Injured caregiver seeking advice.

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On Easter Sunday I hurt my right hand. I thought I had broken it, but I did not. I had my hand and wrist x-rayed. The x-ray showed that I have very bad tendonitis in it, and my rheumatoid arthritis is worse. The ER nurse put a strange splint on my hand and it goes from my thumb and around the bottom part of my fingers all the way up my arm almost to my elbow. I'm instructed to keep this on for a week or longer.

Two of my three siblings know about my injury and they both told me that I can figure out how to take care of Mom and my needs. I am right handed by nature not left handed.

Can anyone please help me figure out how to do the dishes, laundry, folding the laundry and cooking with one hand? I'm not allowed to get this splint wet and I'm not allowed to use my right hand, even though I have too sometimes.

Also, if someone could give me some tips on how I can pull down Mom's open toed compression stockings and put on her socks with one hand, that would be great also. Mom had both of her knees replaced years ago and she is unable to bend her knees to do this herself.

Thank you all in advance.


Lyndee, I remember years ago when I damaged a hand and had to wear something that also went up the wrist, it was tough doing simple chores. What I decided was to put off doing all those chores until I was ready to use that hand. Yes, that meant eating TV dinners and/or picking up fast food.

For bathing I wrapped the splint in a plastic bag and taped it tightly shut so I could take a shower holding the splint arm up. I tried to bathe in the sink, forgetaboutit.

As for your Mom and her compression stockings, there isn't anything you can do unless you want to re-damage your right hand as those stockings are tough to put on. Could your Mom go without for awhile? Or maybe one of those siblings who said that you could figure it all out, could give you some suggestions or actually come over to help.
Well I'd adapt as best I could. Mom would do without compression stockings for the week - that's the hardest thing you've listed in my opinion. The other tasks can be done 1-handed, it will just take you longer and require a bit of ingenuity. Don't do laundry as often or do it in smaller batches.

Use smaller containers that you can lift with one hand while cooking and doing dishes. You could also put a garbage bag around your bad hand (to keep it dry) and use it for stability while handling dishes, etc.

Your siblings are certainly of no help! Do they live locally? I'd be ticked at them in a major way if this is all they're offering by way of help.

You could also look at getting help for a week if you can't manage on your own. Would your siblings pay for someone to come in to get mom dressed and dishes washed, etc? That's another option.
@fregflyer: No Mom can't go without wearing her open toed compression stockings. They are for her bad varicose veins. Her best friend puts them on her which is a good thing. What I'm getting at is before she goes to bed at night and before she gets out of bed in the mornings, she always needs her open toed compression stalkings pulled down (they bunch up above her ankles) and her special socks with grippers on the bottoms put back on her feet. How can I do these tasks with one hand?

@blannie: My brother lives a hour and a half away, he's the closest. The other sisters are further away. They have busy lives of their own and they don't have time for their mother or their youngest sister.

My siblings don't want to spend any of their money on us.

Your right though, my siblings are certainly of no help!!!
I know this is an old post, but I am the sole live-in caregiver for my dad. I injured my right hand, doing heavy duty indoor and outdoor tasks and it has to be in a splint for 4-6 weeks, and possible surgery after that. I'm afraid my other hand is likely to become injured too from the same kind of work, especially with having to do the work of the other hand. It is already weak from arthritis. He doesn't want help from anybody else, says he'll just do things, but of course that won't work...really scares me...
chandraclaws, isn't it amazing how our parents think we can still do things even when we are injured. Recently I had a broken shoulder that took months to heal and my parents still wanted me to drive them all over the place, even though the doctor told me no driving. Or to lift this or that when the weight of a loaf of bread was my limit.

I was hoping this would have been the eye opener to my parents that they needed to call outside help. Nope, they would wait until I was 100% heal and then go to all those doctor appointments, hair cuts, etc. Oh lucky me. They are still waiting.

Caregiving is not for the faint at heart, it is hard work and often a thankless and tiring job. For those who are lucky and fortunate enough to actually get paid real money for their compensation of duties is truly blessed. However, there are many of us who may only receive their thankfulness shown in their elderly parents' eyes or maybe a thank you given by them.

Due to my situation I endured during this past Easter, I had no other choice but to take my splint/brace off of my right hand and deal with Momma and her issues daily. Not everyone can do this. I wish you chandraclaws all the best of luck with your situation and I hope that your hand heals as well as I hope your Dad sees that you are in pain and that you too also needs help.
Hi Freqflyer, Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure why our parents are so against accepting help, even when it becomes clear that we are not able to physically take care of everything ourselves. I think with my Dad it's pride thing. He never asked anyone for help with anything, and taught us not to bother other people by asking for help. I hope you are actually able to recover completely and take good care of yourself.
Lyndee, Thanks for responding. It sounds like you have really given your all to your Momma and are a real blessing to her. I love my Dad very much. He has sacrificed so much for me, I just hope I'll be able to be what he needs from me now...with both hands :-)
chandrclaws, I was telling my rehab doctor my situation with my parents and he told me whenever I am at my parent's house, where my arm sling.... it's a visual that most people would understand. He was so right :)

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