13 Products and Services for Doing Chores With Chronic Fatigue
With fewer spoons to work and do chores, many people with chronic fatigue can’t afford housekeeping services, nor the time and energy to maintain a healthy home environment via elbow grease. If you fall into this camp, or know someone who does, here are a few products and services that help me complete tasks around the home in a cost-effective and independent manner.
1.Robotic vacuum and mop
I was gifted a Roborock Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner for my birthday. Game. Changer. I have significant allergies to dust and dust mites, severe asthma and narcolepsy. Using a hand-vacuum myself kicks up a ton of allergens which triggers my asthma, and it’s so tiring I can only muster it once per week. At that rate, my nose remains stuffed and I wheeze at night.
This nifty bot vacuumed under the media console, around doors, and even over cords while my partner and I watched a movie. The robot finished our five-room apartment in under half an hour. At the end, it produces a map of your home. I was blown away by the level of detail its LIDAR picked up.
I woke up the next day able to breathe through my nose for the first time in years. If you have chronic fatigue, MS, narcolepsy, depression, or any other disability with intense fatigue, please save up and get a robo-vac. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and the only regret you’ll have is not getting one sooner.
2. Cordless telescoping automatic scrubber
If you have chronic fatigue, there’s a good chance your shower hasn’t been cleaned in far too long. Enter the cordless telescoping automatic scrubber. Simply charge it, then bring it in the shower with you and give the walls and tub a once-over. Use it on the grout between tiles, your stovetop, and pots and pans. You’ll never spend a day recovering from scrubbing the tub again.
3. Wrinkle-resistant clothing
Ponte knits are your friend. Wool, polyester, spandex, specially treated cotton… get to know which fabrics wrinkle and which do not. That way, if your laundry sits in the dryer because you need a nap or piles up for a while, you don’t have to iron anything. Even using a hand-steamer can be exhausting.
Tody is an app that tracks what chores are due. It’s customizable and you can determine the interval at which you, say, want to wipe the counters or scrub the toaster. Aha! another great opportunity to use the cordless telescoping automatic scrubber. In turn, you can set manageable goals and do a little each day, so you don’t get too tired. Reminders to put one article of clothing away per day can help you better keep pace with your rate of wear. Wiping one section of counter every other day is much less tiring than tackling the whole project on a weekend. The app even helps you remember seasonal chores like cleaning the gutters or trashcans.
5. Delivered groceries
Getting groceries delivered is one of the best things I’ve done for my health. If you’re still trekking the produce aisles yourself, this one is an easy decision. The cost is minimal and it’s such a relief to know you’ll definitely be getting fresh food whether you have a flare-up or not.
6. Electric razor
We’re coming into an age where comfort with body hair is increasing. However, shaving still feels nice or is more appropriate in certain settings. I highly recommend investing in a wet/dry rechargeable electric shaver. I get so tired by the time I’m done taking a shower that shaving really isn’t an option. However, once I’ve recuperated, being able to sit at the edge of my tub and shave without water is such a luxury. It takes much less time and much less energy. My electric razor has really made shaving accessible for me again.
A healthy diet is so important with a disability, but getting vegetables ready to eat can be a labor-intensive process. I buy bulk bags of frozen vegetables and pop some in a food steamer for a quick and healthy bite.
8. Slow cooker
One of my favorite ways to cook is using a slow cooker because I can make a meal in just ten minutes. Breakfast casseroles, oatmeal with baked peaches, potpies, and soups chock-full of colorful veggies and rice are all within reach. When your energy is low and you’re tired of easy-to-grab cereal, raisins, and nuts, you have a hot and delicious meal waiting for you.
9. Baby powder
I’ll let you in on a little secret. “Dry shampoo” is just baby powder in an unnecessary and way-overpriced aerosol can. I’ve used it plenty of times when I’m too tired to shower. Just remember that less is more and to brush it in.
10. Electric toothbrush
Toothbrushes, toothbrushes galore, is the best solution I have to the hygiene problems caused by chronic fatigue. I keep one in my nightstand that I use dry if needed because it’s better than nothing. I have an electric toothbrush in the bathroom. I have a re-usable long-handled flosser. I keep a toothbrush by the TV. When a toothbrush is always within reach, it’s relatively easy to clean at least some of your teeth, even with very high fatigue levels. I’ve given a hands-free toothbrushing and whitening device a try, and would not recommend it because the scrubbing is pretty non-existent, though it would be better than nothing. However, perhaps when the technology improves in the future, such a device would be a better option.
Voxist is an app that translates your voicemails into text. With all the appointments I deal with, I love Voxist because I can easily scan to see which voicemails require a response and ignore telemarketing and duplicate calls.
12. Automatic self-cleaning kitty litter box
Many people with chronic fatigue have emotional support animals or service animals. If you own a cat, getting an automatic self-cleaning kitty litter box can cut down on exhaustion from cleaning up after Mr. or Mrs. Grumpypants.
13. Automatic blinds
Getting up in the morning can be slow and difficult, if not impossible, with chronic fatigue. Give yourself a jump-start with automatic blinds. Wake up and say “good morning” to your smart device and watch as the windows open and let sunlight ease your transition to wakefulness. Another option is an alarm clock that uses light to mimic a sunrise.
Getty image by Hakin Mahan.