Energy Saving Tips for You…

As we age, it’s harder to live by the old quote: “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.”

That might be all well and good when you were 30, but getting older can be tiring!

Here are some sensible tips from Agewell Physiotherapy Managing Director, Rik Dawson which can help conserve time and energy:

Rearrange Your Environment

  • Keep frequently used items in easily accessible locations
  • Replace heavy items with lighter ones; for example use plastic plates
  • Install long handles on faucets and doorknobs
  • Adjust work spaces, such as raising a tabletop, to eliminate awkward positions; bad posture drains energy
  • Install pull-out or swing-out shelving in cabinets
  • Wear an apron with pockets to carry around frequently used items
  • Consider moving your bed to the ground floor to eliminate stair climbing

Eliminate Unnecessary Effort

  • Sit rather than stand whenever possible: while preparing meals, washing dishes, ironing, etc.
  • Use adaptive equipment to make tasks easier; try a jar opener, a reacher, a shower chair to allow you to sit while bathing, or a hands-free headset for your phone
  • Soak your dishes before washing, then let them air dry; or use paper plates and napkins
  • Use prepared foods when possible
  • Get a rolling cart to transport things around the house, rather than carry them
  • See if your grocery store will deliver your groceries
  • Use store-provided wheelchairs or scooters when you shop

Shopping

  • Organise list by aisles in the shop
  • Use a shopping trolley for support
  • Shop at less busy times, take someone with you to help
  • Ask for help in getting to the car
  • Buy clothes that don’t require ironing

Activities of Daily Living

  • Plan ahead to avoid rushing
  • Sit down to bathe and dry off. Wear a terry robe instead of drying off
  • Use a shower/bath organiser to decrease leaning and reaching
  • Use extension handles on sponges and brushes
  • Install grab rails in the bathroom or use an elevated toilet seat
  • Lay out clothes and toiletries before dressing
  • Minimise leaning over to put on clothes and shoes. Bring your foot to your knee to apply socks and shoes. Fasten bra in front then turn to back
  • Modify your home to maximise efficient energy use. For example, place chairs strategically to allow for rest stops — for instance, along a long hallway
  • Wear comfortable shoes and low-heeled, slip on shoes. Wear button front shirts rather than pullover shirts

Housekeeping

  • Schedule household tasks throughout the week to break tasks up
  • Do housework sitting down when possible. Use long-handled dusters, dust mops, etc. Use a wheeled cart or carpenter’s apron to carry supplies
  • Delegate heavy housework, shopping, laundry and child care when possible
  • Drag or slide objects rather than lifting. If you do need to lift an object, use your leg muscles rather than your back muscles
  • Sit when ironing and take rest periods
  • Stop working before becoming overly tired

Meal Preparation

  • Use convenience and easy-to-prepare foods
  • Use small appliances that take less effort to use (have these at easy places)
  • Arrange the preparation environment for easy access to frequently used items
  • Prepare meals sitting down
  • Soak dishes instead of scrubbing and let dishes air dry
  • Prepare double portions and freeze half
  • Try foods from i.e. Meals on Wheels / TLC
Rik Dawson, is an experienced physiotherapist who has been working in Aged Care Physiotherapy since 1994 and is a highly respected expert in Gerontological Physiotherapy.
He is the Physiotherapy Representative for the National Aged Care Alliance (N.A.C.A), and Chair of the National Gerontological Special Interest Group of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
If you would like to read additional information on preventing trips and falls in the home, click here.

Oxley Home Care offers a full range of Allied Health services giving you access to a comprehensive range of support services that complement your care program. The range of services on offer includes :

  • Physiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy Assistance
  • Dietician/Nutritionist
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Podiatrist
  • Social Work/Psychologist
  • Exercise Physiologist

Oxley Home Care is a family-owned and operated Sydney company and is an Approved Government Provider of aged care services, enabling people to live a quality life independently in their own home and stay connected to their local community.

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and holds an allocation of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to provide assistance to the elderly, to remain living independently at home. To gain access to a Home Care Package, the government requires that you undergo a comprehensive assessment by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). To arrange the assessment, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care web site.

If you would like further information on Oxley Home Care, please feel free to call on 1300 993 591.

Gilian Douglass

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