I thought I would start a new thread to see what ideas different ones of us have come up with to put less stress on our backs as we do all those things that have to get done around the house.
Here are some ideas to start off with:
I never tried those Swiffer type mops until I was about to have surgery. I should have gotten one years ago! They're wonderful! They're very light and easy to push around with very little pressure. There is also one by Scotch Brite for bathroom floors that's triangular and can even fit behind the toilet. No more hands and knees, but the floors can always be clean.
I have a poofy duster with a handle about 6 feet long. It's very lightweight and great for just walking around catching cobwebs, dust bunnies, dust off the baseboards, etc.
If you have trouble lifting a laundry basket, tie a 1 to 2 foot piece of clothesline to the handle so you can pull it along instead of carrying it. Don't know what you'll do if you have to carry up and down stairs, though. I'm fortunate to have my laundry on the same floor as the bedrooms.
Use your grabber to get the clothes out of the dryer instead of bending down to reach in.
Make a list of all the chores that need to be done each week at your house. Then split the list up into small lists, one for each day of the week. It's much easier to do a few things each day, taking maybe 10 to 30 minutes, instead of trying to do everything on one day. I even put little things like watering the plants on my list. It's much less daunting if you know in the morning that the only things you need to do around the house are (for instance) to get rid of old leftovers from the frig, and wipe out the microwave.
I hate to buy the smaller but lighter bottles of things like laundry detergent because they're more expensive. Now I have my teenager pour half of a large bottle into the empty old bottle so it's not so heavy to lift.
Ladies, remember YOU don't have to do everything. It's good for kids to chip in. When you divvy up chores, give the kids the things that you really shouldn't be doing: vacuuming and things that are low to the floor. Even little kids can do SOMETHING to help out and make your life easier.
Keep a tall stool in the kitchen so you can sit down next to a counter to work if you need to.
Okay, that's all that's coming to me right now. I'll probably think of some more as soon as I hit the submit button.
I'd love to hear what others have come up with that works for you. Anyone who has other ideas, please post them.
The following user gives a hug of support to BlueAtlas: Karoli (05-02-2011)
Great thread! I have a one step stool in my kitchen, great for those second shelf things that we might stretch for. Having a 6'5" hubby things always end up high when put away. Thats all I have to add really, you covered so much. I'll be watching tho, we can use all the help we can get.
"Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
The following user gives a hug of support to mamakitkat: oysterlee (11-29-2010)
Can't think of anything serious to add (you've covered a lot - and I especially agree with the stool in the kitchen) but for a giggle,
how about some big pink furry slippers that will dust and polish the floorboards as you shuffle round the house! Of course, you still need an extra pair and a grabber as they'll probably need washing fairly regularly!
I have a electric broom that can sweep the dirt of my kitchen and bathroom floors without me bending over! Just love it!! It is light as a feather too!
I also like the swiffer floor cleaner stuff ( awesome ) I also use their dusters for dusting. Automatic shower cleaner works great too. I like the fuzzy slippers for baseboard dusting!!! When someone comes over I have them take out my garbage and bring up my laundry! Great thread Emily!
The Following User Says Thank You to xzx For This Useful Post: workinmom572 (08-08-2012)
I have a house husband whom does all the cleaning and laundry.
Now if I could just teach him to cook===No really he is a great help and does not stay home by choice he has heart issues and osteo arthritis in his elbows. The bones are just wearing away. So he is limited but between what he can do and I can do and my daughter we get it all done.
The key is to know your limitations and work together. The togetherness is what gets us through. I am looking at surgery soon so I am glad we are in this situation. Now if I could just find a gold mine and not worry about money we would be great.
The Following User Says Thank You to clover60 For This Useful Post: workinmom572 (08-08-2012)
I'm lucky because my husband does the laundry. Comes out wringled but at least he does it. I have a long scrub brush that reaches all parts of the tub. I have an electric broom. I also have a small floor cleaner that is electric. Easy to push. It is like an electric mop. It sucks up the dirty water. Other then that I can't think of anything else.
The Following User Says Thank You to hessie28 For This Useful Post: Grammie76 (07-01-2012)
Great idea! I also have the long dusters, still use my grabber even after im healed from surgery, and I also have to buy the smaller sizes of things like laundry detergent, etc...
Got a leaf vaccuuum instead of raking leaves, it just sucks it all up into a bag.
Sometimes at the supermarket, the clerks just assume they can stuff a bunch of heavy items in one bag & you can handle it. I always tell them I will bag my own because I know how much to put in the bags. I've said in the past that I have spine problems & cant lift that much in one bag and they look at me funny. It's not so bad now after surgery, but I am still very careful what I lift.
