get near me. This would also include my eyebrows.
  3. Make sure my teeth are brushed and healthy. I do not want to have to gum my food as I get even older. It takes the pleasure out of eating.
  4. Music should be played, not all the time, but when I’m not watching TV, or napping, or writing. I like tunes popular in the 40’s, all of the 50’s and into the 60s: early Rock n Roll, country music, but not heavy metal.
  5. I am most happy with a pen and lined paper near at hand so I can write if the desire arises. Please keep my computer, phone and iPad charged and within reach. I love to play games, watch Rachel Maddow, and write, which I can do for long hours day and night.
  6. Oh, high on my ‘must have’ list are my antidepressant medication. You really don’t want me in the dark throes of hopelessness. Not a pretty picture.
  7. I’m not terribly particular about food, as long as I don’t have to prepare it. Cheese and crackers, popcorn, cereal, bologna sandwiches, potato chips, fruit smoothies, old fashion greasy hamburgers, chicken fried steaks, traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals with accompanying desserts, and ice cream are always welcome. I’ll eat salads sometimes if iceberg lettuce is included, and homemade tamales should be on the menu occasionally.
  8. I prefer to have a small dog as a constant companion: sleeping with me, on my lap, next to me. A poodle mix so there is no shedding would be best, and one that doesn’t demand constant attention. Not a stuffed one, I want the real thing, thank you.
  9. I like not having a routine, especially when it comes to meals. I may want breakfast at 7 or 9 or 10:15 in the morning. I might skip lunch and have dinner around 4 o’clock or even 8:30 pm. And please, no leftovers. I don’t like reheated meals. If you want to fix something in advance, just don’t let me know. My ignorance will be your bliss.
  10. I’m crazy about iced tea with sugar, desire long periods of aloneness, will welcome friends, and crave lots of laughter. Humor heals what may ail me.

There are many more things that may come to my mind, and I’ll include them in another document, if I can remember what they are by the time I get around to writing them down.

Thank you for taking care of me and putting up with my quirks and idiosyncrasies. I may forget to let you know how much I appreciate your companionship and attention to my needs.

4 thoughts on “What They Need to Know

  1. I had never thought about doing something like that, but it could be a very interesting exercise. I would be more work, I think – because I do not like processed foods, avoid perservatives as much as I can, eat very little meat, and love nothing more than a big pot of something to be eaten over a few days. leftovers are a staple for me. In summer, I want green salads with lots of things in them. And my evening wine – do not take that away from me unless you want to deal with a major grumpy.


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