Hannah MacKechnie

Hannah MacKechnie

Manage Your Time

If you care for an elderly parent and fall into the generation sandwich gap that also has to contend with young children, then time is something which you dream of, much like winning the lottery. Throw in the pressures of a full-time job and your life is an overwhelm of running on a hamster wheel going nowhere and trying to keep up. You live in a frantic swirl of rushing around, trying to remember what must be done, whilst your list of obligations is getting longer all the time, like a surreal nightmare. Stop. And take a breath.

Keep calm and carry on

By looking to executive tools for time management, you can apply some techniques to your insanely hectic life to maintain control and to get more done so that you can effectively care for your parents without losing your sanity. I know this from first-hand experience and these are my tips.

 

1. Getting things done

Most people can only focus on a limited number of things at one time. Holding many tasks and thoughts in our head is where stress and overload can begin to happen and important things get overlooked. Therefore, by emptying our mind, yet retaining this information, on a regular basis, we free mental space to use more efficiently on the tasks at hand.

Considered one of the best time management systems, Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen, is based on five principles:

  • Capture – collect into a notepad everything that is on your mind, that needs to be done and which has your attention and then everything physical (bits of paper, bills, letters) into an in-basket
  • Clarify – process everything that you capture, asking is it actionable? If yes, then decide the next action and do it immediately (if possible). If no, then either delegate it, file it, or bin it.
  • Organise – your actions outlined at the clarify stage should be entered into a series of appropriate lists and a calendar.
  • Reflect – review your lists on a regular basis (at least daily) and use a weekly clean-up to keep your mind clear of unnecessary clutter.
  • Engage – take the actions required. Just do it!   The basic process of downloading everything from your mind onto paper and then organising it in a structured manner, will make all the difference to your feelings of stress and help you regain the feeling of control.

 

2. Filing system

As outlined above, having a filing system will reduce chaos and bring order to your life. Dedicate an area of a shelf or cupboard space or an entire office like me and create separate files for everything you have to contend with, sectioned into groups: utility bills, appliance manuals, school reports, requests for school events, legal documents, etc.

Do the same in your parent’s house, or keep files at your house for their utility bills, medical appointments, legal documents for their house and financial affairs etc.

Have an A4 wallet for easy transport that contains all current items you need to hand such as upcoming medical appointments and lists of medications. Or, you can keep a copy of all notes on your phone by taking photographs, so that you have a record with you at all times.  #TopTip

3. Notebook

 Carry a small notepad, or use a notepad or list making App  (e.g. Trello) on your phone to write down thoughts and tasks as they come to mind so that you can continually empty your mind as things come up. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything and will help to keep mental space free for you to focus on what you are doing currently, without niggling distractions. This one task reduces any stress immeasurably.

4. Chunk tasks

Another master of time management, Tony Robbins, defines a process called ‘chunking’. By taking all our tasks and looking for commonality we can then effectively structure tasks into groups. For example, work related, children related, parents related, time for yourself or friends and husband.

Organise your diary around the key areas in your life and ensure that you make time for each area on a weekly (or monthly) basis. By removing the feeling of not missing out on important things, such as maintaining friendships, you then begin to feel much more balanced whilst still attending to all the essential things.

When you are in each ‘chunk’, focus on that area without distraction so that you can accomplish more in a concentrated time. Don’t even try to multi-task.

5. Plan ahead

Getting organised ahead of time will make a vast difference to your feelings of anxiety about coping, especially if an emergency happens. Contact utility companies to become an authorised person on your parent’s account will mean that you can quickly sort out any problems with their bills if you need to. Contact your parent’s bank to become a co-signatory on their accounts, so that you can pay bills on their behalf or manage their financial affairs. If your parent is in mental decline, organise a power of attorney so that you are in a position to make decisions quickly without having to wade through red tape in an emergency situation.

6. Support team

Compile a list of emergency numbers for trusted plumbers, electricians, gardeners and neighbours who can be called on at short notice. This reduces time and stress in an emergency, such as if pipes should burst or the cooker isn’t working.

Having the number of a trusted taxi driver that you can call to take your parent to a medical appointment, or in an emergency, will also help if you can’t be there. 

7. Define and delegate tasks

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate anything that you can. For example, use a home delivery shopping service, have a gardener to mow the lawn and use a cleaner.

If you have siblings, make sure that everyone is doing their fair share. Define roles and ask each of them to take on specific tasks in caring for your parents. One person can take care of house repairs, another can organise bills and another can take care of medical appointments.

Use a care service to give yourself both peace of mind and respite, thus creating some time to yourself which will help to avoid becoming resentful or exhausted.

