How about a few helpful hacks for family caregivers? I definitely had the kind of week where any hack at all helped. I had my typical busy week at work, an extra busy week with my side hustle, and an extra busy week with my kids. I kept thinking if my father needs me this week, I am screwed.
Where can you cut corners if you need to? And no I don’t mean sleep, diet and exercise. Although to be honest, they all went to hell for me this week. But when you are really squeezed what helps?
Here are some of my favorite hacks – one for every day of this wacky week.
- No shopping meal prep. MyFridgeFood.com lets you enter the contents of your kitchen and then serves up a list of recipes you can make with what you already have on hand. Most of the recipes take between 5 and 15 minutes to prepare.
- Affordable chauffeurs. It may feel like a luxury, but car services like Lyft have brought the price of car services down. And soon, they may cater specifically to seniors. When you just can’t take another morning off to bring someone else to an appointment, schedule a ride for them. Some senior living facilities offer transportation. Take advantage of them.
- Two shopping trips at once. Next time you go shopping for your elderly parent, relative or friend, bring a cooler. No, not for your portable wine! Shop for yourself too and keep your perishables in the cooler while you deliver and unload your parent’s groceries. You can even stay for a visit after shopping knowing your own food won’t spoil.
- Drug delivery. Judith Henry, author of The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving: A Practical Memoir, recently wrote about the value of a good pharmacist. I agree. Just the other day my husband suggested I find a less expensive pharmacy for my father. Absolutely not! My current pharmacy makes minor adjustments as needed and delivers new doses right to my father’s apartment. No picking up prescriptions or cutting pills for me. And while you’re at it, download a good medication tracking app like the one from Mango Health.
- Mass communication. If you are coordinating care with other family members, neighbors or friends, get on CaringBridge. You can update everyone in your village at once through messages you post on the site. And, you can post at your convenience – after midnight, during a boring conference call at work – whatever works for you.
- Coffee concierge. Buy a coffee maker with a timer and set it up before you go to bed at night. There is no more powerful snooze button than the coffee machine announcing it’s ready.
- Free shipping. If you’re not using Amazon Prime, I’m just not sure if I can help you. Dad lost the bottom of his cane? No problem. Mom’s out of compression stockings. Got ’em! When you need something, you order it online and it arrives. How cool is that? And, bonus: Amazon is dropping Prime membership to $73 from $99 this weekend only.
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