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The practical side of living alone

(104 Posts)
hillwalker70 Thu 23-Jan-20 13:47:53

How do those of you who live alone manage heavy jobs that need doing. I am finding moving even 60 litres of compost/manure or topsoil more difficult now, I used to manage 100 litre bags, I sort of walk them from the car boot to where required but lifting is hard. I can clean downstairs windows but dislike going up a ladder for top windows and gutter clearing. I can manage the bins ok, they go down to the bottom of the lane and saw up small logs and chop kindling but larger logs just finish me off. Turning the mattress is another difficult one. Any tips anyone please. In my seventies and fairly fit but loosing strength.

tanith Thu 23-Jan-20 13:59:46

I had trouble lifting 20 litre bags of topsoil and my mattress luckily just needs swivelling round which I can manage, i do have a window cleaner and am lucky that have big strong Grandsons who would willingly help but I try not to ask them. Do you have a neighbour or friend you could ask? Usually people are willing to help as long as it’s just occasionally.

Newquay Thu 23-Jan-20 14:02:12

Well, for a start, stop going up ladders! Lol! Keep your mobile on your person, switched on, not on mute and charged up in case you need help. I’m going to invest in a “buddi “ worn like a watch which sets off alerts if you have a fall.
Friends on their own I know, keep a running list of jobs that need help so when friends come they can help.
An lady I knew was told to leave heavy bags in garden but, oh no, had to do it. She tore a muscle in her shoulder and, even after surgery, was never free of pain.
Don’t take any risks and ask for help would be my advice

MerylStreep Thu 23-Jan-20 14:02:42

For a start I'd buy smaller bags of compost.
Do you have a window cleaner? ask him to do the gutters.
I would buy logs cut to size.

DoraMarr Thu 23-Jan-20 14:04:44

Before I moved I had to ask family members and friends for help, and paid people- a gardener, handyman, window cleaner etc. Anticipating being unable-or unwilling-do this in the future, I sold up and moved to an apartment. Window cleaning is included in the management fees, and I don’t have to worry about gutters, replacing the roof etc. I have a balcony, and grow flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, peas and herbs. I buy small bags of compost and supplement with used coffee grounds from the cafe. I use my grandchildren’s buggy as a trolley to get the compost from the supermarket opposite or from my car. I have a mattress that doesn’t need flipping:
but I do turn it a couple of times a year- slowly, and usually with help.
I’m fortunate to live next door to a beautiful park, so I don’t miss my garden, but then I was never a keen gardener anyway.
All I can advise is that you ask around and check local adverts for a handyman who would be willing to do tasks you find difficult. Ageuk in some areas offers a handyman service:
Best wishes!

Happygirl79 Thu 23-Jan-20 14:59:58

I am 66 and still in good health but I do know that I am not quite as strong as I used to be
I employ a gardener and window cleaner. I am living on a limited income and have very little savings but I budget for these things. I do not buy any convenience foods and cook everything from fresh which saves me money. After all I do have the time to do this for myself
If something is too heavy then I will have it delivered
Make your life as easy as possible and enjoy your time

vissos Thu 23-Jan-20 15:14:38

I have a friend of a friend who does odd jobs & favours. He's about 10 years older than me but much fitter. I save jobs up till it's worth calling him. Waiting for my next foster dog to arrive so I can call him to put up the new bird feeder & bath - he's always keen to meet a new foster.

MissAdventure Thu 23-Jan-20 15:18:08

I agree, it's a problem doing the heavier jobs, unless you've some strong, available friends.

My mattress was nearly tipping me out onto the floor before I asked my friend to help me turn it, and even then we couldn't manage and had to just rotate it.

wildswan16 Thu 23-Jan-20 15:49:41

How do people manage?

I think we have to admit that "age doesn't come alone". It happens gradually but eventually becomes obvious even to ourselves that we cannot pull the freezer from one side of the kitchen to the other, or paint the staircase ceiling.