The extra time created will be far more valuable than the expense, by freeing your time to focus on spending quality time with your parent or family and ensuring that you can get everything done without becoming a frazzled mess. 

9. If it’s not on the whiteboard…

 Have a whiteboard installed in your parent’s kitchen and use it daily/weekly to write down a copy of your diary and schedules of when you visit and when you are not available. This will reduce the stress of non-essential, interrupting phone calls when you are focused on work or in meetings and your parents will know where you are at all times in case of emergency.

Include a space for your parent to write down what they wanted to speak to you about or anything that they need. If they are forgetful or in early-stage dementia this will help you both to know why they called or what they need. 

10. Good enough, not perfect

 You can’t be a superwoman or superman. Everyone has their limits of what can be achieved and by setting a bar too high, you will burn out and overload your stress levels. Aim for what is realistic and good enough. You want to focus on sustained, rather than short bursts, and manage your diary according to what is realistic to accomplish and not believing that you can get through twenty-five hours in every day. Think 80%, not 110%.

11. The power of no

 Saying no is just as important as saying yes. Whenever anyone asks you to do something, consider if you really need to do it. Is it essential or necessary? Will it benefit your life or will it add more stress? Keep your to-do lists focused on what is a priority and important: your parents, your family, your friends, and yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first.

The safety announcement on a plane always tells you to put your oxygen mask on before you assist someone else (such as a child). If you pass out through lack of oxygen, then you can’t help anyone else put their mask on.

Structure time into your schedule for yourself, every day. Five minutes deep breathing, fifteen minutes meditation, twenty-five minutes to walk the dog. This time is essential for you to decompress and keep stress reduced so that you can be there for your parents and your family whilst working and keeping all the plates spinning.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 11:14

About our Liverpool North Branch

Radfield Home Care Liverpool North provides the highest standards of care to you in your own home. We specialise in care for the elderly with medication and dementia care services that are second to none. The  Liverpool North branch was established in 2017 by Dave Bellis who wanted to establish a high quality caring service to elderly people living at home after he experienced the challenges faced by families when sourcing care for his parents.

Radfield Home Care pride ourselves on being a very responsive service that promotes independence and respects dignity and choice in care. We use the latest technology solutions to feed information straight back to the office and to relatives so any issues can be dealt with immediately.  We invest heavily in supporting, supervising and training our staff so that our clients and their relatives can rest assured that our carers can provide the care they need professionally and respectfully. 

We ensure that carers stay the full amount of time with you so their travel time is not taken out of your visit time.

Please contact the Liverpool North Radfield Home Care office if you have any questions about our services or would like us to send you information about our home care fees.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

About our Solihull Branch

Radfield Home Care Cheshire  provides the highest standards of care to you in your own home. We specialise in care for the elderly with medication and dementia care services that are second to none.

The Chester, Northwich and Winsford branch was established in 2013 and is run by our managers Anna and Becky and their team. Radfield Home Care's success in our other locations is based on an excellent local reputation for delivering a very high standard of home care and Anna and Becky are already bringing this to clients in Chester, Northwich, Winsford and surrounding areas.

We pride ourselves on being a very responsive service that promotes independence and respects dignity and choice in care. We use the latest technology solutions to feed information straight back to the office and to relatives so any issues can be dealt with immediately.  We invest heavily in supporting, supervising and training our staff so that our clients and their relatives can rest assured that  our carers can provide the care they need professionally and respectfully. 

We ensure that carers stay the full amount of time with you so their travel time is not taken out of your visit time.

With over 30 years of experience in providing care, Radfield Home Care is a local home care agency that you can trust to look after you.

Please contact the Cheshire Home Care office if you have any questions about our services or would like us to send you information about our home care fees.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

Contact Solihull Branch

If you have any questions about our care services or are interested in working for Radfield Home Care Chester branch then please complete the form opposite as we would love to hear from you.

If you would prefer to contact the branch directly then you can do so via any of the following methods:

 

Telephone or Email us on:

01244 960 602
chester@radfieldhomecare.co.uk

For urgent after hours queries relating to your care please contact the branch phone number and you will be directed to our on call service.

For non-urgent enquiries please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Pop into branch or post to us at:

Radfield Home Care Limited - Cheshire
Stamford House,
Tarvin Road,
Christleton,
Chester,
CH3 7HN

 

Branch Opening Hours

Our office is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.30 pm. 

We provide care services 24 hours a day and if you need assistance for an urgent matter relating to your care outside of our office opening hours then please contact our usual office number and we will divert you to our on call service.

