Being a caregiver is a challenge in and of itself. The current pandemic has made travel and visitation difficult, leaving many caregivers wondering how to meet the needs of their loved ones — even wondering if they are meeting their needs, as well as their own needs. Many times, caregivers feel they occasionally need caregivers of their own.

Local agencies are available in the Lehigh County area that can help take the stress out of worrying if your loved one is being taken care of when you can’t be there.

Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley delivers fresh, hot, handmade meals five days a week, and will even help with grocery shopping. This can relieve caretakers of the burden of preparing meals, especially if longer-distance travel is required. Many local restaurants offer online ordering and payment with a delivery option. 

Services like instacart will shop at your favorite stores and deliver the goods to the door in a hurry. Other delivery services, like Grubhub and DoorDash, will pick up preordered meals from local restaurants and deliver them as well.

Door-to-door shopping and shipping are not limited to food and grocery items — There are companies like Shipt that will shop at other local stores and deliver the goods within hours. Some have developed relationships with retailers that provide special discounts and deals for their clients. They will give instant text updates while shopping, notifying clients about items that are out-of-stock, taking orders while shopping in case you’ve forgotten something, and relating the time of delivery.

Many local and chain retailers now offer delivery of their products. Walmart, Target, Costco, and others, will take online and app orders and deliver their products to the home.

What if your loved one has an appointment that must be kept and you are not around to take him or her to the doctor? There are many transportation options for Lehigh County residents. One such organization, iTNLehighValley, is a fee-based system that will provide rides 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, for any purpose. A quick call to the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services at 610-782-3034 or iTNLehighValley at (610) 419-1645 will provide you with more information.

Being a caregiver does not mean that you should totally neglect your own needs and health. Even when you cannot be with your loved one at all times, there are worry-free options that you can take advantage of to care for him or her when you are not available. Take stock of your loved one’s needs and explore the local area online or in-person to find the services that will meet those needs. Then, take some time for yourself and get refreshed!

If and when the time comes for your loved one to move into a care facility, South Mountain Memory Care offers a small-house design where residents are treated like family in intimate settings.

South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. The brand new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and it is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to southmountainmemorycare.com/.

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