When you made the decision to offer care for an older adult you love, you probably never thought of your role as being hazardous. However, the dangers of senior care are nothing to take lightly. As many as 94% of care providers who participated in a recent survey reported physical pain in at least one part of their body that may be caused by their caregiving tasks. And, over 50% of those interviewed said that these injuries are extreme enough to impact their overall quality of life.
But don’t worry: we’re here to help keep you safe from injury! Our expert caregiving team has many tips to help reduce caregiving injury risks for safer care.
Recognize Your Limits – and Stick to Them
It’s shocking how intense everyday tasks can be when you’re assisting another person in accomplishing them. Helping an individual who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one place to another, bending and stretching to support bathing, showering, and getting dressed, hoisting a wheelchair into the trunk of your car can all wreak havoc on your back. You can ensure you’re in optimum physical condition by doing exercises every day and sustaining a healthy body weight. Yet it is equally important to set boundaries and only attempt tasks that you know are possible to take care of without injuring yourself. Schedule a routine physical with your doctor and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then engage assistance from someone for tasks that are above and beyond your comfort level.
Learn Proper Caregiving Practices
Many caregiver accidents happen from lifting or transferring a person without knowing the proper and safe way to do so. Several suggestions to bear in mind include:
- Lift with your legs – instead of your back.
- Listen to your body. If you are feeling pain or discomfort in your joints or back, you are overdoing it.
- Use adaptive equipment to help ease these tasks, such as an adjustable bed which can be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Help
It’s so common for a primary family caregiver to try and manage everything by themselves. However, when it comes to caring for an older family member, delegating tasks is extremely important. Allowing others to assist relieves both physical and mental stress on you, and provides the elderly individual in your care with additional benefits as well, such as improved social opportunities.
If you are currently trying to manage senior care by yourself, hold a meeting with family members and close friends. Discuss what’s included in the day-to-day care for the older adult, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Live Free Home Health Care, a trusted expert in providing home care in Epsom, NH and the nearby areas, in mind too. We’re here to help with any responsibilities that happen to be hard for you to take care of, or that you’d prefer somebody else to undertake. We are able to take care of housekeeping and meals, for example, as you enjoy quality time with your loved one. Or, let us provide assistance with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower schedule, as you take a little time to yourself.
Regardless of the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we’re here to help you! Contact us at 603-217-0149 for additional information and more tips on how to reduce caregiving injury risks.