Life is a juggling act at the best of times, but when you throw ill-health into the mix it can seem impossible to keep all the balls — errands; school run; petcare; house cleaning etc — in the air. Willing and trusted family and friends can make a huge difference by stepping up to take care of one, or more, tasks thereby taking it off the worry list of a patient or their over-stretched nearest and dearest.
To help turn genuine offers of help into practical assistance, there are several websites (see below) that co-ordinate and match what needs to be done with those willing and able to do it. Individuals or groups of volunteers can use these sites with ease.
Tasks that many would appreciate support with include:
- Lifts to and from hospital or doctors appointments
- Walking the dog/feeding the cat
- Help with school runs or childcare during holiday periods
- Keeping on top of finances
- House cleaning or gardening
- Grocery shopping
A website that allows you to create a shareable calendar. The individual needing support need only list the help that is needed and family and friends can sign up to fill those needs. Like an online signup sheet, only better. CareCalendar can also be used for long term situations, including homebound and caregiver respite care needs, or prolonged periods of chemotherapy, as well as shorter periods of hospitalisation. Email reminders are sent to those who sign up to ensure no tasks are left undone.
No More Grapes
The founder of this excellent UK-based site was often asked ‘how can we help?’ by family and friends during her seven-year battle with cancer and has turned that experience into a free-to-use online community providing updates and matching patients’ needs with willing and available ‘do-ers’. The patient stays in control while the loved ones feel truly useful.
There are even some wonderful charities or volunteer organisations that offer assistance to help patients and the elderly keep on top of day to day life.
Cleaning for a Reason
This extraordinary US-based charity provides two-months of free house cleaning to women undergoing cancer treatment. The service is funded by charitable donations and is offered in the USA and Canada.
The Good Gym
If you know somebody in the UK that feels isolated because of their condition, or age and does not have family and friends nearby, then you might want to look up the fantastic concept of the Good Gym. A centrally co-ordinated group of runners that have chosen to get fit by combining their exercise with a visit to someone who is in need of company or someone to help them with a particular task. Take a look and see if this rapidly-expanding network is available yet in your area.