I don't vacuum everything at once, I do rooms in increments so it doesnt get so tiring. I've learned to rest in between doing things. I have a high stool in the kitchen I can sit on to rest while cooking or preparing things if need be.
my wife uses "Peapod" which is an online grocery service that you can shop online, and they are affilated with certain supermarket chains, so you get the same sales, and they take coupons.. It is not available everywhere, but you should check it out... THey do charge a small fee (I believe $5) but it is worth it for your back sake. At least to order those heavy things, like detergent, soda, milk gallons, etc.. They bring it right to your doorstep and then, you can just unload one back at a time....
I have hardwood floors and I use Rumba and Scooba. the hard thing about scooba is getting it off the floor to either fill or dump. Roomba has a remote so which is helpful. I have dogs so the dirt container needs dumped every day. I have to say it is much easier than sweeping and bending over to collect the dirt in the dust pan.
I was about to boil some eggs this morning and realized another little tip. When I need a pot of water for something, I put the empty pot on the stove, then use a two-cup measuring cup to put the water in, usually 2 or 3 trips between the sink and stove. It's so much easier on my back than filling the pot at the sink and carrying it full to the stove.
Once whatever is cooking is done, I turn off the heat and call for the family to stampede down for dinner. They can put the pots/baking dishes on the table for me, and since they're smelling good eats, they're happy to do it!
The Following User Says Thank You to BlueAtlas For This Useful Post: Layla2010 (08-30-2012)
I have a suggestion for you. It might sound a bit crazy, but your comment reminded me of an ad I saw for a system to water your Christmas tree.
Don't know if it would work, but here's my idea:
Get a length of PVC pipe, maybe 3-4 feet long depending on your height. Get the widest piece you can, at least a couple inches in diameter. Put the lower end in the doggy dish, then pour water from a measuring cup through the tube, almost like a super-long funnel. Presto, doggy dish filled without you needing to bend. The PVC pipes are real light, too, and can just set in the corner of your pantry in between fillings.
PVC piping is pretty inexpensive at the local home improvement or hardware store, probably no more than $2 or $3.
Hope it works. I think it will. Two weeks and counting 'til your surgery! I'm prayin' for ya!
The post about the entire family working together was really great, but I'm retired and a recent widow. I really never realized the many things my hubby did for me after my first two back surgeries that I now find myself either doing or needing help with.
I had a 3rd surgery last fall. I'm on a really limited income, but I've found someone in my church who cleans houses, so I have her come just once a month, and then I try to maintain, which is plenty. She's worth every $! She even replaces lightbulbs for me, which was pretty difficult since they're the recessed kind in the ceiling. Oh yes! As they burn out, I'm converting those difficult light bulbs to the new "twisted" kind that are supposed to last for years.
When I go grocery shopping, I make sure to put the cold things in one section in my trunk so that I only have to get them out immediately, and the other things can sit there either until I need them, feel like it, or until my grandson comes over - - preferably the later!
AWSOME thread!! Thanx for the tip for the laundrey detergent! I was just complaining about that (in my own head) today. the thing is soo heavy! and the slipper thing was great and made me laugh too. I have animals in the house so i battle fur. I take my vacuum which is in a broom closet in my kitchen and hook up the hose and attatchments and vacuum the vinyl floor. The vacuum is weightless on a hard surface. (the broom,sweeping thing kills my back) and I have cleaned my tubs and shower wall with a mop for a few years now (the cool little scrubby thing was not out yet) And I swear by the swiffer. I am even trying to train my dog to gather the millions of pine cones in my yard. she gets them but does not put them in one pile yet!Hey I am all for trying to get the most help I can
Bending has been a real bear for me for 3 years. I also can't bend and lift, pull or push at all. Thus, I find my lower kitchen cabinets about worthless. And my old bedroom dressers are impossible. We switched things around so pots and pans and everything heavy is either on the counter or in the upper cupboards. Whats in the lower cabinets, I can get with my grippers. I'd love top refit with those gliding pullouts but....too much money.
In the bedroom I have lived with my clothes on top of my dresser for a year now (way ugly). We have just decided to get rid of the dressers and go with light-duty laundry cabinets. They have louvered doors and open to 3 or 4 shelves. No more pulling drawers and bending to pull them. On one wall of my bedroom we will be putting in 2 shelves at standing height. I plan to have several decorative baskets to hold socks and undies and the like. My husband is awfully good to me and is always on the look out for ways to put things at standing height for me. So, in the bathrooms we are going to mount baskets right to the wall so we can store towels at standing height. It all helps.
