“Work smarter not harder” is a quote that can be applied in many areas of our lives. For the caregiver that has the task of providing not only physical, but mental, emotional, and sometimes financial support to his or her loved one, it is wise to use available tools to help make a hard job a little easier.
There are many tools on the market that can help aid caregivers in their role. Some of these products include adaptive products for the bathroom, grooming and hygiene aids, mobility and transfer aids, and dining aids.
Hand held shower heads, grab bars
Bath time can be challenging for caregivers especially when the patient has limited mobility. A hand held portable shower can make bathing less stressful for both the caregiver and the patient. It allows your loved one to be showered or shower him or herself while they are sitting in a shower chair or on a transfer bench. This prevents caregiver back strain that results from bending over a bathtub or the balancing act of having to hold the patient up in a shower and bathe them. Grab bars are excellent tools to have around for loved ones who can bathe themselves but have safety issues getting into or out of the bath tub.
Grooming made faster
A few grooming aids that can help the patient be more independent and free up some time for the caregiver are a razor handle extender, a lotion applicator, and a press on one handed nail clipper. Both the razor and lotion hygiene aids are especially helpful for those with arthritis or other conditions that make it hard to bend or reach. The nail clipper is perfect for patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease that make the hands unsteady, those with arthritic conditions, and those who have the use of only one of their hands. It requires the use of only one hand and only needs a gentle push to work.
Transfer to car safely
Caregiving involves frequent travel to the patient’s doctor appointments, which means getting the patient into and out of the car. Depending on the level of mobility and condition(s) the patient has, this may not be an easy feat. Three car transfer assists that can help make the life of a caregiver easier are: a car ease slide that helps the patient to slide off of the seat with friction, a swivel seat cushion that eliminates the need to twist in order to get in or out of the car, and a safety sure transfer board that enables one to grip the board and slide across its surface to safely transfer from the car to a wheelchair.
Self-feeding made possible again
Adapted eating utensils can take some of the pressure off at meal times. Utensil straps or clips and bendable or angled utensils, as well as adapted plates and bowls can enable self-feeding for those who might otherwise require assistance.
We hope that you will make use of some of the tools that we have suggested, to help take some of the load off caregiving. Share with us some of the other tools that you have found that make caregiving a little easier.
© Copyright 2016 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.