Outsourcing Services - Yay or Nay?
As a child, my parents ingrained in me that most things that a service can provide, I should be able to learn and do myself. The goal was always to save money; for example, why hire a cleaner when you can clean yourself? Why order food delivery when it can be picked up? However, as I have gotten older, I have realized that time is our most precious commodity. Sometimes, outsourcing makes a lot of sense.
For people with heart failure, there are additional reasons to support outsourcing. Shortness of breath and fatigue are the most common debilitating symptoms of heart failure, sometimes making daily tasks or chores unbearable. It’s not just the issue of time for people with HF - it is that everyday tasks now require much more energy.
The following outlines some tasks that you may choose to outsource. Some of them come with a cost, others are free. As you go down the list, ask yourself whether you dread these tasks and whether eliminating them would benefit your day-to-day life.
Potential tasks to outsource
Prescription delivery (free)
Prescription delivery is free at most pharmacies these days. If your pharmacy does not offer free delivery, hunt around for another pharmacy that does offer it. It can be a game-changer if getting to the pharmacy is a hassle.
While we are on the topic of pharmacy, if you are taking a number of medications, you can request to have them blister-packed. This is convenient and helps improve compliance. Note that while the actual service of blister packing is free, it may indirectly increase costs in the long run if you don’t have insurance. This is because blister packs are provided at 28-day intervals, so you are paying a dispensing fee every 28 days instead of every 90 days for each one of your medications. However, most pharmacies are considerate of the client’s financial status and may be able to accommodate your budget.
Grocery delivery (free - $9.99)
The pandemic made grocery delivery even more popular and affordable than ever before. Some platforms offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount; others offer a subscription service. The majority of grocery stores seem to plateau their delivery fees at $9.99.
Home cleaning ($25-$50 per hour)
Home cleaning is being outsourced frequently these days - it seems like everyone I know has a housekeeper or some hired help around the home! There are a lot of cleaning services available now, with varying prices. For recurring services, you can likely get a better deal. However, this can be a significant expense if you do a full home cleaning, especially if you have a large home. I suggest examining what home cleaning tasks are more burdensome, for example, cleaning the bathrooms, and outsourcing those first.
There are of course many other outsourcing services you can hire people for; the list is endless! If you have a great community around you, you may even be able to trade your skills for other people’s services. For example, swapping your delicious homemade cookies for lawn service offered by your neighbor’s son may be a win-win for everyone.
Have you outsourced tasks since your heart failure diagnosis? Share your experiences below.
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