I bought a lighter weight skillet and have my eye out for lighter weight pots and pans. I haven't been able to find a rotating pot rack though. I'm real fond of having all this stuff out in plain sight but.... my back comes first. Thanks for the super ideas. Suzy-Q
I got my grabber at CVS. They had two different types with the durable medical supplies near the pharmacy, and another type called the Gopher in another part of the store. The Gopher was ten bucks, the other two were 30 bucks each. A true case of you get what you pay for! I had the blue 30 dollar one by Invacare and it was very good and sturdy, except that after a while the rubber tips started occasionally popping off. Without the tips, it doesn't grip very well, so I just glued them on. When I finally decided to invest in a second one so I could have one upstairs and one downstairs, I tried the Gopher. It was too flimsy to pick up much more than a piece of paper! I returned it and tried the other 30 dollar one. I already knew how the blue one did, so I walked around the store with the gold one just trying it out on things. It was much better than the Gopher, but not as good as the blue one. I'm assuming that all the CVS's carry the same stuff.
Any medical supply store will have grabbers, and many pharmacies do, too. I just happened to find mine at CVS. It was worth what I paid for it the first day home from the hospital! I always take it with me when I go anyplace. If I dropped my keys, I'd have to stand there until someone came by and would pick them up for me! My therapist commented that I handle it really well (not the compliment I was striving for in life) and said that was good because I'd be needing it for the rest of my life. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I just smiled and said yeah, it was a good tool to have.
this really is a good thread !! I had spinal fusion 7 years ago and it was a success however I now am faced with a life long incurable problem with my spine. My surgeons say 'sorry this is what life has dealt you' . Constant pain, bending, walking, sitting or standing at any length throws my pain into 10 fold. However I did come up with a very good idea of how to shave my legs when I wasn't allowed to bend after my fusion and the way things are looking now I might be going back to it. After my surgery my hubby had to shave my legs below the knee because I wasn't allowed and couldn't bend. One day I was sittinghere (depressed and feeling helpless ) when I looked up at my window blinds and saw the 'pole' that you turn to open and close the blinds. Then I had this great idea come to me to 'duct tape' the 'pole' to my razor and VIOLA my short little handle razor had a very long handle. It was the highlight of my month !! I could shave my own legs and it felt great not to have to depend on someone to do it for me......
cost of pole.......................free
shaving my legs my self.....PRICELESS !!
I have several grabbers. I have a few gophers for light duty and the more sturdy type as well. I have seen Gophers at Target. If you google for "Home Medical Supply" a lot of good options for this type of equipment will pop up. Dr. Leonard's is a favorite of mine.
I have several long-handled shoe horns. A muct fort me. But I did just what Queeneee did and turned one of them into a shaver using medical tape! My husband shaved my legs ONCE! He did a fine job but it shattered my nerves completely. Suzy-Q
well my daughter is now trying to find the duct tape she says now she doesn't need to shave my legs post op
Hope she's making you a long handled razor and not planning to use the duct tape to give you a waxing!
I forgot about this tip. I did this a few weeks after surgery, but at 5 months post-op, I'm still using it. I couldn't reach low enough and didn't have the strength and leverage to get the bottom two dresser drawers open. We got a length of clothesline, about a foot and a half long, and tied one end to the next-to-the-bottom-drawer handle and put a big knot in the other end. I could use my grabber to get the rope to my hand. Holding onto the knot, I could easily get the drawer open. No more need to call someone else to put away laundry for me or get clothes out for me.
I didn't put one on the bottom drawer. Being so close to the floor, I was afraid the rope would lay too far out and become a hazzard. I don't need to trip! I only keep lesser used items in the bottom drawer anyway.
My mom has been reading alot on this site and i might have convinced her to register. She doen'st do muchcomputer stuff, but she's pretty smart and would get very hooked on this if she signed up. But she told me I should write on here about her wagon.
She loves to garden but it's very hard to carry anything around the yard. She has a large kiddy wagon that she uses for everything outside. Even for little things, she loads it in the wagon instead of carrying it. Even when she fills the bird feeders, instead of carrying the bag of bird seed to the feeders, she sticks it in the wagon and rolls around to them all. She says if it weren't for her wagon, she couldn't do anything outside anymore.
She also said this thread should be a sticky for the top of the page so people could keep adding to it and find it.
This is a very helpful strand. I had not purchased or tried many of these household tools until I read these messages. They are indeed just as good as you have stated and well worth their small cost.
I have often used a one-legged lean-over to pick up items from the floor. I am not as stable as I used to be, so I must be sure to be firmly holding onto some piece of furniture or a counter, but by putting my weight on one leg and letting the other leg swing in the opposite direction from my body as I lean over, thus keeping my body and the swinging leg as in a straight line, picking up items is much less work to the back. It sounds as though it would be more difficult, but if you try it, I think you will find it quite helpful. I have shown this to quite a few friends who have been pleasantly surprised.
P.S. Blue Altas, as in Blue Atlas Spruce?
Last edited by whackybacky; 03-12-2007 at 06:28 AM.