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When your are no longer able to contribute to the household in the same way, as homemaker or financial provider, you must reinterpret those roles. Living with a chronic disease that interferes with many aspects of daily living is a serious life challenge. Don’t push yourself too hard.
You may have to teach family members how to take care of household chores. This may be difficult if you are particular about how things are done. Don’t let this become a major source of contention. If it is crucial that a chore be done a certain way, explain why. It may help you gain compliance. If it is personal preference, learn to let it go.
Communication is the key to keeping frustration on all sides at a minimum. Remember to say “please” and “thank you” and to express appreciation for the extra help. It goes a long way toward promoting harmony.
Discuss ways you can still be of assistance. It may mean using creative solutions. Perhaps you can take over chores you did not participate in before.
Pace yourself. Plan certain days to tackle certain chores. Prioritize your to-do list. Cleaning regularly keeps it from turning into an overwhelming task. Ask for help when you need it. Hire help if you can afford it.
Consider replacing clocks and phones with large button models.
Get rid of slippery floor rugs. Hard surfaces are easier to navigate.
Changes in surface can be a tripping hazard. You could install transition ramps.
Space the furniture so that it is easy to maneuver around, even if it isn't the most attractive configuration.
You may need to limit the number of pieces of furniture in a room.
Make sure your furniture is sturdy and does not slip around.
Swivel and rocking chairs can cause loss of balance and falls.
Chairs should be comfortable for your height, have firm, smooth cushions, and sturdy armrests. Low, soft-cushioned chairs and sofas are harder to get out of without assistance.
To make it easier to get out of a low chair, add a cushion to the seat to make it higher.
Electric lift cushions and electric chairs are available.
Always scoot to the edge of the chair before trying to rise. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and planted firmly on the floor.
Lean forward, gripping your knees if necessary, or the arms of the chair and rise slowly. You may need to "rock" to get the momentum going to get up.
If someone is helping you, ask them to be patient. They should bend from their knees, not their waist, to offer you resistance or to pull you forward.
If you need assistance, your caregiver should be trained in the correct ways to help you transfer to and from chairs, beds, bathtubs, toilets, wheelchairs.
To sit down, back up to the seat, make sure it is firmly behind your knees reach back for the armrests and slowly lower your body onto the seat cushion.
Keep floors clean and free of clutter.
Make sure doorways and through-ways are kept clear. If possible, have doorways widened to accommodate mobility aids. Consider placing bright duct tape across the floor to mark transitions.
Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Know where the water shut off valves are in the kitchen, bathrooms, and the water main.
Know where the gas shut off valves and main valve are.
Know where the fuse box is.
Consider a security system or emergency notification service listed here.
Increase the amount of lighting throughout the house to alleviate eye strain.
Installing overhead lighting saves on having to rely on lamps. There are cordless versions.
Adjustable blinds or shades minimize glare. Remote-controlled blinds can be installed.
Ensure all cords are tucked away so they are not tripping hazards.
Have a list of contacts for emergency repairmen handy near the phone, on a notice board, or placed on the refrigerator.
1. Fire and Police
2. Plumbing Services
4. Heating and Air
5. Appliance Repair
6. Cleaning Services
Housecleaning can be challenging if you have limited mobility. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Replace traditional mop-head mops for lightweight, easy to push models. You can place floor cleaner in a spritzer bottle and use a microfiber mop to clean spills. The cloths can then be discarded or washed in the washing machine and reused.
Microfiber mops can also be used to clean shower stalls, bathtubs, bathtub inserts, and large mirrors. They can be used (dry) to reach cobwebs near the ceiling.
Use dusters with extendable arms such as the Swiffer 360 for hard to reach places such as door frames, ceiling mounted light fixtures, picture frames, and ceiling fans.
Quick ways to attack spills include having baby diapers on hand to toss onto the spill to absorb it or throw cat litter on the spill to absorb it and keep it from spreading.
There are long armed bins and brushes you can use to sweep up dry spills.
A self-propelled vacuum cleaner drives itself with your guiding hand. Consider replacing your heavy vacuum with a light weight model.
Sorting your laundry as the week goes on is easier than sorting it all at once. Consider separate small baskets or a divided hamper to place soiled clothing in. Laundry dividers have bags rather than baskets which make them easier to lift and carry.
Washers and dryers can be put on risers. The doors can usually be switched to open from the opposite side.
If you do not have your own washer and dryer, you may have to rely on public laundromats. Research laundromats in your area to see if they pickup and deliver. Examples:
If the time comes that you require help inside the home, here are some tips for choosing the right service: Hiring A Service