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Thread: Caregiver Tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Caregiver Tips

    I know all of us have discovered our own ways to give care and maybe this topic would be in CARE or EQUIPMENT but I thought that as caregivers it would be a way to share with each other. I have found that creative thinking is very necessary to solve all the unique task difficulties that we encounter. So here are a couple of caregiving tips to hopefully start a topic.

    To drain the night bag of urine into the toilet I use a wooden stand that was originally used to hold a needlepoint frame. It has two "feet" that keep it from tipping over. That way I don't have to stand there emptying it manually. It is not a smell I have much of a stomach for. After it is empty I mix a drop of soap and a splash of bleach with water into a container and use a turkey baster to clean out the night bag.

    Now here is a problem that I need a tip for. I have a phantom voice of my son calling out "Mom" to me a few times a night. It is as clear as a bell but when I rush in to check he is sound asleep. One of the reasons we decided to live in the same house was so I could take care of middle of the night needs so I guess my brain is on hightened alert. Maybe we could set up some kind of buzzer. Can't use a baby monitor because he has tv on or voice activated computer till very late. Any other caregivers experiencing this?

    I have so many more tips that I so want to share.

    Darthe

  2. #2
    Does your son have any hand or arm movement? If so, you might want to do what my mother did with her (live-in) caregiver. They bought a cordless doorbell and put the receiver in the attendant's room. If my mother needs help, she just pushes the doorbell button (which could be mounted just about anywhere) and it rings the bell on the receiver.

    If he has an ECU, there are "nurse call" features that can be used with this as well.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Share away, Darthe! Even those of us 'old dogs' who have been around a while can learn new tricks!

    My son's a C4-5 quad with pretty good arm and hand movement - we use an intercom system that's hooked up to the phone lines - it has a 'call' button that we added a little round furniture pad to, to give it some height so he can hit it with his hand when he needs to. I think hubbie got them at Radio Shack.

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  4. #4
    Here is another solution for home call systems. It is a combination of their EZ-Call switch (easy to trigger with head movement or gross arm movement), and their PA-1 battery powered alarm. Runs on a 9V battery. No electrical needed, and it is pretty loud.

    Med Labs, Inc.

    Their Bite-or-Puff switch would work for most who cannot even turn their heads. We use the EZ-Call switch for our hospital call system.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    129
    Thanks ladies. I think I will look for the doorbell online today.

    For my next tip. We have discovered that the Select Comfort bed is perfect for Chris. He is c4,5 and before we had this bed we had an $8,000 bed on loan from the med equip co which did not keep him from getting some bad pressure sores early on. Besides which the noise from the variable air pump was very loud and used a lot of expensive electricity. The Select Comfort has the head and legs up function of a hospital bed. Unfortunately it doesn't raise and lower the whole bed like some hospital beds. That is a great help for caregivers. In the two years we have used it he has had no skin breakdowns. I even got one for myself.
    Darthe

  6. #6
    Instead of the turkey baster to clean out the overnight bag, we use an old irritation applicator (I'm not sure that's what you call it); it looks kind of like a turkey baster without the ball at the top. Then I glued a Texas catheter (condom) to the point at bottom. This way it can be connected to the overnight bag. Then pour in your bleach solution. Voila! No bleach stains on your clothes. Works on leg bags, too.

    Here's a summertime idea from my husband, who is a c5-6 quad. He had been wanting to wear shorts in the summer, but with a legbag, well it's not too attractive. So we use an overnight bag, lay it flat on top of the battery cover underneath his motorized chair (the batteries are fully sealed inside 2 separate compartments, so no danger of them getting wet). Then cut an inconspicuous hole in the cover of his roho cushion and in the leg of his shorts. Snake the tube of the leg bag through these holes to hook up to the condom. Wrap the extra tubing in a circle and lay it on top of the bag. My sister sewed a black cover with velcro on the bottom to attach it to the battery cover; this 'hides' the bag under the chair, and attached a 'skirt' on the front of the roho cushion cover to hide the tubing. It may sound wierd, but it allows him to wear shorts all summer and be cooler than if he were wearing pants.

  7. #7
    We just use squeeze bottles, like the kind mustard and ketchup come in, for the bleach solution.

    Peggy, what an intricate set up!

    Another tip - that rubbery stuff you can buy in sheets or rolls is great for placing on a table so things don't slide.

    And I'll share one from lilsister, who is just full of great ideas! Both her brother and my son have power chairs - she solved the problem of not getting the controls on the chair wet by sliding a gallon ziplock over the controls, while bro's hand is on the controls; keeps his hand and the controls dry during downpours!

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  8. #8
    Great idea with the plastic bag over the hand controls! We'll have to try that one....

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