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Are you easily fatigued? Fatigue is secondary to disability or aging and can really interfere with one’s ability to function independently. Energy conservation techniques might help increase your energy to gain more independence.

Energy conservation means looking at your daily routines to find ways to reduce the amount of effort needed to perform certain tasks, eliminating other tasks, and building in more rest throughout the day. Keep in mind that not every technique will work for you. These are suggestions you can use and adapt to find the right fit for you. Remember: Energy is like money – you’ve only got so much, so think about what you’re spending it on!

  1. Replace existing heavy items with lighter ones; for example, use plastic plates and cups rather than china and glass.
  2. Consider moving your bed to the first floor to eliminate stair climbing.
  3. Sit rather than stand when possible: while preparing meals, washing dishes, ironing, etc.
  4. 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.
  5. Get a rolling cart or walker with basket/seat to transport things around the house, rather than carry them.
  6. Use store-provided wheelchairs or scooters when you shop.
  7. Gather all the supplies you need for a task or project before starting, so everything is in one place.
  8. Work rest breaks into activities as often as possible. Take a break before you get tired.
  9. Push or slide items rather than carrying or lifting.

10. Try keeping a daily activity journal for a few weeks to identify times of day or certain tasks that result in more fatigue.

11. Delegate tasks to friends or family members who offer help.

12. Consider hiring professionals such as a homemaking or lawn care service, to cut down your workload.

13. Take a bath rather than a shower, standing for any period of time requires more energy.  Hot water and steam may make you short of breath and can cause drowsiness, so use lukewarm water instead.  Keep the door open slightly to help eliminate steam.

14. Don’t dry off, slip on a terry cloth robe and let it dry your body.

15. Energy-saving shortcuts for dressing include gathering all the clothes and accessories you need before you begin.  Sit down while dressing.  Dress your lower body first because it takes more energy.  Bring your feet up to you rather than bending down to put on your shoes, socks and pants.