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Old 05-08-2006, 02:48 PM
ameliaaviatrix's Avatar
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Suggestions Needed: Managing Home When Disabled

Hi, everybody. I recently hurt my back (long story), and as soon as I got out of the hospital I saw that my once-pristine home is now a pigsty! (I don't mean to blame my husband and kids, only things aren't as clean and organized as I would have kept them.) Now I'm laid flat on my back about half the day, and when I'm up I can't do any heavy lifting or bending. I'm sure I'm not the only one on this message board with the same kind of disability. So, for all of the women (and/or men) with the same limitation, I would appreciate your input: how do you manage your home? Are there any tricks or gadgets that help you do what you used to do yourself? (And no, I can't afford a maid service or anything like it.)

Thanks,
Amelia
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:43 AM
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Hi Amelia and welcome!

You didn't tell your kids' ages but I am guessing that they are old enough to pitch in, from what you said.

I am not dealing with a physical challenge right now but if I were in your shoes I would give everyone certain chores and a time of day to do them. If you always handled the household chores yourself, the others in your house probably don't know what needs to be done and when to do it. So they might need a checklist.

For example in the morning I might have the following list:
HUSBAND: make everyone's lunch
TEENAGER: quick bathroom cleanup (toilet & sink)
"TWEEN": clear & wipe table & countertops after breakfast
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:32 AM
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Hi Amelia, I definitely agree that you should divy up the chores among your husband and kids. The checklist is a good idea. But you should also think about those robotic vacuums and mops that they have now -- the Roomba and the Scooba.

Also, don't worry about the house so much. Your first priority, I think, should be getting better. Your family will understand if the house isn't as pristine as it was before your accident -- I'm sure they just want you to be OK.

Wilmapie
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:15 PM
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keeping home neat

Hi Amelia,

I'm sorry that you are hurting. I know exactly how you feel. You failed to mention the ages of your children. A check list is a a wonderful idea.
Assigning tasks would be a good way to go. But, since you can at least sit in a chair, you could supervise the chores. Perhaps renting a wheel chair until you get on your feet would be a good way to go too, in that you would be around to supervise. That's what I did when I was laid up.
Hang in there!
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:51 PM
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What about those little grabby things that work like an extension for your own reach. Then if the kids won't do their chores, you can tweak their behinds in addition to picking up things you might have dropped.
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:29 PM
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MoreThose are very helpful. I use one all the time!
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:53 AM
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Timing Yourself is the best solution

I've been disabled now for 4 years & DH for 6 years. Having your children just to pick up after themselves is # 1. My Daughter loves to cook so she is a blessing. My son also pitches in by washing the pots & cooking occasionally. Buy a dishwasher. Those Roomba & other floor vacuums are useless. Now for the rest of the clean-up time yourself. Say you're going to clean the living room for 10-20 mins. Using my walker or wheelchair is keen. Get a long handled grabber for those hard to reach areas or someone tall[my son is 5'11"]. Some days I can't even get out of bed the pain is too bad, so the cleaning will wait. People will understand, If the don't ask them to help out. Use a table when folding laundry. Pace yourself. Little by little you'll get done. Yes, there will be days when it will be overwelming. Don't sweat the small stuff as my DH says. I hope this helps.
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:30 PM
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Amelia, Welcome to FC.

I'm so sorry to hear that you are dealing with a back injury~ It has to be the most debilitating thing that you can deal with.. I injured my back 15 years ago, and now, two surgeries and lots of PT later, the best piece of advice I can give you is to breathe deeply, and gradually relax your standards! lol..

I'm sure your family will do whatever they can if they don't feel like they are letting you down by not doing it up to your standards.

Someone here said it just perfectly. If anyone has a comment about your house, hand them a mop and a broom and tell them to go for it!

The grabbers are great. But be careful of bending to the sides, or lifting more weight out away from your body than you should.

There are online grocery delivery services, and places like American Frozen Foods even pack your freezer..

Some health associations give grant money to people with disabilities to help them maintain their homes. The Arthritis Association is one of thiose. Try researching it online.

I found using a bar stool at the stove enabled me to cook. My DD was too young to do any stove-top cooking, but she made the best baked foods.

There are a lot of great crock-pot recipies on the site too.

Don't feel odd about taking help. People usually want to do something nice.

Rest and heal. I hope things go well for you.

Val
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Old 05-19-2006, 07:20 AM
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I agree, having a stool to help at the stove is a must and it helps to hand wash dishes at the sink. My father-in-law has widened all the doors to accomidate their wheelchairs. He also installed a winch in the back of their van to lift up their motorized wheelchairs into the van. He has purchased one of those high sitting bathtubs that the water rises up to under his arms while he is sitting in the tub. It also has jets that come up from the bottom. When he is done he swings open the door and goes back to the wheelchair very easily by hiself.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:41 PM
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Amelia welcome to FC
I see you have lots of good advice here.
I have a bad back and have to take it easy from time to time, I used to use a stool when I'm at my bar preparing foods, and still use it when my back is hurting alot
I have to pace myself, do work until I'm tired and then take a break, you can't over do yourself, for it just makes the back worse
get the family to help you out

keep in mind that no one is going to keep the house as well as you do, that helps to take the stress away which helps you alot
when someone offers to give you help, accept it.

you mention you cannot bend, can you bend at the knee, if so that is your best bet and not bend at the waist for you are right, that can be very painful and not good on the back.

if you do go grocery shopping, get them to not put all the heavy things in one bag, make sure they put cold things together, that way you can take those things in and then get someone else to help you with the other bags

Also if you get them to put a small amount in the bags kids can help you carry them or you can carry them a little bit at a time. Again do not try to carry alot at one time.

I know that when I'm in a store that has a basket I like to use it to push and it helps me take weight off of the back to lean onto the handle of the basket

don't sleep with lots of pillows to make your head super high as this puts strain on the back too

don't carry all the clothes to the washer at one time, make extra trips if need to be if someone is not there to help you.

again like someone mention give a chore list to the kids and dh to help you out.

Wishing you well as your back heals. Hopefully you won't have to have surgery

Jeannie
good to see you again.
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