My Cozy Family

Parenting Special Teens & Adults

Month: May 2017

What Will Happen to My Special Needs Children When I Get Old?

caring disabled adult child

Staying healthy is essential to caring for a disabled adult child.

Caring for Your Disabled Adult Child into Your Old Age

I recently had lunch with my friend, Sarah, whose teenage son has CHARGE syndrome. We were talking about our children’s futures as we parents age. I have only ever met one special needs parent who did not worry about this, and that was because she expected her daughter to die in early adulthood. For those of us whose children can look forward to a normal life span, it is a scary proposition as we consider them facing life without us.

Moving Out: A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with DisabilitiesMoving Out: A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities

As a special needs mom, do you worry what will happen to your child when you can no longer take care of her?

Sarah inspired me when she shared her strategy. She told me, “I decided I need to remain alive as long as I can for him. So, I determined to always make the healthy choice.” She went on to describe that in every activity, every meal, whenever she has a choice, she makes the healthy choice.

I adapted that for myself, and I tell myself, “This time, I will make the healthy choice.” It is overwhelming to think of never enjoying a hot fudge sundae or always having a salad instead of pasta. But, THIS TIME I will make the healthy choice for my kids.

It really works! Try it!

caring-disabled-adult-child

Will you make the choice today to stay healthy so you can grow old caring for your disabled adult child?

I can choose to be a healthy senior or a run-down old woman.

How long I stay healthy and vigorous is to some degree up to me, and depends on the habits I am forming now. My 79 year old mother lost considerable weight when she was 60, and switched to a vegan diet in her 70s. I am not sure I could eat a plant-based diet, but she is on no medications at her age, and I think that is pretty remarkable!

There are a lot of things about getting older we can’t control. But, there are things that we can do to avoid being decrepit for as long as possible, and I think my friend is right when she says we have a responsibility to our children to do as much as we can to stay strong and healthy. I know when or if I get too far gone to take care of my girls, it is going to be rough. No matter how good the group home, no one is going to love my children as much as I do. It is not going to be as good for them as my home has been.

caring-disabled-adult-child

Our special needs children are going to need us to stay healthy as long as possible.

Can I Start Eating Healthy?

I want to eat healthy!

I am the first to admit, I have deplorable eating habits. I am a stress eater, and I have plenty of stress pushing me to eat. I love chocolate, bagels with lots of butter, and I drink too much beer. I am almost 100 lbs. overweight, which I don’t do enough to get rid of. I am certainly no role model. Nor should I be lecturing anyone on taking care of themselves, because I am the WORST!

This is a struggle many of us share, though, isn’t it? Don’t you think so? As women, as mothers, and especially as mothers of children who have special needs. Our caregiving role is stressful and isolating. It makes it hard to get out of the house to shop for healthy food, and it is hard for us to find the time to exercise, even if we could get out of the house to do so.

Sarah’s strategy of making the healthy choice works for me. I may not be able to commit to a gym membership or a yoga class right now, but today I can make the healthy choice to go for a walk or spend an hour gardening.

I decided to make two healthy changes in my diet. One was to stop drinking soda, juice or beer and replace it with ice water or tea. Sometimes it is a struggle. I really want that beer at the end of a stressful day! But, the soda and juice have been easy to replace. It doesn’t mean I can never have anything sweet to drink, it’s just this one time! Okay, I do let myself have a beer now and then, but not everyday.

caring-disabled-adult-child

Making healthy choices when caring for a disabled adult child. Replace the beer with water. LOL

I want to eat healthier!

I have a couple of strategies to help me get healthier foods. I signed up for Green Bean Delivery. They deliver healthy produce and groceries to my house on a weekly basis. This has been helpful at times when it was hard to leave the house, because I can get everything I need delivered for free. They also let me select the items I want, which I appreciate. I only buy what my family will eat.

Having the bin delivered has helped me increase the amount of fruits and vegetables I am consuming. It also makes it less likely I will give in and order a pizza delivery. It is easy to throw a meal together with some fish, a couple of vegetables and maybe some rice or a potato. For a snack, I grab a piece of fruit instead of a granola bar.

