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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 05/21/13

I am the sole caregiver for my husband who is heavy. I cannot afford to hire an assistant. I have scoured the Internet for equipment or contraptions to help me turn him, help with bathing, toileting, etc. There is nothing found. I know I am not the only caregiver wife providing all care for her husband.

Thank you for your help.


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Name: Linda
Location: Arlington VA
Date: 05/26/2013
Time: 09:42 AM


Do contact your doctor for a home health referral. In addition to occupational and physical therapy, nursing can also visit in your home, and make sure you are trained for safety and have all the assistive equipment that will support your safe caregiving. These services as well as rental or purchase of equipment may be provided by Medicare or Medicaid, or other insurance. Medicaid also often offers personal care assistance at home for those who would otherwise be living in a nursing home. You definitely want all the advice and supports you can get to support your safe home caregiving. A local home health agency should be a good resource. Good luck!

Name: Michelle
Location: Fairfax VA
Date: 05/22/2013
Time: 09:33 AM


All these ideas are great. I would add that a Physical Therapist or an OT are trained in these areas and can made specific recommnedations on your unique situation. Some Social Service agencies offer a consultation. I would start with the doctor and see if a referral to a PT or OT is covered by insurance. Perhaps some therapy would also reduce the care needs or increase mobility in joints etc.

Name: JC
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Date: 05/22/2013
Time: 01:22 AM


Try tucking a sheet under him, starting from the head slowly working down to the feet. When you have about 1/2 the width of the sheet passed him, go to the opposite side, and pull the sheet toward you. In the process, you should be wrapping him and turning him at the same time. You may need to adjust the amount of sheet you pass under him, but make sure there is enough sheet for you to grab and pull without straining your back.

Name: Diane E.
Location: Fredonia, NY
Date: 05/21/2013
Time: 09:51 AM


Dear Anita, I'm so sorry you haven't been given help with this situation. Please contact his doctor right away and ask for help. He/she can put you in touch with a social worker or someone from your Office for the Aging who can give you a lot of information about lifts. There are portable Hoyer lifts and ceiling track sling lifts that will make your life so much easier. If your husband has a specific disease, check out the website for the national organization (such as the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. or the ALS Association), and perhaps they have a loan closet from which you could borrow a lift. Good luck!

Name: Jerry
Location: Illinois
Date: 05/21/2013
Time: 07:35 AM


A Hoyer lift would work. From bed to scooter and back to bed. I use one for my wife.

Name: Marie
Location: New Jersey
Date: 05/21/2013
Time: 06:52 AM


Anita, I also am sole caregiver for my husband who is 6'4" and 225lbs. I use a hoyer lift for everything. While in bed I put a pad under him and that makes it a little easier to pull him on his side. They do have the pads for the bed with handles for turning. Worth a try. Hope that helps.

Name: Francisco
Date: 05/21/2013
Time: 06:13 AM


Anita, Where are you located? what county and state?



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