Specialized Caregiver Tools: Fur-Lined Handcuffs
I was looking for something in my closet earlier today when I came across a small plastic bag containing a set of fur-lined handcuffs. I had completely forgotten about them, but the reason I had them is an interesting story about how sometimes caregivers need to think outside the box to carry out their duties.
Carefully lifting her into her power chair
When my fiancee Tracey became bedridden due to bedsores, I had to be very careful to lift her into position on her AFT bed and power chair, and not slide her, which would be bad for her wounds. Because of my disability, hemiplegia, I could not use my left arm and hand without placing it into position with my right hand. In order to pick her up, I had to put my left arm under her knees, and then place my right hand under her back. To do this, she had to clasp her hands together behind my neck so I could lift her back slightly to get my right hand in place.
Her hands lost the strength to grip
This was never a problem until the final month before she went into the hospital for the last time. Her grip strength was one of the last things to go, and she was no longer able to hold her hands into position. So I thought about how to solve this problem in an effective and comfortable way and made a trip to the local "adult" boutique (every small town has one, right?). I found a pair in hot pink and knew those were the ones.
Think creatively, have fun, and laugh
When I showed them to Tracey, she burst out laughing, but it worked, to the point where she wanted to leave them cuffed to one hand all the time. We both had a lot of laughs about that for our remaining time together.
Hang in there, think creatively, and most importantly, have fun together and laugh. That's the best advice I can offer to caregivers. When it's all over, there will at least be some good memories to reflect upon.
I know there are for me.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?