We just need to buy smaller bags of compost (even though that probably means they cost more), because if we don't we are in danger of doing ourselves some physical damage which would REALLY make things difficult.

craftyone Thu 23-Jan-20 15:59:53

I have always done this with any heavy bag of soil. I got a car with a boot floor level with the back bumper and roll it into a 2 wheeled barrow, then I move and tip it wherever needed. My next car must have a similar boot, so I can move very heavy things

Re heavy furniture, I usually manage by walking the item. When moving I bought `sliders` and they definitely make the job easier. If I need to get rid of something big, then I take it apart

The biggest item I managed to lift myself recently was a 42" tv, onto a low tv table. That really was at my limit as I am 4`11 and 72. I must use my hand weights more often, to keep muscles strong

FlexibleFriend Thu 23-Jan-20 16:14:01

Since becoming feeble through disability I rely on my two sons to do heavy jobs for me, they do it willingly as they know how frustrated I get at being unable to do it myself. In fact it's not just heavy jobs, they both had a go at changing a light in the bathroom, the eldest gave up but his brother refused to be beat and eventually managed to undo it at the second attempt. I can't change the bed alone either as tucking the sheet under the mattress is impossible for me so one of them does that part and I do the rest. I'd be lost without them and they know how much I appreciate them.

hillwalker70 Thu 23-Jan-20 16:38:20

Thanks for replies and agree, it is very frustrating loosing strength when have always done absolutely everything. Agree smaller bags of compost are easier but not cost effective. I need 3 bags of pea gravel for a path I am laying but will have to get it delivered thus incurring a charge, but it’s a must. My mattress just needs swivelling but I have a footboard on the bed, a divan would be ok, I shall ask a friend to help. I just hate asking, makes me feel silly and useless. My Mum dug her veg bed until she was 80, I want to do the same.

MissAdventure Thu 23-Jan-20 16:42:36

I can't even use my drill anymore.
Holding the weight of it with an outstretched arm makes my back ache, let alone doing it whilst up a ladder.

Dec46 Thu 23-Jan-20 16:53:37

Asking for help isn't silly. I now realise I have been doing stupid things most of my life rather than ask for help and could have injured myself because of pride.I remember trying to carry a large armchair upstairs and getting stuck with it halfway up.Fortunately I did manage in the end but never again will I try.
I have a lifting trolley which I use in the garden but do buy smaller bags of Compost etc. I find Staff in most DIY stores very helpful lifting things into my car.
I have sometimes paid my neighbours gardener to help with small tasks that I find difficult.

Hetty58 Thu 23-Jan-20 17:03:08

I do things in stages now. I used to clean all the windows or hoover the whole house in a day.

Now (due to my back injury) I'll clean one window or hoover one room - then stop.

I carry things like compost or potatoes in little bags and several trips. Going up ladders to do the gutters is becoming a challenge but I can manage it on a good day!

There's a list on the mantlepiece for next time a fit adult friend or child visits. Furniture needs moving and my mattress needs turning - but those things are never urgent.

MawB Thu 23-Jan-20 17:06:18

Oh dear - I get a man in!

Callistemon Thu 23-Jan-20 17:50:48

I never turn the mattress these days.

It has a layer on top of wool and silk so that would be underneath if it was turned.
We have a window cleaner.

harrigran Thu 23-Jan-20 17:54:28

We bought a mattress that does not need turning, king size ones are very awkward to move, we also had them carry it upstairs and put it on the bed and take the old one away.

notanan2 Thu 23-Jan-20 17:57:45

Have a look to see if theres a "good gym" in your area.

Its groups that do heavy manual work for free as a form of exercise and socialisation. They do exactly the sort of work youve mentioned.

notanan2 Thu 23-Jan-20 18:00:20

My local one seems to do a lot of garden work for people

dragonfly46 Thu 23-Jan-20 18:08:15

Yes I get a man in although I have one at home! A man in his 40’s is worth 3 of one in his 70’s.

MissAdventure Thu 23-Jan-20 18:36:12

Its finding a good man cheap! for a good price though.
It can be fraught with aggravation.
I once found a nice older man to do a tiny bit of tiling, then spent the next 3 years having to pretend to be out when he knocked to declare that he just wanted to "look after me and the little 'un" and to see if he could take us out for the day.

craftyone Thu 23-Jan-20 18:39:34

what make of mattress does not need turning? Mine will defeat me soon, hypnos and only single but very heavy. Supposed to be 4 x a year but I am down to 2 x a year

Callistemon Thu 23-Jan-20 18:42:40

I've forgotten, only bought it last year but it has a stitched on topping, a fairly thick layer.
It wasn't cheap!

I'm not going to swivel it round because my head will then be where DH's feet were!

MerylStreep Thu 23-Jan-20 18:47:58

Same here. Ours is all sorts of layers from the top down.
I knew it would be the last one we bought so it was going to be a good one. Your right, they're not cheap.