Sunday, 16 August 2015

Caring for the carer


There comes a time when every household falls to an illness of some kind. The illness can be severe or mild depending on the circumstances when a family member becomes ill, the care giver of the home can look after them. What happens when the main care giver falls ill?

Planning ahead for these times is most effective way to be ready. Becoming in poor health is not a matter of ‘if” but ‘when’. A simple plan can help prevent too much of a major disruption to the routine of the family home.

The first step is to prepare the medicine cabinet. The most common household illness is the flu. Make sure there is a good stock of supplies to treat the most common of  flu symptoms: Fever, headache, cough, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose. Include in your kit: fever and pain relievers. Cough syrups and drops. Nasal sprays. Decongestants. Thermometer. Tissues.  (Always seek medical advice before giving any to children)
Keep a check on the medicine cabinet supplies making sure all contents are still in their used by/best before date.

For the medicine cabinet:
Homemade vapor rub
8 tablespoons of coconut oil
10 drops eucalyptus oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops lavender oil
Melt coconut oil in a double boiler. Add essential oils. Pour in a jar and let cool completely.

If the care giver can not be cared for or someone else can not be found to replace them, the care giver can do small steps to keep the home clean and running smoothly.

In the kitchen:
Prepared meal mixes, frozen pre-made meals, and the crock pot will be helpful in making sure daily meal needs are meet. Meals, such as soups, do not need constant tending. Pre-pared meal mixes might only need hot water added to them. And froze meals simply need reheating.

Meal mix simple cream of soup mix:
2 cups powdered milk
2/3 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon parsley
½ teaspoon thyme

To Use: Mix 1/3 cup mix with 11/3 cup water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in choice of:
Chicken or Beef Bouillon
Potato – Dry or mashed
Cheddar Cheese
For a creamier version substitute milk or cream instead of water. (source:

Around the home:
A tidy house can be maintained by allotting some chores to other family members. If this is impossible, continue a cleaning routine by taking things slowly and in small chunks of time. A cleaning routine helps take the ‘bug’ out of the house and keeps the home looking at least respectable. Bedrooms only need to be clean by making the bed and vacuuming the floor. And if permissible opening the windows. A light dusting can be useful until a deeper, heavier, dusting is achievable at a later time.
A cleaning kit is also useful to create and have on hand when needed.   
Fill a bucket with:
An all purpose cleaner
Cleaner for toilet and bathroom
Dust pan and broom
Mop and bucket

Basic natural cleaner:
Baking soda

Vinegar and Baking soda are natural, inexpensive, and versatile cleaning products. Vinegar can be diluted with water and kills mold and mildew. Baking soda can be used alone, as a scrub, combined with other natural cleaning products, and also be used to absorb odors.

Keep supplies together and use when a light house cleaning routine can be done.

Finances in order:
If the care giver is also the main money maker of the home, a good idea is to start putting a little away each week or fortnight for emergency money, some sources suggest at least a month or more wages in advance. A well stocked pantry will also help in difficult times. Both of these types of savings are best done a little bit over time. Stock the pantry with only what you generally think you would eat or need. And be cautious about keeping too much money in the house in case of theft, or some other natural calamity. 

From the garden:

When you’re suffering from cold or flu, steep oregano in a pot of water and inhale the vapors, which are antibacterial, antiviral and decongesting.
This immunity – enhancing herb also settles digestion and prevents bloating.

Gargle for sore throats.
Rosemary is antiseptic and antibacterial. It is often burned in sick rooms.

Thyme Tincture
Use to clear respiratory congestion and sore throats. Pour apple cider vinegar over the thyme and leave in a dark place for two weeks. Use 10-20 drops in a glass of water. Up to 3 times a day especially before bed.

(Consult with your doctor before taking any herbs. Never take when pregnant. Never give to small children unless you consult a doctor first.)

The main goal when the flu or any illness has you bed ridden is to keep rested and take in lots of fluids as needed. As always see the doctor if symptoms persist. 

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.


  1. What an engaging post. I would love to see this as a series as I suspect there is much more where this comes from.

  2. A great post, Shiralee. It is always an issue when the caregiver gets sick. I sent the menfolk out to get fish and chips the other night. LOL!