- Dependence. When you first arrive home, your primary goal should be to rest and recover. A caregiver can support your recovery by handling household tasks such as meal preparation, running errands and relieving unnecessary stress so that you can focus on recommended therapy activities, diet and relaxation. Don’t be concerned if you need more help than you expected.
- Mild independence. As you start to gain strength, identify tasks that you can now manage independently, such as eating or walking down the stairs, and slowly wean yourself off of care in those areas. Never compromise your safety; ask your caregiver to step in if you feel uncomfortable.
- Supervised independence. As you continue gaining strength, your caregiver’s primary role will be supervision rather than direct physical assistance. Try to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) – bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, walking – independently.
- Supported independence. Once comfortable with ADLs, try incorporating chores or errands into your routine, such as a trip to the grocery store accompanied by your caregiver or preparing a meal together. Though they may seem small, these incremental steps are important milestones in your recovery.
- Semi-supported independence. Try taking a hold of day-to-day tasks and resume your pre-hospitalization routine. Although your caregiver is there to help, try not to take advantage of that assistance unless you really need it.
- Full independence. When you feel that you can safely return to your regular activities without your caregiver’s support, you may consider reducing care. Remember that full independence is a long-term goal and should not be prioritized over safety.
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