Housing and independent living
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Disability, chronic illness and housework

Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
Over on our facebook page, some people are discussing the effects of their impairments on how they manage housework and keeping their homes today and I thought it was really interesting.  It was in response to a story about a woman with fibromyalgia who told her that chronic illness is no excuse for having a messy house.

Here are a few of the comments:

"When i was younger my house even with a husband and 4 kids was spottless. Now i have fibro/cfs and i get fatigued just hoovering my little bungalow which doesnt get hoovered often. I was upset when my son said my home is messy. Even close family dont always realise the struggle with a chronic illness."

"Its so true we have 1 dinner plate left. I've broken all the others think I'm going to result to paper plates lol I don't like having visitors because I really don't have the energy to explain by we are so untidy at times.tell them to get over it or just don't invite them round again simple."

"My last landlady was like this. My house was cluttered, and maybe a little messy, but it was NEVER dirty. She belittled and bullied me so badly we left for the sake of my mental health.
I'm not perfect, but my husband works full time and then some, and I have Cerebral Palsy, tendinitis, and arthritis and an at-the-time 7 year old. My house may not look amazing, but I promise it's not dirty. It was devastating to me, because I try so hard."

What are your thoughts on this? Does your impairment stop you from being able to keep your home the way you would like? Do you have any hints and tips that help you? How does it make you feel?

Senior online community officer


  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    I live alone and commute 25 miles each way. Sometimes I don't have the energy to eat or take my medication after work.

    Sometimes I spend the entire weekend sleeping to catch up. If I wasn't able to pay for a cleaner then I'd end up living in a pig sty.

    I won't go into the state of my garden. I've been through six "gardeners" who took one look at it and stopped taking my calls. I will now try to do it myself one square metre at a time :(
    I had to replace my petrol tools as I can't even pick them up now.

    I feel powerless, alone and helpless. That's besides all my medical fears. :(
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    It is so tough @Markmywords - since I started working at Scope, I got myself a cleaner because due to my fatigue, I simply can't do all, I can't work full time and manage the house. It is a total luxury but I feel the same as you, if I didnt have her then the house would be a state.

    It's really sad to hear you say you feel powerless and alone.  Do you have any friends or family who could potentially help you sort your garden? When I was really ill, I found the offer of a few beers encouraged some gardening friends to pitch in to get to to a managable level! 
    Senior online community officer
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    No friends and I live in a small village. The locals are pretty insular even though I've been there 15 years. Everyone vanished back when I first got cancer.

    What little family I have is 90 miles away.

    I got divorced last year and 90% of that was because she never signed up to be a carer. :/

    I doubt I'm the only one in this position either.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I doubt you are either @Markmywords and it's such a sad time that its like this, Im really sorry to hear about your struggles.

    Where do you live? I wonder if there are any local charity groups that could help?  I am just going to look if there are any near me.  Communities get more and more insular but I truly believe that there are good and kind people out there.  I would happily help anyone struggling in my village, but how do you even begin to find out what people need?

    My neighbours are in their 80s and my family help them out with gardening, DIY etc - I wonder if there are initiative to put people together? I'm off to have a seach now!

    Senior online community officer
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    I'm in NE Derbyshire. I've looked before but not managed to find anything. If I was over 60 instead of just under 50 then things might be different.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I found a few bits that might help @Markmywords

    The Gardening for Disabled Trust gives grants to people in order that they may continue to garden despite disability or advancing illness, you can apply and find out information here.  To apply you need to have:
    • Membership of the Garden Club – Free
    • Confirmation of your disablilty
    • Quotes or estimates for the work to be done
    You could also try getting in touch with Disability Derbyshire to see if they know of any other support.

    It would be worth contacting your local council to see if there are any Volunteer organisations that registers people who are happy to volunteer for free in your area.  Do you have a parish council? If so it could be worth getting in touch with them too.

    There is lots of information here about grants including a search for grants facility, but please remember charities and grant-giving trusts rarely give money for things that you could get through, or could be funded by, statutory sources, such as benefits. Please use the online benefits calculator first.

    I hope this helps  :)
    Senior online community officer
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    Thank you for your time and efforts Sam. I'll look into all of those things.

    Money wasn't an object with the "professionals."  It seemed that they only wanted to mow old folks lawns :/
  • DippyDippy Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I'm struggling to shower my self after which I'm exhausted and breathless , housework  was always done now because of my COPD and other problems  , I feel embarrassed to get cleaner even if I could afford one but being on benefits not option . I'm not lazy just exhausted ! I have fibromyalgia , rhaynards, circulation problems in legs left is worse and left shoulder , arthrightiss , my left leg can drag and trip me and stop working , trouble lifting left arm shoulder painful drop stuff , constant back , hip and knee pain diabetes risk of sudden death syndrome , prenicious anemia , having b12 injections , depression , bronchitis,bladder problems the list goes on  housework I'd love to do but I've not got the breath or energy if have a better day try do housework , then I'm exhausted for days , I'm 57 and feel life is a chore everyday ,  indeed a bungalow ,housing association  seem not to grasp I need help to move feel trapped ! I'm sick of trying to get it across to them I cannot manage this house and gardens ! I Carnot walk to bottom of back garden to put washing out . I live in cheshire east location !  I need help 
Sign in or join us to comment.