6/29/17

handling household repairs; part 2: resources


As we discussed in Part 1, it’s a good idea, whether you choose to tackle household repairs and maintenance yourself, or hire someone, to become as informed as possible about the problem.

Here are some websites you might find helpful:

http://www.hometime.com/: based on the PBS TV series Hometime, this site offers a video library as well as an archive of how-to-articles from experts.

http://www.diynetwork.com/: based on the TV cable channel DIY Network, this site also provides advice from experts on various home improvement and maintenance projects.

http://www.ehow.com/: Go to their How-To/Home & Garden/ Home Repair & Maintenance page for tips on how to fix household problems.

You might also look at these reference books at your local library or bookstore:

Readers’ Digest 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints and Tips by Readers’ Digest

Black & Decker The Complete Photo Guide to Homeowner Basics by Jodie Carter & Matthew Palmer


Discovered more sites and/or books? Please let us know!

6/26/17

handling household repairs; part 1: dealing with fixing things around the house


If your late partner used to handle household repairs, you may feel clueless about coping with these situations.

You may choose to learn new skills yourself or get assistance such as:

1) Asking a trusted relative, friend or neighbor for referrals.

2) Joining an online referral service like Angie’s List.

CAUTION: Hiring anyone who leaves flyers or is just a listing in local newspapers or a supermarket bulletin board can be risky. With any worker or service person you don’t know, insist on references BEFORE allowing the person into your home. Be certain to contact the references and if possible, check online reviews such as Yelp.com.

If you do decide to tackle a minor replacement or repair, consider the following:

1) If possible, always bring the part that is broken into the hardware store or service center. This saves time spent trying to otherwise explain the problem to the clerk.

2) There are many helpful online sites that will take you step-by-step through repair processes. Your local library is another good resource of “how to” books.

3) Look into taking a “how to” class at your local home and garden center or community center. Even if you decide to hire someone to do the actual repair, you’ll be a more informed customer, which will help protect against unnecessary and/or costly work.

Remember to take your time and try to be patient with yourself. Think of a skill you already have. How much trial and error occurred before you mastered that one?

In Part 2, we’ll offer some resources to help you acquire new repair skills.

6/8/17

surviving space-outs; part 2




In our previous post, we looked at the frustrating, but normal symptoms of forgetfulness and disorientation that follow experiencing the death of a spouse/partner.

Here are 7 useful tips for dealing with these symptoms:

1) Give yourself permission to not be your usual self for the time being.

2) If you find you’ve lost track of something, stop, take three deep breaths and mentally (or physically) retrace your steps.

3) Write down or note on your smartphone anything you need to remember, especially appointments, as soon as possible.

4) Set up various “information centers” in highly visible places, such as your computer or the refrigerator, where you can place reminders to yourself.

5) Put reminders or important information on color-coded sticky notes that you leave on your information centers. Remove them when each task is completed.

6) Keep extra sets of keys at your information centers.

7) When first scheduling an appointment, request a telephone or electronic reminder.

Keep in mind that these symptoms are temporary and even the most conscientious people become forget and disoriented after suffering a major loss.

So be patient with yourself.

And give it time.

6/5/17

surviving space-outs; part 1


This post is about…uh…wait a minute, it’ll come to me…I had it right on the tip of my…oh, yeah - how to survive those times when you can’t remember where you left something or where you intended to go or when you last ate something.

No, this post isn’t about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.

It’s about some of the normal symptoms that occur if your spouse/partner has recently died.

Whether it’s misplacing your keys.

Or suddenly realizing you’ve driven to some place you never intended to go.

Being forgetful, absentminded and disoriented are common reactions to the intensity of experiencing a major loss. Even with an expected loss, there’s always some shock to your system, because nobody can really predict how they’ll be affected by a death.

With most deaths, especially unexpected ones, your whole world is often thrown into chaos. In addition to the assault on your thoughts and emotions, there’s also the disruptions in your usual sleeping and eating habits as well as your ability to concentrate.

Try not to panic. Assure yourself and others that memory and concentration problems are temporary symptoms of having lost your partner.

In our next post, we’ll offer some practical techniques for surviving this period.