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Printed at: 05:46:42 / 23-09-2021

Energy Conservation and COVID-19 (2019/2020)

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Definition of Energy Conservation
Energy Conservation is doing an activity in the most efficient way using the least amount of energy to have time and energy left over to spend doing something enjoyable. As we know, COVD-19 affects the respiratory system (breathing/the lungs).

Whilst you are recovering from COVID-19, you may still experience:
– Fatigue
– Shortness of breath

Being able to complete daily tasks such as, washing/dressing or preparing/cooking a meal are every day occupations that we do. Illnesses/viruses can temporarily affect how we are able to undertake these tasks.

Catching COVID-19 does not mean you will have it for life (WHO 2019).

Six Principles of energy conservation
Rest means doing nothing at all, balance activity with rest periods. Try and rest before you become tired. Spread heavy and light tasks out during the day e.g. making a hot drink or taking the bins out.
Make a daily or weekly schedule of essential/leisurely activities to be done. Try to put the activities in order of priority. Plan in fun things as well as day-to-day tasks.
Try and minimise doing unnecessary tasks. Try to avoid doing tasks which cannot be stopped at any time should you become tired.

Ask yourself…
o What is the purpose of the task and is it necessary?
o Do I have to do the task or could someone else do it?
o Can I actually do this?
o Where am I doing the task and what equipment do I need?
o What is the most effective way of doing the task?

Try to organise the tools needed to complete the taste prior to doing it. Use adaptive aids such as a sock aid, perching stool or walking aids.

• Lead a healthy lifestyle
It is good to give up or reduce the amount you smoke with support from a Healthcare professional e.g. your GP. Continue to engage in an exercise of interest such as stretching, walking or gardening.

• Eating well to help you recover
During the early stages of recovery it is important to eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of protein. However, COVID-19 may affect your appetite and ability to eat and drink. Food previously enjoyed may taste unpleasant or bland. Chewing and swallowing may be tiring if you have trouble breathing. • If your appetite remains poor then small frequent nourishing meals, snacks and
drinks may be easier to manage. Soft, moist foods may be easier to swallow if you are you have trouble breathing. Try experimenting with different seasonings, mild spices, herbs, pepper, chutneys, and pickles to enhance the flavour of your food.

• If you find cooking difficult or tiring let others help prepare or bring food. Include convenience foods, such as ready meals, tinned, dried or frozen foods, in your weekly shop. You may also be able to access meals through home delivery services e.g. Wiltshire Farm Foods, local council and charities.
• If you continue to experience problems with eating or find you are struggling to regain weight you have lost, contact you GP for advice and referral to a dietitian.
• Practice good posture

The three Ps to remember:
• Prioritisation
• Planning
• Pacing

How recovery from COVID-19 can be managed
Occupational Therapists can issue temporary equipment to enable you to perform activities to make daily life easier. These include:
• Sock aid
• Perching stool
• Raised toilet seats and chair, bed or sofa raisers
• Leg lifters
• Long handled aids e.g. shoe horns

These can be used to support or enhance your ability to complete activities using the least amount of energy. For example long handled bathing and dressing aids may be used to avoid bending and reaching or raised toilet seats, furniture, toilet framers and bath boards can reduce strain on your chest and arms.

Useful services in Milton Keynes
Community Occupations Therapy and Adult Social Care (Home assessments and equipment provision) 01908 253 772

Age Concern (can assist with practical tasks such as cleaning or food shopping) 01908 550 700

Age UK Milton Keynes (for COVID 19 – offering emergency, one of shopping and prescription collection service) 01908 550700

Red Cross (equipment hire) 01296 739 300

Home Meal Services
Wiltshire Farm Foods 01525 242 220
Oakhouse Foods 0333 370 6700