A wellness box of supplies to fight off flu

  • Ready for the unexpected: Robin Trimingham recommends that the elderly and people living alone should have a prepared “wellness box” in case of ill health

    Ready for the unexpected: Robin Trimingham recommends that the elderly and people living alone should have a prepared “wellness box” in case of ill health


Do you have a wellness box in your house?

What is a wellness box and why would you want one? Good question. I just invented the idea — or least it appears I might have.

Let me explain.

This past spring, the strong healthy girl who almost never gets colds and hasn’t had the flu in twenty years got sick. I kid you not, the symptoms appeared as fast as you could snap your fingers; one minute I was fine and the next minute I wasn’t. In fact, it all happened so fast that I initially assumed it was some sort of an allergy attack but apparently it wasn’t.

Then I thought it was “just a cold” and decided to ignore it. Bad idea.

I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that between the endless coughing and lack of sleep I was soon so weak I was not able to cook for myself — and the dog is not much of a chef. To make matters worse, because I never ever get sick, I did not even have any of the basic flu-fighting necessities in the house and I was embarrassingly clueless regarding how to care for myself.

Thankfully I had a friend to transport me to the doctor and the pharmacy and bring me food, but it got me thinking: if I was older or entirely alone on this island, how would I have managed?

Somewhere between the sneezing and sleeplessness I realised that while I could Google “flu remedies” to my heart’s content, I was too sick to procure any of the recommended items and it struck me how much easier all of this would have been if I had had a box of basic flu-fighting supplies on the closet shelf (in the same way that many people keep a box of hurricane supplies on hand).

Wondering what the best items to include might be, I did a quick Google search for “wellness boxes” reasoning that there must be tons of examples online.

Apparently not.

I did find plenty of links to “home-spa-in-a-box subscription clubs” and endless lists of storm supplies, but nothing that even remotely resembled what I had in mind.

Admittedly, if you are a mother raising three small children who catch every passing germ the following is probably going to seem beyond obvious, but if you are “travelling solo” at the moment, or elderly, I suggest you consider compiling the following staples and keeping them on hand “just in case”.

• Box of tissues

• Digital thermometer

• Small box of sterile face masks

• Throat lozenges or cough drops

• Epsom salts for bathing

• Your preferred brand of over-the-counter pain reliever

• Heating pad or hot water bottle

• Ginger tea

• Ginger ale

• Soda crackers

• Can of fruit juice (which you can dilute with water)

• Can or box of chicken broth

• Phone numbers of your doctor, nearest pharmacy and at least two places that deliver food

• Phone number of someone who can care for your pet for a few days (if you have one)

As always, this is just a guide. If you have food sensitivities, drug allergies or pre-existing medical conditions please discuss the items that should be in your box with a trusted medical professional.

I was brought up to believe that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and most of the time it does, but these new super bugs are not to be taken lightly. It never crossed my mind to keep simple things like these on hand and believe me, I learnt my lesson.

Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at www.olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or robin@olderhood.com

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Published Jul 9, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 8, 2019 at 7:18 pm)

A wellness box of supplies to fight off flu

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