Care Partnering is a Learning Experience

Things that I have Learned

  • Do some laundry every day. It makes for a smaller load at the end of the week. Who wants to spend Saturday sorting and folding?
  • Sometimes the laundry is a collection of very different pieces of clothing, sheets, towels and whatever. Gentle wash and tumble dry low works for those combo loads.
  • Look for Kleenex tissue and other objects before throwing things into the washer.
  • Marriage is art, not science. – true of marriage but care partnering adds another layer of grace.
  • If you are going to make a salad, you will need a bigger bowl that you first thought you would need.
  • Look in the trash for clothes before you take it out to the bin.
  • As a care partner – Make as much time for yourself as you can while you can.
  • Sometimes odd things are in the freezer – combs, the coke from yesterday, Kleenex. When she asks look in there.
  • Roasting vegetables in the oven is a good hands-off way to cook them. Most all cook well at 400 – 425 F. Roots and tubers – potatoes, carrots and so on take longer to roast than plants and seeds – broccoli, green beans, corn. Expect 30 min. for roots, 15 min. for plants and seeds. Save onions for sauteed dishes or saute them separately and add to the roasted veggies at the end.
  • Meat cooks fast in a 400 F oven. Keep an eye on it.
  • Pound chicken breasts flat before roasting. Soak them in salted water (brine) to thaw.
  • You can make all sorts of fun desserts with Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix. Add about 1 egg for each 1 ½ C. of mix. Use milk instead of water. Add ½ C. unsalted butter and ½ C. of sugar.
  • Mustard, honey and a little oil with some vinegar makes a pretty good pasta salad.
  • Taste things while you are cooking. This even works with cake batter.
  • If you want a cake and got instead a pancake, add some baking power next time. Take notes on disasters.
  • People rarely volunteer. Ask them for specific help.
  • People rarely say no way when you ask for specific help. They might however tell you a better time for whatever it is. Accept the better time and they will help you again.
  • Always ask each week, month, etc. Even if to you it seems like a routine, it is not necessarily to them.
  • It is good to have a large flat surface such as a dinning room table or a king size bed nearby when folding sheets from the dryer.
  • Position fitted sheets upside down and turn them right side out. Find the corners and push the ones closest to you inside the corners that are away. Tug outward with each pair of corners and flip it over. Lay it flat on the surface and smooth it a little. Fold it up and place it inside the cover sheet that you have already folded.
  • Tumble dry low is your friend.
  • Simplify your chore life as much as you can. For example the few things that you recycle can also be tossed in the trash bin. … one less thing to concern yourself with. It is not environmentally correct so do it in the dark with the lights off.
  • People with dementia often have really bad memories about trips, events attended and stories. Do not concern yourself with getting the story correct.
  • Leak throughs happen. Just clean up as best you can and do not worry about it.
  • Resolve is good stuff for spots.
  • Smart phone alarms are annoying and useful.

This list is not complete and might never be complete. Carpe Diem.