 

Visit our social media pages:

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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

Our Services

Radfield Home Care Chester is able to support you with a wide range of care services to help to keep you living independently at home for as long as possible. We provide all types of personal care, medication support, shopping and meal preparation, companionship and many others - see below for a more detailed list of our services:

  • Washing and dressing
  • Assistance in and out of bed
  • Laundry and housework
  • Shopping and meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Medication support
  • Catheter care
  • Moving and handling using hoists, stand aids and other equipment
  • Pressure area care
  • End of life care
  • Dementia and Alzheimers care
  • Getting out and about
  • Care through the night
  • Respite care
  • Rehabilitation care

 Receiving home care is a very flexible way of receiving a bit of extra care and support. It can start with  as little as you need, perhaps just an hour a week to get to the shops, and can increase as care needs change. 

We ensure that all of our staff are carefully selected and rigorously checked prior to being able to work with our clients. We have a very robust training and support programme  to ensure that all of our carers can support you in the best possible way. 

 

franchise left      franchise right

For details of the Care services that we are able to provide, please visit our  Care Services pages. You can return to the Chester branch pages at any point by  selecting Chester branch from the  dropdown menu on the main picture.



Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

Our Story

We opened our Chester branch in 2013 after identifying  a need for the 'Radfield' way of providing home care in the area. We started with a small office on the Chester Business Park but soon outgrew it and moved into our own premises on Tarvin Road in Chester.

 

This has given us far more space and room to hold staff meetings where we discuss any issues and provide updates to training  for our team.

 

We are  very proud to have created a wonderful, caring team in Chester to provide the highest standard of care to our clients  and hope that we will be welcoming you as part of our Radfield family, whether as a client or a carer, soon.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

Our Service Area

Care in your own home in Chester, Winsford, Northwich and surrounding areas

We can provide you with reliable, personalised, flexible care in your own home. Call us today on 01244 960602 to arrange a home assessment at no charge to discuss your requirements and to answer any questions that you may have.

We are able to provide care to you in Chester, Winsford, Northwich and surrounding areas which are detailed below. If your area is not listed please do still get in touch as we may be able to help.

 

Chester, Hoole, Upton, Blacon, Saltney, Mickle Trafford, Christleton, Newton, Vicars Cross, Handbridge, Great Boughton, Huntington, Guilden Sutton, Mollington, Saughall, Rowton, Waverton, Saighton, Great Barrow, Tarvin, Ashton. Kelsall,  Elton, Helsby, Frodsham, Tarporley, Cuddington, Delamere, Weaverham, Tattenhall, Farndon, Malpas, Tilston, Pulford,

                                 Chester Northwich Winsford Map of Service Area

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:21

Awards & Achievements

 We have received many awards for our care services over the years and this is testiment to the hard work and commitment that all of our care, office and management teams make day in and day out throughout the year.

We were extremely proud to be the first winners of the Promoting Dignity and Respect Award and Care Business of the Year.

We were named as a finalist for the Employer of the Year  award at the Cheshire Business Awards in 2014.

     

We also were a finalist for the  Customer Champion Award in 2015  and have won two Gold Mayors Awards

                                                                     

We are proud to sign up to the Social Care Commitment pledge every year

 And we also undertake the Dementia Pledge and are active members of the Dementia Action Alliance having spearheaded a Make Shrewsbury Dementia Friendly Campaign to raise awareness and understanding of  how the condition effects people and how to make  services and transport more accessible.

                                                                                                                     

If you are considering a career in care then you have come to the right place.

Carer and client laughing

 

We  have put together information on our Careers pages of this website so that you can find out more about what the role of a carer is really like and read some of our own teams stories of how they joined Radfield Home Care, their experiences of working as home carers and progressing with the company.

If you feel that you have what it takes to join our team then we would love to hear from you. You can complete the form online  by clicking here  or you can contact the branch directly to have a chat and ask any questions that you may have.

 

We hope we will be welcoming you to Radfield Home Care Cheshire very soon.....

Monday, 02 October 2017 23:50

Careers

If you are considering a career in care then you have come to the right place.

Elderly Client and Home Carer

We have put together information on our  Careers pages  of this website so that you can find out more about what the role of a carer is really like and read some of our own teams stories of how they joined Radfield Home Care, their experiences of working as home carers and progressing with the company.

If you feel that you have what it takes to join our team then we would love to hear from you. You can complete the form online  by  clicking here     or you can  contact the  branch directly  to have a chat and ask any questions that you may have.

We hope we will be welcoming you to our Radfield Home Care Liverpool North branch  very soon.

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