Choices in Senior Care Blog

Seven Top Time-Saving Tips for Caregivers

Posted by Choices in Senior Care on Dec 3, 2017 1:00:00 PM
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Caregivers are always pressed for time.  They are constantly in demand by both their loved ones who they care for, and the pressures and responsibilities of living a normal life.  This list is written for the caregiver who is always looking for ways to save time in their life.

#7 Meal Prep

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Cooking a meal takes a lot of time. You must buy the ingredients close enough to the meal, so no food goes bad. You must prepare your food.  Afterwards you have to clean up all the dirty dishes that you used to cook with.  What a headache.

Meal prep is a time investment that can have huge dividends.  The concept is simple enough: prepare massive amounts of food then freeze or refrigerate it into individually-sized portions.  It requires a willing cook, enough food, and proper meal prep containers which are super easy to find in your local grocery or retail store.

You can meal prep almost anything, but one simple effective way is to make one meat, one grain, and one vegetable.  Cook all three items in bulk, then portion it out into your containers.  Congratulations, you just meal prepped.  Now instead of having to cook and clean for all those meals, they are just waiting to be reheated in the microwave.  Happy prepping!

#6 Shopping to go

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Shopping at the store can take a lot of time. Parking, walking around the store, waiting at the cash register.  Sometimes it can take hours to get simple items.

Instead of wasting your time in the store, perhaps you should take advantage of some of the curbside pickup programs that many stores have implemented.  Simply order your items online, then when you get to the store they are waiting for you curbside. Check out Kroger ClickList.

#5 Focus your efforts

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 Research has shown that multi-tasking doesn’t work for most of the population. An online search will list multiple articles about lose of productivity, quality, and time when we try to do multiple things at once.

Every day make a list of the most important things to do.  Focus all your efforts on completing it task by task.  You will find that you can work with much greater efficiency when you are able to focus on one task at a time.

#4 Make time to save time

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 Sometimes to save time in the long run we must make time in the short run.  Completing too many tasks for your loved one can be a trap for caregivers.  It seems sound on the surface.  You can complete the task quicker and more efficiently than your loved one can.  However, removing tasks for your loved one can cause them to be bored and overly dependent on you.  This can lead to unsatisfactory situations that can sap even more time from caregivers.

To avoid this, caregivers need to make time to do tasks with their loved one.  Doing tasks together can create a sense of fulfillment and independence in your loved one.  This will save you time and energy later.

#3 Schedule appropriately

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 Trying to find time to do tasks when you are doing other tasks can be hard.  Imagine this, you’re out running errands when you are called back home to deal with an emergency with your loved one.  Not only are you unable to do the errands you set out to do, but you also lose the time it took to drive to and from your home.  Getting interrupted can be a terrible burden on your time management.

To combat interruptions, find a schedule that works for you and your loved one.  If your loved one needs more help in the evening then don’t plan on doing many tasks during this time.  Remember when you are planning your day that limiting interruptions can go a long way towards saving you time.

#2 Home workout

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Going to the gym takes a lot of time and planning. Packing your bag, driving to the gym, driving back from the gym.  Sometimes I’ve lost more time doing the secondary activities than working out.

Try doing a home workout.  There are dozens of resources on the internet to help you find a workout plan that can fit into your home.  No more expensive gym memberships and no more massive time investments.  Enjoy all the benefits of working out without all the unnecessary time commitment.

#1 Work with a Care Manager

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Trying to navigate in the labyrinth of the modern American health system can be incredibly time consuming: researching how to best care for your loved one, coordinating different doctors’ orders, and constant worry about something you’ve missed.  Managing your loved one’s care is a difficult and scary prospect which can be almost impossible to juggle with the everyday struggles of living life.

Hiring a Care Manager can remove the burden of worrying if your loved one is getting the right care.  They save the average person time from having to deal with commitments that come with being an advocate for your loved one’s health, or figuring out which way to turn. Trying to correctly navigate in today’s healthcare system can feel like crossing an ocean.  Why try to do it yourself when you can hire a guide?

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Tags: caregiving, Senior care, stress, shopping, elderly, multi-tasking, time saving tips

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