Some things that help me.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I know from experience that it's hard to know what will help until someone suggests it (like when our OT came and asked "How can we help?", we had to say "We have NO idea what's on offer... Suggest something!") And so I've decided to post some of the things that have helped me over the years. I know that we're caring for others who have a whole range of conditions so these won't all be relevant to everyone... Then again, it may help some, so here goes...



Radios - Often I've been in one room and Grace has tried to contact me from another room and shouting just hasn't worked. So, we got radios. Little walkie talkies that I carry around with me so Grace can contact me wherever I am in the house or garden. Reliable ones have been important for us in case of emergencies. We used to have old Thomas The Tank Engine ones on loan from the attic of our family (I was Thomas!) but they wouldn't always work, especially when we really needed them to. Radios are useful, even if just for piece of mind. Plus, anytime your caree requests something you get to feel like a secret agent from the movies! Image

Drinking - After a long period of me having to hold glasses with straws next to G so she could drink we thought she needed a more independent solution so we tried a whole variety of things (disability aids from the OT, kids mugs that you have to suck from etc.) but none actually fitted our needs. In the end we got our handy-dandy Platypus. They're available from hiking and long distance walking shops and are basically sturdy, water tight pouches with long straws coming off them. The one we have holds 2 litres so I can fill it up in the morning and not worry about G being thirsty for the rest of the day. The nozzle is also helpful as G doesn't have to suck if she feels exhausted, she just bites down a bit and the water pressure does the rest. Our social worker was both amused and impressed that we thought of this!

Motivation - Okay, not workable for everyone but when I feel daunted by all the 'stuff' that I have to do I imagine myself in the future and think this: "My 'future-self' looks really miserable having all those tasks to do. I'm going to do my 'future-self' a favour and do it all now." yeah, I know, it's kinda weird but it's helped me out before.


Anyway, I hope that someone sees something on the list that makes them think "Hey, that's a groovy idea. Might try that!" But if not, that's okay. I may share more ideas in the future. I've found that sometimes just mentioning something in passing has really helped people we know. Feel free to add your own tips to this list...
i find i do the shrug and say dunno-- wots wrong with me lifting amy thing to the OT and then she comes up with a gr8 idea.
I soem times get a brain wave like the antibacterial wipes for the commode- i cant leave cleaning products near amy as she will use them on herself- but these mean i can pop a lil pack up high and give the commode arms and back a good wipe each morning

Small steps all over the house- so amy can be more independent and do a few more things

Alot of it is motivational though- u gotta have the motivation to think outside the box and do something maybe not thought of.. those hiking pouches r great- i got matt one from a motorbike store- he gets really dibilating migrains and sometimes i cant be at his bedside and doing amys physio and log clearing so i fill it up with water and pop it next to him-- the great thing is when he races his motorbike he can shove it down his leathers and drink all day with out getting dehydrated and not getting such a bad head the next day! so kills 2 birds with one stone ( we put redbull in it once- big mistake he didnt need a bike to get round the track- he could have flown!)
One reason we used the platypus pouch was because it didn't leak and could apparently withstand quite a lot of pressure, so when Grace was in bed for long stretches of time it meant that if she rolled on it, it wouldn't burst!
matts crashed with his down the back of his leathers-- they can take saome one flying across tarmac at 115 mph and thats after they have flown in the air and bounced a few times and had the bike smack them- they r a blinding idea. But matt said he wants one he can have a cup of tea in (and much to his and amys discuss u cant! ti will make the straw part smelly!)
well done with the idea about the platypus.Good for Grace's independence too, without humiliation of having to use childrens things, isn't it? I use one when I go walking,and I wish they would do them dog sized for our labrador, as I have to carry a separate bottle for her!
We have a large-ish square piece of old carpet, taped along one side to a piece of wood, which we use when getting hubby in and out of the car. The wooden batten tucks down between the cill of the car and the passenger seat and the 'mat' then flops out of the car and hangs over the cill. So that when the wheelchair is driven up and tight into the side of the car, it doesn't scratch it all up. When hubby's in place etc. the 'mat' is then just rolled up and dumped in the footwell, ready for next time.
Has saved a whole load of scratched paintwork and expense I can tell you.
We have another long piece of carpet without the batten, which goes over the boot cill, which the tops of the ramps sit on, to save the paintwork there too. Carpet shops usually have a load of left over carpet underlay which they've cut from installing their carpets at customers' houses. One particular shopkeeper took me outside to their skip and told me to take as much as I needed, as the skip was being collected the next day. All the scraps get thrown away, the carpet shops don't want 'em.