Basic energy conservation for household management

A lot of times OTs see people with disabilities that cause them to fatigue easily. Household management can be very hard! So some tips to help conserve energy or make household cleaning easier. In all cases use your best judgment and safety and get professional assistance as needed.

1) Make your bed while you are still in it. While lying down, pull up all the sheets, then CAREFULLY get out of bed, ie dont let your feet get tangled.

2) Vacuuming: either delegate, have dark carpets that don’t show the dirt as much, or try to find a lightweight propelling vacuum that doesn’t require so much energy on your part. Also try to break it up – maybe vacuum a room a day instead of the entire house.

3) House cleaning in general: Consider getting house cleaned professionally if you can afford it, so that you can save your energy for other things you enjoy more. If not weekly, maybe have them come in once a month for a deep clean so you don’t have to worry so much the rest of the time.

4) Laundry: Front-loading is best, you can have them on blocks or pallets or something to raise their height so you aren’t having to stoop or bend as much (CHECK CODES AND ASK PROFESSIONALS BEFORE YOU DO THIS!! I don’t want to be responsible for anything bad happening!!). This can make a big difference for back pain.

5) Mopping: People like the Swiffer or similar products a lot as it takes away alot of the hardest work. Try to use a grid pattern for more efficient moving around, and to help avoid getting into slippery areas.

6) Dishwasher: Ideally this would be higher, but that’s a hard one to change if it’s not like that to begin with. Consider delegation or unloading/loading over a longer period of time. Hmm, must research this one further for more ideas.

7) Doing dishes manually: Either open the cabinet and prop a foot up on the ledge, or get a small step in front of you, so that one leg is on the step. You can alternate legs and shift weight around to help with back pain.

8) Stovetop cooking: If you’re in a wheelchair, having a tilted mirror over the top of your stove (again, be careful about safety here, have professionals assist) will help you see inside to know whether its boiling, burning, etc.

9) Prioritize, pace, etc…only do what you have to do, and don’t necessarily do it all in one sitting. Think about what you are about to do before you do it to try and decide how to make it easier and less energy consuming for you.

10) Chime in and tell me what you do to conserve energy while managing the household. Besides eating bonbons while watching your children do it all 😉

May 02, 2010 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none