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, and get rid of caregiver burnout for good!
#1 Shopping, Meals and Cooking, OH MY!
Shopping at the store can be a lengthy process. Parking, walking around the store, and waiting at the cash register can take hours every month, even for simple items.
Instead of wasting your time in the store, try taking advantage of curbside pickup programs that many stores have implemented. Simply order your items online and pick them up curbside when you arrive at the store, or choose to get them delivered straight to your front door!
Cooking a meal also 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, and 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 yield 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 cooking and cleaning for all those meals, just reheated in the microwave or oven.
Whatever option you choose, don't let shopping and cooking control your life. You're a busy caregiver; take advantage of the services offered in 2019!
#2 Make Time to Save Time
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. While it may seem sensible on the surface, because you can complete the task quicker and more efficiently than your loved one can, removing tasks for your loved one can cause them to become bored and overly dependent on you.This can lead to unsustainable situations that further depletes a caregiver's time.
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 for your loved one, saving you time and energy later. While you're at it, take advantage of the knowledge your loved one has - bake that world famous pumpkin bread together! Maybe they will even finally give you the secret ingredient! (Spoiler: it's love. But sometimes it's called garlic).
#3 Schedule Only What You Can Do
Trying to find time to do tasks when your calendar is already full 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. Interruptions can be a terrible burden on your time management and lead to Caregiver Burnout, an extremely common and terrible feeling most caregivers face.
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.
#4 Home Workout (We're Still Sticking to Our 2019 Resolutions, Right?)
Going to the gym takes a lot of time and planning. Packing your bag, driving to the gym, and driving home from the gym adds a lot of time. Sometimes it takes longer to complete the secondary activities than working out.
When you're pressed for time, try doing a home workout instead. There are dozens of resources on the internet to help you find a workout plan that you can complete in your home. Enjoy all the benefits of working out without all the unnecessary time commitment.
This can also be used as a great way to spend time with your loved one. Yoga, for example, can be done sitting in a chair, standing, or working on a mat. You can make this a fun (and healthy!) activity to do together. You can find almost any workout you want to do online by a simple Google search. Because new year, new you, right?
#5 Let Technology do the Work for You
There are so many devices and apps these days that help people with day-to-day activities. Need to check-in on your mom? There's a device for that. Amazon, along with other platforms such as Google, have multiple devices available to help you know what's going on inside your loved ones home. Security cameras that stream to your phone, such as the Echo Spot with Wyze Cam, allow you to set up cameras in different rooms. The Echo Show, a device that allows you to video call your loved one, lets you chat face-to-face. The endless list of options gives you the ability to find the device that works best for you.
We hope this list helped! If you would like to read more blogs that support caregivers, follow us on social media @caring4urblock.