21st June 2021

Carers Week – Good Organising Skills for Carers and Caregivers

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As a carer or caregiver, it is essential to have good organising skills. Carers Week in the UK is 7 – 13 June 2021.

Good Organising Skills for Carers and Caregivers

When you have more than one job to do in any one day, it is a good idea to get yourself organised. It can help you to cope with the world around you, especially when you are caring, and/or working and trying to have a family life as well. The skills will help to provide a kind of structure. Good organising skills create a semblance of order and they will also reduce daily stress levels. How? Well, there are so many things to do, not enough time, so many places to go, lots of people to speak to either in person on the phone, and so on. Often there is TOO MUCH!

Without good organisational skills to help us cope with busy lives, we would constantly be under pressure and feeling stressed.

To have good organisational skills enables you to save time and as a result free up some valuable time that you can be doing something else. Good organisational skills are about having “everything is in its own place and everything has its own place”. Try and keep this in mind, then order will be the priority.

Below are some tips to help be organised

  1. In the office, at home or at work, prioritise papers in order of importance and put them in a date file. Bills either deal with right away or put in a pending file or drawer, but don’t forget about them!
  2. A good idea is to have a bag that you use when you go and visit someone in hospital or if you’re relative is in a home. Use the same bag and this will ensure that you always have the right supplies and items in it; you can add and change what is in the bag as often as you like but having the same bag makes a big difference. Use the same bag, say, for your caring role, with all odds and sods in it such as small plastic bags, wipes, hankies, needle and thread, coffee, teabags and when any item is almost finished, then make sure you replenish it. Do this with other bags such as a bag when you go away overnight, for a weekend or to go to the gym or a particular class. Keep the bags in the same place so that you will not forget where they are.
  3. When you are going out first thing in the morning, leave your bag plus any important papers near the door and this will make sure that if there are any delays in the morning, you are well prepared. You may not have slept well and you will also need to consider caring duties so this will save time and energy.
  4. Before going to bed, leave out mugs, bowls and spoons so that breakfast can be prepared with ease. It means that everything is ready and you can have a relaxed breakfast or a more relaxed one and also helps with time.
  5. Reading glasses should be kept in the same place, and an idea is to have a couple of pairs and then you don’t spend ages looking for them. If you need glasses when driving, keep a spare pair in the car and it means that they are always at hand.
  6. It does take quite a bit of planning to make sure that you have your carer duties organised and your own life organised. A diary is very effective and helps your time management, and it is good to jot down what you are going to do and it is a reminder as well.  Once you get into the habit of keeping a diary, it will be something that you can check on a regular basis. Another option is to put important dates down on a calendar in the kitchen where you can always see what is happening over the next month.
  7. Use your mobile phone as an alarm to remind you of certain times when you need to be somewhere and you can also use the calendar on it as a reminder.

Activity  – Add to the following example. Copy this and use as required. 

 

Date

Caring

Work

Me

Organise

Tues 17th

Arrange sitter

Leave 4.30pm

Meet 

Get food in for tomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you cannot be flexible

When you cannot be flexible, it is an idea to take a step back and decide what the best option is for you. This could be that a meeting with a social worker you were to meet with that day has been cancelled. However, they will let you know when it will be re-arranged with another date and time. Unfortunately, this can be extremely frustrating especially if you have taken time off work or arranged someone to stay with your relative you care for. Therefore there is nothing you can do but wait until you get another date, getting angry will not make the situation any better. It will leave you feeling worse so don’t let it happen. Stay calm. 

Making lists and being flexible

  • Make lists and prioritise what should be first, then second etc and you could do this by a traffic light system; red is urgent, amber is requiring some attention and green means that it can wait for another week. However, there are only seven days in the week and one of those days should be identified as the day to relax more than the others.
  • Importantly, flexibility is necessary in all that you do as you can otherwise become extremely upset when you may be let down at short notice. Moreover, caring can be difficult at times especially when trying to juggle different jobs that need done.
  • You should not feel that you can’t cope if you need help, it is better to ask for help and support for both yourself and the one you are caring for.

Good caring role and life balance

In conclusion, balance is definitely the key to making sure that you are able to have a good caring/life balance and with over six million carers within the UK alone, it is essential for your physical and psychological well being.

Being a carer really does mean that you do need to take care of yourself and that you keep yourself fit and healthy at all times. 

My Book 

The above is an exert from my book Stress Management for Carers