**Disclaimer: This blog does not give medical or financial advice.
Only you know what must be done on a daily basis to ensure the health and safety of your parent or loved one. I know that what I do on a daily basis changes…is modified…is adapted…according to the needs of my mom.
Every day without fail, I do the following and then anything else that must be done or anything else that pops up:
• Prepare all 3 meals: In winter, I make sure that I cook individual portions that I label and freeze and place in mom’s freezer. In nicer weather, I just prepare and cook on a daily basis. Breakfast I prepare at Mom’s and lunch and dinner I prepare in my home on the morning of.
• Address Mom’s Concerns: I always ask mom if there are any newer aches/pains. I observe her and address anything that I see that doesn’t look right. If she’s depressed or fearful, we talk about it. As the day goes on, the depression/fearfulness wanes.
• Clean: Mom is not a clutterer. I sweep the whole house every day with one of those brooms and long handled dustpans and once in a while I bring over my Dyson rechargeable vacuum cleaner. In fact, I have an extra one now and my husband is going to put up the recharger somewhere in mom’s home where it won’t be in her way and I have easy access to it. Mom doesn’t like the noise of a vacuum.
-Kitchen: I wipe down the counters and small table mom eats at and as needed I wipe away any shmutz (Yiddish for dirt) that I find. Once in a while, I empty the crumb tray of the toaster oven. The microwave has been staying clean since I taught mom to put a paper towel over the food when reheating in microwave. The fridge is fairly empty, just the necessities and I check for any crumbs/spills. I change the plastic cup that she uses for water when she takes her meds. Her dishtowel is changed frequently since I know she uses it to dry her hands.
-Bathroom: I wipe down the counters, the mirror, the sink and I clean the toilet every day. Mom has one of those hospital seats on her toilet. After mom showers, I quickly rinse the tub, wipe hair from the drain, make sure bathtub mat and bathtub bench are in proper place. Once a week I scrub the tub. I change the plastic cup that she uses for rinsing after brushing her teeth. I change her toothbrush every 3 months or according to how it looks. While I am there, I keep the bathroom window open to air out and lock before I leave. I make sure that there are plenty of rolls of toilet paper and paper towels available in an easy-to-reach place in Mom’s bathroom. Her towel is changed frequently. The floor is swept and wiped down daily.
-Bedroom: The floor is swept daily. Bedding is changed according to needs; sometimes it is changed weekly, other times the bedding could be changed 2X during the week.
-Guest Bedroom: This is where mom watches TV. My father’s ancient electric bed is there and has head and legs in elevated position. It is not plugged in. The room is swept, dusted weekly and bedding done every now & then, but pillowcases changed weekly. No one sleeps there.
-Office: The office is swept, dusted as needed.
-Porch: The porch is swept as needed.
As I walk up to mom’s porch and as I am on her porch, I check for flying insects and shoo them away so nothing flies in after me as I enter. After I am in the house, as I go from room to room, I check the ceilings, corners of ceilings, woodwork to make sure there are no spiders or ants. I don’t want mom getting any bites or irritations from any type of insect. Mom once had cellulitis and I had read somewhere that a possible cause could be from a spider bite, so I am vigilant.
• Laundry: I do not have set days. Laundry is done as needed several times a week.
• Mail and Bills: Lately I have taken over making out the checks and paying the bills.
• Home Repairs and Landscaping: Mom has a landscaper for many years and he just comes regularly. This past winter, I hired my landscaper to shovel mom’s home. I make all arrangements for any home repairs.
• Exercise: I do try to motivate mom to go outside with me and take a short walk. Every now and then we walk through the supermarket or pharmacy. I encourage her to move her legs and feet when she’s sitting. She is very sedentary.
• Showering…Brushing Teeth: I am there to help mom with her showering. She has a bar in the bathtub and a bench. I also set out her clothes, massage her feet daily after the shower and check for any irritations. After brushing her teeth, there is a small Vaseline on the counter for her to dab on her lips.