Adaptive Living for the Disabled
Housekeeping and the Expenditure of Energy:
A Short Guide for the Disabled Individual
Housekeeping (or lack of same) is a significant problem for the disabled
individual. When one is struggling with day-to-day survival, immaculate
cleanliness does not seem quite so important. The following are a few
creative approaches to making housekeeping easier and possibly even fun.
It is essential that disabled individuals guard against overdoing it
when it comes to housekeeping. Saving some of one's energy and strength
for all the other hour-by-hour demands is not just wise, it's essential.
Here are a few tips from the Disability Consumer Testing Laboratory in
Bethesda to help you out.
Get a bunch of cats. More is better because they have a way of dying off
when you forget to feed them. Once every few weeks take a few of them
and attach unrolled fly paper strips to their tails. Then release a bunch
of mice. As the cats chase the mice under the furniture and from room
to room they will take the dust with them. Then introduce a dog so the
cats will hit the high spots too. Cat hair need not be a problem either.
Just get the cats a bit of chemotherapy before you bring them home.
Get a sauna. At the end of the day take a bath in your clothes and then
get in the sauna. It will feel good and if you were smart enough to buy
only permanent-press clothes, they'll look great by the time you get out.
Better yet, do this in the morning instead so your clothes don't have
that slept-in look all the time.
Cleaning the Bathroom:
Simplicity itself: Never use it. Just cut an opening in the screen of
a window. All the neighbors will rave about your wonderful 'compost heap'
although the person across the way might have to move the kids' bedrooms
to the other side of the house. You might even be able to make a little
extra money selling the stuff to neighborhood gardeners. Constipation
tends to be a problem so in the winter be careful of that really nasty
frostbite and in summer watch out for sunburns.
Asking Friends and Family for Help:
It's really not fair for us to expect others to be picking up or cleaning
up for us just because of our condition. It also wears thin real fast
and we can find our friends and family deeply resenting it. Here's an
alternative. If an area of the home needs attention, carefully balance
something like a flower vase with lots of water or a bucket full of old
ashes right where it can't easily be seen, but can be easily knocked down.
Then invite someone over. PROBLEM RESOLVED! They knock it over, they clean
it up, the frustration is focused on the object instead of you, and instead
of their feeling upset with you they feel guilty about themselves. Like
it? Just don't do it too often to the same person - he or she might catch
on. Hope you have lots of friends!
© Friedlich, 1994
Next time your neighbors are going away, offer to water their plants while
they are gone. While you have their keys, get a duplicate set made. Then
plan on doing your entertaining whenever you know they won't be home.
Since they are likely both working they will probably have some great
snacks in the refrigerator, good liquor, and a much newer stereo system
than you have. And don't forget to put their address on the invitation
so people will be impressed with what a nice house you keep. If your guests
make enough of a mess the neighbors will just think it was burglars. Before
they catch on they'll probably get so frustrated or scared they will move
away. You can then start on a new neighbor.
Excerpted from The Chronicles of CFIDS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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