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What shortcuts are you taking that are helping you?
I never in a million years would have thought I'd engage a laundry service, but it has been a lifesaver for us. Once a week I put the clothes outside the door and they're returned the same day freshly folded....yay! It is so worth the money.
Every other week we have a housecleaning service. I would love to have them weekly, but would be too expensive, though the caregivers do very light housecleaning. "Light" is the word, because I want them mostly to care for mom.
The other new shortcut I'm using that has been so amazing is having grocery delivery. I'm using Instacart. It's saving me so much time and energy. I tore my rotator cuff tendon in January so it was difficult to lift for awhile. Now I'm still using it because it's just so much easier when I can't get out sometimes.
What kinds of things do you all do?
I love Amazon Prime. Two day delivery, tons of movies/tv, music.
There’s a local pharmacy that delivers (lifesaver when I had bronchitis, couldn’t get out and local friends were away)
I use Peapod for grocery delivery ( I keep advocating for less than $60 minimum)
My mom’s hairdresser offered to come over when she needed a cut
My handyman does the heavy lifting and schlepping that I can’t/won’t do any more
I use Paypal and my kitchen scale for mailing out packages, rarely visit the Post Office. And order stamps online
Leftovers are a godsend! They can be lunch, a snack or dinner the next night. With mom's appetite and tastes all over the place right now, I like to have at least four or five things to try to get her to eat (some readymade, others that can be prepared quickly). Also, things I like as I may end up eating all or part of them before they go to waste.
Sam's is good for cleaning and paper products (so don't need them as often) and even some food items. Here in the Midwest you can get a rotisserie chicken for $5! For us, that's quite a few meals and snacks and since Mom still likes chicken legs (for now) that's a MINIMUM 2 servings for her.
Meatloaf. Letovers can be hot or a cold,
Did I mention meatloaf sandwich?
Admittedly, I culd not always make a home cooked meal. Gerber graduate (baby food for a toddler) was a Godsend more than once. Can be stored in a pantry. No need for refrigeration. One favorite was cheese ravioli in tomatoe sauce. Microwave and add a salad or fruit, italian sausage, cheese etc. Speaking of fruit, Dole has individual snack packs (think children's lunch items). Pudding or jello cups was also a nice keep-on- hand treat. The size was perfect for my mom who didnt have a big appetite and my freezer could only hold so much.
My slow cooker was also a Godsend. I could tend to mom, enjoy activities with her at home or out while meals cooked all day. There were times when I didn't necessarily prepare an entire meal in the crock pot - I could brown pork chops on the stove and transfer the chops to the crock pot. Very very melt in your mouth tender after cooking all day. I would Add a salad and garlic bread (or other variation) and bingo we had dinner. In hot summer months there was no need to have the oven on.
Not terribly impressive but it worked for us and no one died.
Good luck everyone.
OMG, bela, why would anyone bash you for not cooking from scratch?! Just trying to get them to eat -- period -- can be challenge enough!
I'm not Betty Crocker under the BEST of circumstances and like you, I still work F/T and have someone come in or (when I can force her there -daycare) while I work.
The InstantPot!! My Mom absolutely LOVES hers. You can make just about anything in it. And it's better than a crockpot because you can do things like searing a whole chicken right in it, and then changing the setting to roast- no other pans needed. It can be a little complicated at first- imagine if a crockpot and a computer had a cute baby which resembles R2D2. Once you get the hang of it, it's awesome. You can use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, saute pan, etc. You can even make cheesecake in it (have to buy a small insert- mine cost $6).
I like it for my mom- safer than her cooking on the stove.
The one thing I found odd about the Instant Pot is that there is NO smell when you're cooking- I personally love the smell of chili or a delicious chicken soup simmering, but this is an upside for some people.
Lots of helpful hints here. I've never thought of a laundry service - maybe in time I will. Love grocery delivery - what a time saver that has proven to be. Yes to the cleaning ladies every other week - and they'll do other things if asked. (Clean out the refrigerator, wipe down kitchen cabinets and oil, windows, etc.) Have a yard service also. That one is tough because I'd love to be able to do it, but alas that time has passed by because of my knees.
One thing that's slightly different that I do - when I cook outside on the grill, I do multiple meals. Whole chicken, chicken breasts, hamburger patties, baked potatoes, baked carrots, pork chops. You get the idea. The "trick" is to not cook everything until its done - cook it 70 - 75% done. When you take it off the grill it will continue to cook about 10% more. Once its cooked I package everything individually up. Then when it comes time to re-heat what I'd previously cooked the re-heating finishes up the cooking time. That way things aren't bone dry charcoal hunks of meat!! That really works for me (us). Add a fresh salad and veggies and dinner is served!!
Here are some threads from what seems decades ago. Many of the e-friends who posted are, like me, in stage 8 so don’t be upset or surprised when you notice names you haven’t heard from in a while. The legacy of our dementia journeys - helping others.
I am loving these tips...bravo, friends! Especially meal suggestions! Since I'm still working full time, I am in such a rut of what to fix for dinner when I come home. I'm already tired, and mom goes to bed early and needs to eat soon after I get home at 5:30. (The day caregiver doesn't cook dinner, so it's up to me.)
I often do easy to fix meals from Trader Joe's.
I ordered Uber Eats delivery the other night when I was super tired, thought and couldn't bear the thought of cooking! Every few weeks we order pizza delivery. (Mom still has a good appetite.) Love the suggestion of using the crock pot. I have one and should utilize it.
I get so tired of cooking!
More suggestions for shortcuts, please!