I also take advantage of the curbside service at Kroger. I can order my groceries online, set an appointment to pick them up, and they will bring them out to my car. It is a whole lot easier than trying to make it through the grocery store with my two girls! Shopping online makes it easy for me to plan healthier meals instead of grabbing the frozen pot pies out of desperation.

Finally, my husband and I enjoy vegetable gardening. and our family has fun visiting farmer’s markets in the summertime. We bought a small freezer to store our extra produce in. We fill it up in the summer, and eat from it all winter.

caring-disabled-adult-child

Healthy food choices when caring for a disabled adult child.

What about exercise?

I admit this is where I am falling short. I spend a lot of time at my desk blogging, or on the phone with doctors, schools, and so forth. I think I can’t find time to exercise, but the truth is I am lazy. It is something I put off.

I have a park near my home, and I always tell myself that I will start taking a walk around the park once a day; but, I never do. Maybe the key is going to be telling myself I will make that healthy choice today!

I also want to try the exercise programs on my Amazon Fire TV. I can get Youtube exercise videos through the Fire also. I just don’t do it. And, I should. I need to make that healthy choice, don’t I?

caring-disabled-adult-child

Make the healthy choice to get some exercise today! It’s an important part of caring for a disabled adult child.

I don’t have a FitBit yet, but I have it on my wishlist. I think having one of these devices on my wrist would inspire me when it comes to stepping up my exercise from day to day. Maybe my family will get me one for Mother’s Day, which is coming up on Sunday. Hint, hint, Family!! LOL

Fitbit Flex 2, BlackFitbit Flex 2, Black

These are cool! I also like that you can get different covers for it, to glam it up and match your outfit. Too cute!!

What about you? Are you making healthy choices when it comes to diet and exercise?

caring disabled adult child

Will you join me in making healthier choices for yourself?  Do you think the strategy of making the healthy choice this time would work for you? What is one thing you could change today that would help your health and longevity?

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10 Ways Amazon Dot Can Help Special Needs Moms Get Organized

ways-help-you-remember

Ways to Help a Special Needs Mom Remember Things

Can an Amazon Echo Dot help Special Needs Moms Get Organized?

Yes! I think using an Amazon Echo or Dot can help us special needs moms get organized. Our family just bought an Amazon Dot last week. I am already so hooked! It is already helping me remember things, and fewer important stuff is falling through the cracks of my busy life.

Last Monday I went to my friend, Katie’s house to pick up some things she had for my grandson. Katie is raising her son, who has ONH, as a single mom. She showed me her Amazon Echo, and said it is not only fun, but helpful to her in a lot of ways as the mom of a child with special needs. It helps her stay organized, keeping track of all the little details of her life, and she also plays music for her son on the Echo. Her little boy is reluctant to talk, and having the Echo in their house has encouraged him to speak up, making requests of Alexa for things he wants to hear her say.

The next day I started researching the Echo to see if it would help me enough to be worth the investment, that it really could help special needs moms get organized. I knew I wanted to use it for keeping track of my to do list and my calendar. We planned to sync it with our Amazon Fire TV for watching movies. I also thought our kids would enjoy listening to music (turns out I use this feature more than they do). We thought it would be a good investment, but this month my money is tight, so I decided to put off the purchase.

Then, I discovered the Amazon Dot!  It does everything the Echo does. The only difference is that the Echo has a better built-in speaker.  That feature was not as important to me. I am more interested in Alexa’s practical uses than her entertainment value. The Dot is about one-third the price of the Echo. I was sold, and immediately placed my order for the Amazon Dot!

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - WhiteEcho Dot (2nd Generation) – White

My Dot arrived five days ago. I spent a few hours this weekend learning how to use her and downloading some of the apps I want to use with her. I say her, because the device uses a female voice that goes by the name, Alexa. If you already have an Alexa in your family, you can switch her name to Amazon.

