Help for Male Caregivers - Everything You Always Wanted to Know and Were Not Afraid to Ask
None of us expected to be thrust into this caregiver role, and you men have stepped up to the plate to bravely take over cooking, laundry, and cleaning. You did not, however, expect to have to deal with female "maintenance", such as hair styling, manicures, pedicures, nor did you ever think you would be puzzling over bras, pantyhose, and undies. The women have come to your rescue. This section is currently , so the list is not complete, but the questions and answers have been taken from the message boards. Keep checking back as I continue to add to the list.
- Pantyhose - DITCH THEM! They are difficult for women to get on themselves without a struggle. Someone (most likely a woman) invented a wonderful substitute called "KNEE HIGHS". They slip on easily like socks, look great in all types of shoes, and can be worn under slacks or with a longer skirt. They are inexpensive, and can be found in Walmart or any drugstore.
Bras - If her size has not changed, it is a simple matter to bring the bra into a department store and ask the sales clerk to sell you the same one. This gets trickier if her size has changed. Department stores and specialty stores such as Lady Grace will measure your wife. However, if she is not agreeable to that, our famous message board ladies have suggested a sports bra. Simple, easy, and comfortable. Call around to stores first, and explain your situation before you drive from place to place asking questions, wasting gas, and wearing out your feet.
Bra Extenders - another good idea. They are sections of elastic with hooks that grab onto the bra hooks. They have them at Walmart.
- Panties - Sorry guys, but the days of bikini lace panties are in the past. Practical, full coverage cotton panties are the best. Hanes has them. They usually come in packages of 3 or more. K-Mart; Walmart or if she is "plus size", try looking on line at Roaman's, Woman Within, or JMS (Just My Size by Hanes).
- Manicures and Pedicures This may sound like an expensive luxury, until one day you look at your wife's finger and toenails, and realize that not only have they grown to be lethal weapons, but dirty ones at that. We are not suggesting that this will be easy, but IF she is willing, you can keep it simple (KIS) by washing her fingernails and toenails while you are showering/bathing her, and cut them immediately afterwards. Nails are easiest to cut after they have been soaked in water. You can purchase manicure scissors (notice slight curve of cutting edge) at any drugstore, Walmart, or KMart. You will also need an emory board (think of it as sandpaper for nails) to smooth out rough edges. If all of this sounds scary and foreign, a monthly trip to a nail salon is a good investment. Let the professionals handle it, but be sure to warn them ahead of time of the Alzheimer's Disease. If they seem caring and accommodating, go for it. If it does not work out, try a few other places before going back to the "do it yourself" route. Personal recommendations are always best, so ask someone from your support group (if you have one) or someone in the Alzheimer's Association in your area to recommend a manicurist who works well with AD patients.
- Facial Hair AD changes everything, including this little secret you men were not supposed to find out about. Hormonal changes cause unwanted hair to grow above the lips, under and around the chin area. Waxing and depilatory creams are the best solution. Waxing CAN be done at home, but it is best to bring your wife to a salon for a professional treatment. You can buy depilatory creams (Nair is one) in any drugstore. They have to stay on awhile (15 minutes) after application, so your wife may not cooperate. Shaving is not recommended, as it causes the hair to grow in more coarse, but if all else fails.........you may be stuck with that solution. If you go that route, PLEASE use the pink razors made for women. DO NOT use your own razor!
- COOKING -Some of our guys have become quite creative in this area, and, along with our women members, have shared their easy favorite recipes on the message boards. CLICK HERE for the complete list.
More to come - make up; hair styling. Ask your questions on the message board topic - Help For Male Caregivers - and our ladies will answer. Maybe even the more experienced men have answers.