Creative caregiver solutions can help when simple things go wrong. If little problems pile up, our burdens start to feel overwhelming. Those are the times when you really need a break — or a breakthrough — to restore your strength and your sense of humor.
I find that I’m much better at solving #caregiver problems when I’m not feeling stressed. If I force myself to make the time for a short walk or brief meditation, I can often regain my perspective. Once I feel restored, it’s easier to come up with helpful ways to deal with pesky matters. Here are some creative responses to common #caregiver problems. Some come from our house and some were suggested by other caregivers.
- When my mother seems apathetic and won’t engage with me, I put rock and roll music on the CD player and turn up the volume. I tell Mom we’re having a dance party and I move her hands up and around as if we’re jitterbugging. (She’s in a wheelchair). Then I sing, maybe a little off key, at the top of my lungs and pretend I’m a rock star. She usually laughs — but even if she doesn’t, I feel better!
- Mom’s legs kept slipping between the foot rests on her wheelchair and no amount of adjusting seemed to help. Then a helper spied my orange bungie cords from the Dollar Store. We hooked the outer part of the leg rests together with the $1 bungie. Now Mom’s feet can’t fall between the cracks. Take that, medical equipment store!
- We discovered that the steel rests on my mom’s wheelchair seemed to irritate the wound on the side of her foot. We tried to soften them with pillows or towels but they kept falling off. One day a friend took a look at the metal rests and said without blinking, “Pipe insulation!” I happened to have some in the laundry room. It was easy to cut the foam down to the right size and fit it over the steel bar. Voila! A soft sided leg rest!
- During a difficult period with my mom, a caregiver taught me the power of the diaper dance! When your loved one needs a change but resists scheduled bathroom breaks, put the clean Depends on your head and dance around in the silliest possible way. The diaper dance transforms a burdensome situation into a little afternoon comedy. Everybody’s more cooperative when they’re laughing.
Do you have any favorite remedies for common #caregiver problems? Please, share them here, especially if they’re funny. We all need practical ways to address our daily challenges — and most of us could use a laugh.