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 If you can, spend money, not time. 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post If you can, spend money, not time.
I lived a full, active life before Lewy intruded. (I actually had a life preLewy. :shock: ) I couldn’t possibly keep doing everything I had been doing, and add care giving on top of it. Something had to give. I think that is just a fact of being a caregiver – do you agree?

To minimize what has to give just a little bit, consider hiring help. In this case I’m not suggesting professional caregivers or respite workers or companions – that is a separate topic. I mean, pay people to do what you no longer have time to do, so that you can hang on to a little bit of your preLewy life and/or spend more quality time on the caregiving.

Hire a cleaner.
Few of us can arrange to have a live-in maid, but having a cleaning person or team come in once a week is amazingly helpful. It doesn’t mean you won’t have to clean between visits, especially if your LO has some messy behaviors, but at least once a week all the basics get done. It also encourages good habits. You have a deadline once a week to control the clutter. The cleaning person can’t dust efficiently if all surfaces are piled with junk mail and tax documents and articles printed from the internet. Piles of newspapers and baskets of clean laundry and old magazines on the floor make vacuuming difficult. So at least once a week you have an extra incentive to attend to these things. It’s a double benefit: you get the magazines recycled and the shower scrubbed. Also find a service to do the less frequent tasks like washing the windows inside and out.

Hire a chef.
A fulltime cook on the premises is probably just a fantasy, but you don’t have to make every meal yourself. I’m an excellent cook. Really. And I like to play in the kitchen when I’m not pressed for time. But these days I am almost always pressed for time so I’ve learned to let go and let others do some of the kitchen tasks.
Restaurants Coy still enjoys going out to eat if he is having a good day. A late lunch seems the least hurried time in restaurants. I usually point out two or three things on the menu he might like. (Sometimes I print the menu from the website so I can study it ahead.) He typically eats very little, perhaps because he is so slow at eating and he is a little nervous about that. But that is OK. We bring the excess food home and he eats it later, sometimes over two meals. And I usually bring part of my meal home, too. So the restaurant trip eliminated cooking, setting the table, and cleaning up for one meal, and eliminated cooking for another meal. A pretty good value for a pleasant time. The other way I take advantage of restaurant chefs is for take out meals. I have the menus for all our favorite places, and I call ahead and go pick up our meals. Coy especially likes this for evening meals, when he is less likely to want to leave the comfort of home.
Prepared foods Canned soups have come a long way since Ma served Campell’s chicken noodle for lunch. Some of them are quite good and are useful to have in the pantry for days when a full meal is not appealing. Even better are the plastic containers of refrigerated soups. And the quantities are reasonable for two people, unlike my homemade batches that are more suitable for large families. Remember tv dinners in little aluminum trays, heated in the oven? Wow! Frozen meals today have no resemblance to them. Both individual meals and meals for two that come in a bag and need to be stir-fried or baked can really be quite tasty.
Deli offerings Sometimes we like to make a meal of appetizer items from the deli or meat counter– chicken wings, cooked shrimp, chucks of cheese, thin sliced turkey or beef, etc. I have a great recipe for chicken wings, but, gosh, it is nice to have someone else stir the sauce and clean the pans! Rotisserie chicken is a great value. Premade and cooked meatloaf paired with prepared mashed potatoes provides an instant comfort meal.

Hire a lawn worker
If gardening is your passion, don’t give that up. If you enjoy the exercise of shoveling snow, fine. But find someone to do the outdoor chores that are necessary but not particularly fulfilling to you. Get a neighbor kid to mow the lawn. Hire a plow service to clear your driveway and sidewalks. Consider a lawn service to deal with weeds and do lawn maintenance. Sometimes these tasks can be an answer to “what can I do to help?” We have neighbors who come over and clear our driveway when they see that our son hasn’t done it yet. One fall they came over and raked leaves.

Consider a handy man service.
Leaky faucets, locks that stick, knobs that jiggle, flooring that buckles, a railing that is loose – all the little tasks that you or your LO used to take in stride can be turned over to a professional who has the right tools and the experience to do them efficiently.

I know that Lewy is an expensive house guest. It may seem extravagant to be hiring folks at this time to do basics that you’ve always done. I urge newbies to consider the trade between your money or your time. Something’s got to give!

What ways do you experienced caregivers find to trade some money for some time?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:56 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
Jeanne,
I am in agreement with all that you suggest but I do think to hire a full time cook is a bit over the top for most, I know it is for me, one of the things I did was make larger meals, in fact I still do and seperate and freeze, these days I make complete meals and freeze in single portions for myself, I have to turn the oven on anyway so why not make bigger meals.

Just my 2 cents worth !

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Irene Selak


Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:21 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
I have most of these, Jeanne.... It's what I can't buy that I want. :cry: Wouldn't it be nice if we could just 'throw money at it' and the disease would be gone?

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
irene selak said "I do think to hire a full time cook is a bit over the top"

Yes, sadly it is for me. That is why I make use of the chefs at my local restaurants, and the folks at our deli and meat counter, and those good folks who make huge batches of meals and flash-freeze them in individual or family size containers. :P

I used to enjoy making large hot dishes and big batches of egg-ham-English muffin sandwiches, etc. In fact I often did them and gave them to my daughter who mothers 7 of our wonderful grandchildren. But these days I'm more apt to let Stauffers do the huge batches and freeze them for me in smaller packages. Then I just get to heat them up. Works for me. 8) Maybe someday when I have more time (a day I am not looking forward to at this point) I'll go back to making my own frozen dinners -- mine are better.

I would just like to encourage caregivers not to feel guilty about taking these kinds of shortcuts. We all have just so much time, and Lewy is demanding a lot of it!

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
I think Jeanne's column heading of "hire a cook" is actually tongue-in-cheek, as her actual suggestions relate to eating out, deli food and other prepared foods. And all of those are great ideas, I think. We are eating out and I am buying frozen foods (when quality items are available) more often than before.

Whatever we can delegate to preserve ourselves is well worth the effort! (The cleaner is my personal favorite, but then, my husband is not fussy about food and loves to do yard work and handyman projects--but I hate to clean!)

Julianne


Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:49 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
Julianne, I say that hiring a cook is "just a fantasy," so, yeah, that was not meant to be taken seriously. But hey, if you can do it, go for it! :lol:

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:48 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
Jeanne,

Just going out for dinner more and cooking from scratch less will do it for me for now--I actually like to cook when I have time!

Julianne


Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:22 pm
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:35 pm
Posts: 343
Post Re: If you can, spend money, not time.
A good list , Jeanne!
I am doing all of the above except our house gets cleaned every other week since the 2 of us don't create too much mess and it is half the cost. It does make us straighten up things better.
We could not live without our handyman and our yard guy. Yard guy cuts the grass every other week in warm weather, again to stretch the budget. There are things we cannot do so well anymore and the younger guys make a big difference for us.
We do the eat out, too. I still cook the large batches of food sometimes, and we eat lots of left overs.

Sometimes we forget that money is a tool. Time is what life is made of.
Pat

_________________
Pat Snyder, husband John, dx LBD 2007
Author of [i]Treasures in the Darkness: Extending Early Stage of LBD...[i][/i] [url]http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Darkness-Extending-Alzheimers-Parkinsons/dp/1466428228/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334092686&sr=8-1[/url]


Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:17 am
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