A Few Features of the Amazon Dot Helping Me Organize My Life as a Special Needs Mom

Here are some of the features I am using with my Amazon Dot so far:

  • Keeping track of my to-do list. I can tell Alexa to add something to my to-do list, and she does it. I can then access the list on my phone through the Alexa App.
  • Keeping track of my shopping list. She will add items to my shopping list, which I can access on my phone when I am at the store.
  • Keeping track of my calendar. I just ask Alexa to add an event and she will record it on my calendar. I can ask her for events coming up, or ask her to remind me what events I have on any given day.
  • Weather report. While getting the kids ready for school, I can ask Alexa for the weather report. I don’t have to pause in my routine to look it up online, or wait for it to be announced on the tv or radio. I can get it exactly when I need it, and be sure that I am sending them off dressed appropriately for the day.
  • Leave messages for family members. I can leave messages for them with Alexa, and they can retrieve them when they get home.

Throughout the weekend, I added items to my to-do list and my shopping list as I thought of them. On Monday, when I ran my errands, everything was right there on the Alexa app. I just referred to that as I went along. By the end I had everything crossed off both lists! I could tell Alexa as I remembered them, and didn’t have to hunt down my paper list. When I got ready to use the list, it was right there on my phone. So handy! Perfect for helping special needs moms get organized!

special needs moms get organized

The Amazon Dot helps special needs moms get organized.

A Blind Mom Demonstrates How She Uses Amazon Echo

Do you think this would help special needs moms get organized too? I definitely do!

Joy Ross is a blind mother who has a You Tube channel. In this video she demonstrated her Amazon Echo. Keep in mind that the Dot is just like the Echo, only smaller and cheaper. It can do all of the same things the Echo can do.

 

Future Plans for My Amazon Dot

This special needs mom is getting organized!

One of my goals for this week is to connect my Dot with my Amazon Fire TV. I am hoping it will be possible for people in my family to use their voice to select a movie or show from the Fire TV.

I also need to teach Alexa to understand my husband’s speech. He has both an accent and a speech impairment. This results in her not being able to understand him; however, I understand there is a system you can go through to teach Alexa to understand you if you have unusual speech patterns. After we do this exercise, I will report back. I realize this is important to anyone whose speech could be difficult to understand. Hopefully, this works well.

When I need to repeat an order from Amazon, I can just ask Alexa to order it for me. For example, if I notice I am close to running out of diapers I can say, “Alexa, order Prevail Overnight Diapers.” She will then give me specifics about the order, including the price, and ask me if I want to order that. If that is the item I want, I will say yes and she will place the order for me.

special needs moms get organized

Amazon Dot helps special needs moms get organized.

I tried to use Alexa to order a pizza from Domino’s last night. She didn’t know what to do. There is a way to do this, so I need to fix this. I think I probably need to link her to my Domino’s account.

Alexa will read Audible books to you, but I don’t have an Audible account. I understand she will also read books from your Kindle account, which I do have. I haven’t figured out how to get her to do this yet. So, that is another thing I need to set up.

Do you ever put things away and then forget where they are? Alexa will tell you where you put stuff! Just tell her when you put it up, and if you later forget where you put it, just ask her where it is.

Alexa can remind you when it is time to take medicine, administer a breathing treatment or do other tasks. She can remind you to do almost anything!

The future of our Amazon Dot

It sounds kind of like Alexa isn’t streamlining my life as much as she is giving me more to do. But, I assure you, this is not the case. I am already benefiting from Alexa’s productivity skills. In addition to the ones I have already been using, the Dot can set timers and alarms. If you have AT&T, she can send text messages for you. She can track a UPS package or tell you the nearest UPS location.

New apps are being created all the time that enable Alexa to have new skills. I foresee this device becoming increasingly useful over time.

My husband and I plan to get another Amazon Dot for our daughter, who is blind. She will use hers differently than I use mine, but it will be as much of value to her as mine is to me. As a young blind woman, I think she will really appreciate the hands-free features of this device.

Organization for Special Needs Moms

Let’s help special needs moms get organized!

