I’ve been with my family in Maryland since Thursday. It was meant to be a happy trip to celebrate my and my mom’s birthdays, but in the last two weeks, my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that she can no longer even speak to us. We can’t tell if she knows who we are anymore. My heart is breaking, and all I know is that I want to be near her as much as I can this year.
Mostly my attitude this weekend’s been “screw the plastic.” Not for myself. I’m still refusing single use disposables for me. But when it comes to all the plastic necessary to take care of my mom (disposable diapers, wipes, medicine bottles, pads, creams, gloves, etc), I just can’t go there. It just doesn’t seem important in the scheme of things.
But then again, what if everyone with a sick loved one felt that way? Mountains of plastic trash are generated in home care, and those mountains are only going to get larger as the population ages. Are there less wasteful methods? Fortunately, My Plastic-free Life reader Ashely has thought about these questions and wrote about what she could do to reduce the waste generated from taking care of her grandmother.
Ashley took the Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge in November and collected her caregiving-related plastic waste. One thing she’s trying is switching to reusable cloth bed pads. Please check out her tally.
I’m wondering if any of you have experience caring for an ill person and taken steps to mitigate your waste while effectively managing their health. What suggestions do you have to reduce the disposables? I want to hear from you because I’m just a bit too emotional to get into the subject right now.