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Top 10 Life Hacks for the Family Caregiver



Posted by Leigh-Ann Heuer to   Aging CareCaregiving on February 19, 2014

Top 10 Life Hacks for the Family Caregiver

We're all looking for ways to make life a little bit easier, but few need “life hacks” as much as family caregivers. While our home care agency clients have the skills and expertise to help families in need with daily caregiving responsibilities, family caregivers can always use some tips to help make their care duties easier. Share these life hacks for family caregivers with your clients.

  1. Use apps. There are hundreds of apps on the market for smart phones and tablets to help people stay organized with daily tasks. Here's a great list of caregiver apps from AgingCare.com.
  2. Clip it and forget it. Cords and wires pose dangerous tripping hazards for older adults with mobility issues. Use hair clips to keep computer wires, lamp cords, and other plugs together and out of the way to avoid tripping.
  3. No gloves? No problem. Use a plastic zipper bag when you don't have rubber gloves on hand for cleaning.
  4. Repurpose that shoe rack! A hanging shoe rack with pouches is a great way to store cleaning supplies and saves caregivers and older adults from having to bend over and search under cabinets.
  5. Make safety simple & cheap! If the older adult's home has furniture with sharp edges (coffee tables, brick hearth, etc.) cut a foam pool noodle in half and use it as a cushion to prevent injury. Using a brighter color pool noodle will also make these edges easier for a person with low vision to see.
  6. A picture is worth a thousand lists. In a hurry to buy groceries, with no time to make a list? Take a picture of the inside of your loved one's refrigerator and pantry. That way you can see at a glance what he or she needs.
  7. Cut your shopping time in half. Bring a cooler or insulated bag with you when you go grocery shopping for your loved one so you can shop for yourself at the same time.
  8. Put fun, “unnecessary” to-dos on your calendar. A caregiver's week piles up quickly with the usual necessary responsibilities, so before you plan out your week, schedule in a pedicure, a leisurely trip to the bookstore or coffee with a friend to ensure you have some me-time in the midst of your busy week.
  9. Get a handle on things. Hate making multiple trips between the car and house when bringing home groceries? Use a carabiner (available at any outdoor or sporting goods store) as a handle for several grocery bags at once.
  10. Ask for help. While there are some clever ways to make everyday tasks a bit easier, a family caregiver can't handle everything himself or herself. Your local community has dozens of resources available that can help. The Administration on Aging is a great place to begin your search for local elder care resources.

Of course, there's no better life hack for a family caregiver who is struggling to balance work, family, and caring for a loved one than respite care from a quality home care agency. When sharing this list of caregiver life hacks with your clients, don't forget to tout your services as well!

What simple, everyday tricks do you use to make life a little easier? Check out our Life Hacks for Caregivers board on Pinterest to see ours!

 

Author: Leigh-Ann Heuer
Lead Content Architect


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