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One of the easiest ways to relieve caregiver stress and burden is to offer guidance on how care tasks can be simplified and organized. Here are some tips on doing so:

Know what your loved one can do for themselves

It may take a little longer, or your loved one may struggle, but don’t be so quick to do things for someone if cueing and encouragement helps them do something for themselves. Assistive devices – like a clothes hook for dressing – can also help, and help your loved one feel more independent. Hands-on help should be the last step.

Combine tasks

When you’re up and about, finding opportunities to combine tasks can save you time in the long run. Prepping a breakfast can also mean preparing lunch for the day, doctor’s trips can be combined with pharmacy trips, and getting the mail can also mean prepping things for a walk or trip outside of the home with your loved one.

Assign tasks to days

Garbage collection may make best sense the day before garbage day. A meal prep on Sunday could mean preparing parts of meals for the rest of the week.

Recognize the role of meds

Medications may drive meal planning and bedtime routines. Knowing how medications affect your loved one can also drive choices of when to schedule baths or how you help with things like grooming and dressing.

Pick your trips

We suggest trips outside the home be reserved for fun, relationship-building activities if your loved one has issues with walking or transferring. Many things once required an outside visit – like a doctor’s appointment or blood work – can now be done in home, especially with the increased popularity of telemedicine visits.