Regardless of which illnesses, disability or physical handicap with limited adaptability are present in the home, the needs always outnumber the resources available.
Whether it be mental energy to return phone calls and sort mail, or enough reserved to cook a hot meal and scrub the toilets, disabilities causing frailty can impede the ability to care for oneself too many times.
Homes in which every member is medically challenged, may not be able to meet all the daily needs that arise without sacrificing something critical. Is it negligent to allow them? No, not always, and for others…well, I dare you to try and stop them. But assistance is always needed, even when we swear we are okay without it.
There simply are not enough healthy hands and bodies to get all the work done. Chores are completed by which is the most out of control at the moment, or who is the most hungry or whose medications are due. The rotations of if I do this I can’t do that is endless. To accomplish tasks at all, we regularly employ self-neglect as a means to complete them.
That doesn’t mean all the critical needs are tended too, but it is a standard to attempt to prevent the chronic crisis from spiraling into an immediate emergency.
It is also what many seniors would rather do first before allowing siblings or children to ship them off to the retirement home or assisted living community. Fear is a major theme within the disabled life in general.
The fear is not necessarily of our illness, but of other peoples responses and their tendency to ignore our desires, rights, and emotional needs.
Disabled single parent homes voice many of the same fears except instead of the threat of being sent to a retirement home, it’s the threat of our children being removed. The lack of understanding what our homes true needs are, cause opposition and fear. The scales are always tipped to the side of hardship.
The easiest way to help medically homebound families, caregivers attending them and those who are too ill to get everything done, is to get those urgent daily needs covered so members can finally get well and catch their breath. Typically the same ten needs arise.
There are always exceptions but you can’t go wrong or fail if you follow the guides and suggestions below.
- Home Delivered Meals (Prepared and Prepped)
- House Cleaning Service
- Laundry Service
- Home Grocery Delivery
- Yard/Landscaping Service (cover one week-a month)
- Extra Hands- Personal Care Services, CNA, Home Health
- Personal Massage Certificate (make sure to help them have time to go)
- Care Package for the caretaker (lotion, body wash, soft fuzzy socks, soft bathrobe, lip balm, favorite snacks, nature sounds CD, aromatherapy oils, plush bath towels & cloth just for them, etc)
- Run Errands for them
- Clothing gift cards
Other Aid to Consider:
- Patient Advocate Agency- These offer vital support to the caregiver responsible for keeping up with all of the administrative portions of managing illness and/or injury. Administrative Medical Negligence is a real thing and not being aware of the power the paper-side of illness has, leads many to become more gravely ill. This also provides immense mental relief for the one most burdened.
Family Pet Care Service– It is known that animals provide emotional support and proven to extend the lifespan of those absorbing all that unconditional love. The companionship goes a long way to fight loneliness. But the presence of pets brings additional care needs. Daily walks, exercise, vet trips and more, may prove difficult. This actually describes my current situation. Although our doctors have urged applying for service animals (2 referrals on hold currently), adding two more mouths to feed and butts to clean is more than I can handle. I know many other disabled mothers with similar predicaments. Hiring someone to manage some of those needs will allow the pet to do it’s magic, while also getting the extra care it thrives on. It might also provide the opportunity for people like me to gain access to greatly needed service support.
- Home Maintenance/Apt Maint Reminders- This goes beyond keeping things tidy and clean. Making sure vent filters are clean, fireplaces emptied and inspected, and a host of other ongoing needs are scheduled and done is important. Many of these affect our health as well. Dryer vents should be regularly cleared to ensure fires do not unexpectedly spark. Caregivers and the fragile are barely keeping up with regular duties, details like this are off the radar. Unless someone is going to take responsibility for it, you can count on the filters being changed annually instead of monthly. (As I write this I am realizing its been 6 months or more for my own-geez-HELP ME-constant brain fart default mode: on)
- Legal Services Plans/Subscriptions– You just don’t know when a complicated legal issue will arrive arise. Whether its addressing medical fraud or errors, estate planning or Medical Power of Attorney. It’s good to know your options and receive quick support. I have had to fire more than a few doctors during the years of being ill and caring for sick kids. The guidance can be counter-intuitive. In fact, we have one that may be answering some rather uncomfortable questions soon. Our state Medicaid nurses certainly are not recommending her to kids with neurological conditions. Being steered right is vital during such times. Consider paying to this service to support the medically fragile home, it will save fried nerves in the end.
Places to Start: Resource Links
Availability of services vary by location.
- Care packages for Caregivers– http://upsidedowngifts.com, http://healingbaskets.com, https://www.justdontsendflowers.com/Caregiver-Gifts-s/265.htm
- Molly Maid- http://MollyMaid.com
- Bare Organic Cleaning- http://organiccleansbetter.com/
- Naturally Clean- https://www.naturally-clean.com/
- Home Advisor- http://HomeAdvisor.com
- Prepped- https://www.preppeddelivery.com/
- Bright Star Care- http://BrightStarCare.com
- Bayada- http://Bayada.com
- InstaCart- http://InstaCart.com
- Shipt- http://Shipt.com
- Amazon Grocery & Gourmet Food Delivery- https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgrocery&field-keywords=
- Message Envy- https://www.massageenvy.com/massage/
- Get Magic- http://GetMagic.com
- Task Rabbit- http://TaskRabbit.com
- Food Lion- https://www.foodlion.com/promotions/to-go/
- Safeway Groceries- http://Shop.Safeway.com
- In Home Pet Care- https://www.rover.com/,
- http://littlefriendspetsitting.com/, (Charlotte NC)
- Friendship Trays- Hot Meals (NC)- http://friendshipmeals.org
- Meals on Wheels- https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/
- Mobility International USA Wheelchair Transportation – https://www.miusa.org/resource/tipsheet/transportation
- Patient Advocate Services- https://www.npaf.org
- Aging Care Connections- http://agingcare.com
- The Arc- Intellectual Disabilities Support- https://www.thearc.org/
- American Spinal Injury Association- https://asia-spinalinjury.org/
- Caregiver Support-Traumatic Brain Injury- https://www.caregiver.org/traumatic-brain-injury
- Rocket Lawyer- https://www.rocketlawyer.com/
- Legal Sheild- https://www.legalshield.com/
- Children’s Rights and Advocacy- https://www.savethechildren.net/advocacy, https://www.cfcrights.org/advocacy-for-children
Helping out is easier than you think, especially when you proxy yourself by providing any of the services or items above. As with all things, shop around for competitive prices, and check reviews. Remember the cheapest is not always best, but you don’t have to break the bank either.
Beware of discounted services and Groupon type promotions. They are often delivered in a less comprehensive way than the full price would have serviced.
I promise that disabled households will benefit your support and you can feel good that by following some of the suggestions above, you are gifting things that actually help.
Have ideas for your family in need? Let me know in the comments below. Got a question on how to better assist your loved ones? Feel free to ask it here or contact me at info@AngelsofOurOctober.com Your stories, photos, poems and more can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org