Friday, October 28, 2016

Organised Carer...

When you care for someone, there is a lot to do. It's a fact that life is easier when you are organised (at least a little bit).  You will find that now (as carer) you not only have to live your life but help another person live theirs and this means twice (or ten times) more medical appointments, social events, budgets, incoming mail, phone calls, hygiene products, grocery shopping, housework and MEDICATIONS! It will be important to know what medications your Loved One (LO) has been prescribed.  Medication is so important that it deserves a whole post of it's own, so stay tuned for that. 

All of this 'extra stuff' means that you will need to have some way of recording and keeping track of all of it.  I have a calendar that hangs on my door as well as a day to a page diary.  We write down all the appointments (not just LO's but appointments that the carers need to keep). My mum and I share the caring, so we need to make sure we don't book our appointments at the same time.  If we have to do that, we need to arrange for someone to be at home with Dad while we are doing other things. 

This works for me, but I am not going to tell you that this is the best way.  Find what works for you.  If you are tech savvy you might prefer to use a calendar app with a sharing function (so everyone involved can see where appointments/ events are booked and make necessary changes).  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I would suggest you go with a paper diary.  Don't take on any unwanted stress of having to learn how to use technology when a book will work just fine for you. 

There are lots of organising resources online.  Don't limit yourself to "health" or "nursing" resources.  Search for: Bullet Journals, Calendars, Diaries, FREE printables, teacher organisation and family organisation resources.  It doesn't matter what you use, just remember your goals are to:
  • know who is responsible for your LO at any moment of the day. 
  • ensure all the carers are able to contact each other at all times (phone list).
  • keep a list of all support services, what they do, when to call them and how to contact them (day or night).
  • have all paperwork in the same safe place while still easily found if needed. 
A routine is also helpful for staying organised and managing medications/ medical supplies, but that also deserves it's own post. 

I hope this has been helpful for you. Check out these links (by clicking on each) for more information. 

16 Free Organisation Printables - cleaning checklist, grocery list, routines, schedules,

Organised Home's Printable Library - everything from calendars, checklists and planners.

Yes, You can do this!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

How to be a Carer...

So you have chosen to be the carer for a loved one.  If you are a paid carer for strangers, there are probably other places you can go to learn how to be the best you can be... good luck with that. If you have found yourself in an inevitable situation of having a parent, partner, child or friend who needs 'care', this is for you.

I am sharing the responsibility, with my mother, of caring for my terminally ill father.  He has advanced liver disease and liver cancer.  The cancer causes pain.  Other than that, it is not what is killing him.  The advanced liver disease is killing him.  A symptom of liver disease can be psychosis.  There are milder symptoms that affect mood and brain function.  He is very tired!  He becomes more tired everyday.

Regardless of the illness your loved one (LO) has, they will get tired.  This will be less obvious at first, but it will progress.  At first your friend will get tired after a big day out.  Then a short outing, like going out for dinner will be more tiring.  Eventually, getting out of bed, having breakfast, getting dressed and leaving the house will feel like a hard day's work.  Then, eating a meal will be exhausting.  Simple everyday tasks such as going to the toilet (once), will be exhausting.  Getting in and out of bed will be no mean feat. 

The tiredness will be difficult to understand and difficult to watch.  Be ready for that.  All the things that go along with exhaustion will be there too.  LO will be sleepy, a little fuzzy in the head (the way you are when you haven't had much sleep), moody and emotional.  Be prepared for that.  You will be tired too.

There is much more I need to tell you about being a carer.  I won't be able to cover all of it in one blog post.  Not in a way that will be helpful to you! So, here is the plan.  I will post regularly about being a carer: tips, tricks, encouragement, ideas and some of my own experiences.  I will tag all of these "how to be a carer"  and will create a home page for all you carers out there.  I hope this helps.   It will help me, anyway.  

So for today, be prepared for your LO to be tired and be prepared for you to be tired.  Plan for time alone and time to rest.  Don't be afraid to ask for help so you can rest.  Don't plan lots of visitors, outings or activities in the one day.  Take it slowly!  Give yourself permission to say no.  Rest when you can!

Remember you are doing your best and there is absolutely nothing better than that!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Going to the Nail Salon

I find that sitting at the nail salon watching my manicurist is a zen like experience at times.  I enjoy watching them at their work.  They create miniature works of art and while working quickly they have amazing attention for detail.  I'm almost jealous of their skill. 

It's lovely to watch. 

Some Examples of Pretty Nail Art...

I told my manicurist that, as I am going back to school this week and I can't wear my tiara at work, it is very important that my nails sparkle!  She didn't respond.  I chose a glittered nail polish and got on with it. 

I'm taking joy in the little things!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Writing Prompt: Today I am Thankful For...

Therefore, I'm saying that there are more things I'm thankful for, but these are the ones I'm focusing on right now. 

Pain relieving medication
Ice packs
Mum and  Dad
My very comfy bed
Shelly, and how even when she is just being herself, she makes me smile. 
My nieces and nephews!
My Sister!!
I'm thankful for everything that I have because I know that it is all due to God's provision and abundant blessings. 
My friends.