Helping a loved one recover from an illness or injury is a rewarding form of service that generally demands considerable time, energy and patience. Caregivers who are able to balance the demanding work with their own health and wellness are less susceptible to a debilitating occupational hazard – caregiver burnout. Having the right equipment for the job is the first step on the road to successful caregiving.

Home care equipment can be purchased or rented from medical supply companies, and funding assistance and payment plans are often available. If you find yourself sifting through long lists of available equipment, consider starting with the five foundational items that will make your job easier.

Electric Hospital Beds

Patients generally prefer being in their own beds. However, hospital beds and long term care beds have unique features that can benefit both patients and carers. Rolling mobility, effortless head and foot adjustment, and removable safety railings help make the day more manageable for the caregiver and safer for the patient.

Rolling Carts

While caregivers can appear to have superpowers at times, they have only two hands to carry the three or four items that seem to always need transporting. A two-tiered rolling cart can facilitate moving meals, medications and other supplies. You can use the bottom shelf to permanently organize medications or other frequently needed items.

Medication Minders

Recovering or terminal patients often take multiple medications and supplements, and pill management can be complicated. Pill organizers and medication timers are inexpensive and available at any drug store. A big payoff for a small investment, these items can save time, reduce stress and prevent potentially dangerous mistakes.

Bedside Commodes

You may think you don’t need this item, especially if your loved one is ambulatory; however, the exhaustion and disorientation inherent to certain medications or illnesses could cause a fall. Additionally, supporting an adult for any distance can be hard on the carer. Keep this product handy. If you don’t need it, no harm is done. If you need it and don’t have it, you may be facing a difficult situation.

Bath Seats

Standing for even a few minutes can be difficult when one is weak from illness or surgery. A simple bath seat or bench can make showering easier and safer for all involved. These seats are available with or without arm supports and are adjustable to provide custom comfort.

The physical and emotional demands of the job make caregiver burnout quite common. The right equipment can streamline complex tasks and minimize obstacles that elicit stress and rob you of time with your loved one. Consider starting with these five essentials of home health care.