Do you have an Amazon Dot or Echo? Has it helped you get organized?  Do you plan to get one? How do you think you would use it?

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The Best Leak Proof Adult Diapers

 

 leak proof adult diapers

Have you been searching for the best leak proof adult diapers? It has been trial and error for us to find adult diapers that don’t leak. There isn’t much point in using a diaper if the fluid it is supposed to contain ends up running out. I have found several brands that work well for us, and I wanted to share this with my readers because I know these are the kinds of details we need but aren’t often discussed either online or in real life.

leak proof adult diapers

Stop those leaks!

The Best Leak Proof Adult Diapers

Prevail Diapers for Adults Work Best for Us!

 

Prevail Overnight Absorbency Incontinence Underwear for Women, Large, 16 Count (Pack of 4)Prevail Overnight Absorbency Incontinence Underwear for Women, Large, 16 Count (Pack of 4)

The Prevail Overnight Diapers are our favorites. They seem to be the most absorbent diapers for adults. I order these through Amazon’s subscription service and they arrive on my doorstep once a month without me having to think about it. This convenience is so valuable to me as a special needs mom! This ensures that I always have diapers on hand and never have to worry about running out.

My Prevail Diapers Review

My daughter started out wearing Prevail Overnight adult diapers only at nighttime. Well, they are overnight diapers, after all! She was wearing Always adult diapers during the day; but, her teacher complained that she was having a lot of leaks. Often she would show up at school already soaking wet. Sometimes she would wet two pairs of pants per school day and come home with a third pair on, and sometimes they would be wet too by the time she made it home on the school bus!

Meanwhile, one day I ran out of Always diapers before the delivery date (I was getting them on the subscription service too), so I put a Prevails Overnight diaper on my daughter before school, and put a few extra in her backpack. She came home in the same pants she had worn to school.

A couple of days later, the Always were delivered, so we switched back to them during the day. That afternoon I got a note from the teacher asking if we could please go back to the overnight diapers, as the daytime diapers leaked too much.

The Prevails do a great job of keeping my daughter dry all night. They seem to be comfortable for her too. Sometimes she will undress during the night, but she usually keeps these diapers on better than any other brand.

leak proof adult diapers

Prevail Adult Diapers: The Best Leak Proof Adult Diapers!

Where to Buy Prevail Diapers

I buy Prevail diapers from Amazon. I have ours on subscription, so they come automatically once a month. Subscribing gives me a discount as well. But, even if I didn’t get the discount, the convenience of not having to remember to order more diapers is worth it to me. I use the subscription service for all kinds of things now, but it all got started with the adult diapers I needed for my special needs daughter.

I have looked for these diapers at both Walgreen’s and CVS, and have not seen them there. They don’t seem to have them at our stores. I am not sure if they are available at other stores, like Walmart or Target. I order mine through Amazon and that works best for me. If you have seen them sold in a brick and mortar store, please let us know in the comments, so we can help each other out!

Will Medicaid Pay for Diapers?

The answer is a definite maybe! My daughter who needs adult diapers is not on Medicaid at this time, and the one who is on a waiver doesn’t require incontinence products. My understanding is that your support broker will have to write it into your son or daughter’s care plan, or your doctor will need to write a prescription. Please don’t take my word for it! I have not tried personally to get Medicaid to pay for adult diapers.

The Prevail website has the information you need to pursue this. I definitely believe it is worth pursuing. It will save you a lot of money over the years, if your loved one is using incontinence products. Some states will even cover wipes and gloves!

You can get more information at the National Association for Continence website.  They also have lots of other useful information to help you and your child manage their urinary and bowel habits.

leak-proof-adult-diapers

Does Medicaid pay for diapers? Yes, maybe!

Another Brand of Overnight Diapers We Like

Depend Night Defense for Women Review

If I cannot get Prevail for some reason, or if we run out a few days before our delivery is due, I will pick up a package of Depend Night Defense for Women. This brand also works well, and will get our daughter through the night with no leaks.

