Dear Heloise: My husband is terminally ill and at home with hospice care. His hospital bed is in my family room. I am the caregiver. I realize family and friends want an opportunity to visit him before he passes, and I accommodate all who ask. Some suggestions for those considering visits of this nature seem to be in order:
— First, consult the caregiver for a date and time, and get there on time. The caregiver is arranging a schedule based on your commitment.
— Decline any refreshments that are offered. The caregiver has enough work already.
— Leave! Thirty minutes should be the maximum time for a visit. Don’t linger with the caregiver to reminisce or expect the caregiver to entertain you in any manner.
— Don’t expect the patient to be awake just because you are there.
— If the occasion arises that the caregiver needs to attend to the patient, it’s time to go.
— Remember, the caregiver is probably exhausted, very sad, overworked and sleep deprived.
— And, importantly, the caregiver is not free to leave the patient to run errands. Don’t ask what you can do or bring, just do it. There were times I’d have loved a fast food burger, but I wouldn’t dream of asking.
Thank you for your time and attention. — Eileen H., via email
CHILD’S ART DISPLAYDear Heloise: My daughter created many art projects and pictures while growing up. My husband built a large bulletin board, and I covered it with royal blue material, which made her artwork really stand out. She was happy to have her artwork on display, and we were happy to have a special place to display it. The material should be rather stiff and can be any color to match the decor. I enjoy your articles in the Kerrville Daily Times. — Bonnie, Comfort, Texas
MAKING BATHROOM TOWELS LAST LONGERDear Heloise: My bathroom towels wear out and fray along the edges and become unsightly, so I have to throw them out while the rest of the towels are still good. To remedy this, I use the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine with matching color thread to bind the edges. By doing this, the towels last much longer. Another choice would be to donate the frayed towels to an animal shelter. — Sharon in California
NOT WASTING WATERDear Heloise: I’ve become aware of how much water I waste while running the faucet, in the kitchen sink or the tub, waiting for hot water to come through to wash dishes or take a shower.
Now I take a gallon jug with me and run the water into that, instead of down the drain, and then I use the water to fill my cool mist humidifier. In the summer I can use it to water plants, too. — Karen Z., Canton, Ohio
Dear Heloise: We enjoyed your article on pet strollers. We take our Tinker camping, and she can go almost anywhere we do while contained in her stroller. It is also useful at home when we have guests. It gets her off the floor so she doesn’t get stepped on. — Brenda S.C., via email
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.
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