Caregiver Hacks

Life is hard. The struggle is real… am I right?! It is difficult is to get everything done. Add in caring for someone with dementia, and life just gets more complicated and stressful. But thankfully, there are shortcuts that can lighten the load. You don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done them. Shortcuts are your friend! Here are some hacks to make everyday tasks easier for you and your loved one:

Groceries

You could get someone to stay with your loved one while you run to the store, but finding someone once a week may be difficult. You could also bring your loved one with you to the store, but your loved one may wander off, pocket items, or talk to everyone you pass, turning a 30-minute trip into a 2-hour extravaganza.

Instead, try Kroger Click List, Walmart Pick Up, or any comparable service. These services may seem intimidating, but they’re simple once you get the hang of it. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Log on to the website, and create an account.
  2. Fill up your shopping basket.
  3. Pick a time and location for pick-up (usually the next day).
  4. When it’s time for pick-up, park in a designated spot, and employees will bring your groceries out and load them.

You can be done in under 10 minutes – it’s a miracle! Put your order in at night in the comfort of your pajamas, so you can think through your purchases and check cabinets as you make your list. Then, on your way home from work or church, pick up your items. No more wandering aimlessly through the store trying to find what you need.

Household Supplies

The supplies you can’t get from Walmart Pick Up, you can have shipped to your home through Amazon.com (extra points if you shop Amazon Smile, and choose Page Robbins as your charity!): disposable products, cleaning solutions, pet food, etc. They might even be cheaper than they would be in-store.

Putting Dinner on the Table

Homemade meals are time-consuming, but constantly going out to eat can be expensive and tiresome. For a nutritious homemade meal, check out a prepared meal provider. Some local examples are Curbside Casserole and Katie’s Kitchen.

Clothing

Hang outfits together to make choosing what to wear easier. Put a top, bottom, and sweater together on a hanger.

Medical Information

Keep a binder with dividers for important information for your loved one AND you. Use one section for a list of medications (reason, dose, timing, etc.), allergies, and doctor contact information. Use one section to list concerns – changes in behavior, etc. And use another section for important papers (like Power of Attorney) that you may need. Take this with you when you go to any appointment, so you’ll have that information on hand and can remember questions to ask. As things change, be sure to update the binder.

Medication

Use your smart phone to set alarms for times your loved one needs medication. Let you phone help you take the stress out of trying to remember.

Nighttime

If your loved one is having nighttime incontinence that is requiring you to remake the bed several times each night, layer fitted sheets and disposable pads. Put a waterproof pad then fitted sheet, and repeat the process a few times. During the night, you need only remove the top layer of sheet/pad instead of remaking the whole bed in the middle of the night.

If your loved one is taking trips to the restroom in the middle of the night, navigating a dark house can be very dangerous. Motion activated night lights can help your loved one see and better navigate the space.

We also found this Care Connection list of hacks super helpful.