The main reason it is a second choice is because my daughter sometimes takes this diaper off during the night. When she does, she doesn’t put a fresh diaper on. So, we usually wake up to a mess if this happens. I have no idea why she takes off the Depend diaper more frequently than the Prevail diaper; but, my guess is that the Prevail feels more comfortable to her. I can’t think of another reason why she would do this. If you can think of something, please let me know in the comments! It might help us solve a mystery about our daughter that she cannot communicate to us.

leak proof adult diapers

Depend Night Defense is one of the best leak proof adult diapers.

The Depend brand tends to be more expensive than the Prevail, which is a serious consideration if you have someone in adult diapers around the clock like we do.  I usually buy them at CVS with store coupons and Extra Care Bucks, so that helps.  Sometimes CVS has a deal where you can buy 2 boxes and get the 3rd box free. That helps a lot too.

The small/medium is a better deal on Amazon than the large size on the day I am writing this post, so here’s the link if you want to check it out:

Depend Night Defense Incontinence Overnight Underwear for Women, S/M, Packaging May VaryDepend Night Defense Incontinence Overnight Underwear for Women, S/M, Packaging May Vary

You can also subscribe to this size, which as I mentioned before I find terribly convenient. I am all about the subscription service which saves me both time and mental energy, something that is often on short supply in my life these days!

If you would like to try  it, you can get a free sample of Depend Night Defense here!

I hope you enjoyed my adult overnight diaper reviews. I wish I had a daytime adult diaper to recommend to you; but, for stopping leaks, if you are like us, you will need an overnight diaper. I’ll review daytime diapers in my next post. In the meantime, here are my tips for avoiding diaper leaks!

Sizing Adult Diapers

Make sure you get the right size overnight adult diapers!

When shopping for disposable adult diapers, here are a few things to keep in mind to be sure you get the right fit. Proper sizing seems to be one to key to  getting diapers that don’t leak.

One thing I have discovered about adult diapers is that they run small. Our daughter wears a size 16 girls pants. She is 4’10” tall and weighs 115 lbs. According to the sizing charts on the diaper packages, she should wear a small or medium in the adult disposable diapers; however, we have found that this size does not give her enough coverage. So, we buy the large size for her, and this has minimized our problems with leakage.

I wear a size 2X in pants, or size 9 in women’s underpants. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the packages of disposable adult diapers I bought for my daughter are marked that they would fit me. I haven’t tried them on, much less tried to urinate in them. Maybe I will do that test in the future and write up a review. That would certainly be an interesting blog post! Check back later, as I might get brave enough to do it! LOL

In the meantime, if you are looking for leak proof adult diapers, try going up a size or two and see if that helps. It worked for us!

leak proof adult diapers

Make sure you get the right size diapers to prevent leaks!

Stopping Adult Diaper Leakage

Helpful Hints & Tips!

Obviously there is no such thing as completely leak proof adult diapers. Even the best diaper will leak under the right circumstances. Here are some of my tips for preventing your loved one’s diaper from leaking.

    1. When you put the diaper on, make sure the person’s butt crack is covered with the diaper padding. Our girl is pretty active, and the absorbent part of the diaper will often slip over to one side. If this happens, the diaper is going to leak. So, check it from time to time to make sure everything is properly covered.
    2. You are also going to need to watch out for the tell-tale bulge that tells you the diaper is saturated. If a big kid or adult sits on that bulge, it’s going to be a lot like squeezing a sponge. Fluid is going to squirt out and wet the pants and whatever she is sitting on. So watch out for that!
    3. The brand you buy makes a difference. We have found that some brands definitely hold more urine than others. That’s the trial and error part, at least it has been for us. Hopefully, by sharing our experiences, we can cut down on your own experimentation and help you find the leak proof adult diapers that you need.
leak proof adult diapers

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Thank you for coming by today to visit My Cozy Family! Please leave a comment and let me know if this post was helpful! Have you had any success in finding adult diapers that don’t leak? Which brand do you think are the best leak proof adult diapers? I would love to know your experience, and your feedback is sure to help other people!

Read about the challenges we have had toilet training our special needs teenager!

 

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