At the time you decided to provide care for a senior loved one, you likely did not think of your role as dangerous. Still, the injury risks of providing care aren’t anything to take lightly. As many as 94% of care providers who participated in a recent survey described physical pain in one or more parts of their body that might be caused by their caregiving tasks. And, over 50% of those interviewed reported that these injuries were extreme enough to impact their overall well-being.
But never fear: we’re here to keep you safe from harm! Our expert caregiving team has some tips to help protect your health and wellness along with that of the senior in your care.
Understand Your Limitations – and Stick to Them
It’s remarkable how strenuous daily tasks can be when you’re supporting another person in completing them. Assisting someone who is unsteady to get on their feet to move from one spot to another, bending and stretching to help with bathing, showering, and getting dressed, hoisting a wheelchair into the trunk of a car can all wreak havoc on your back. You can make sure you are in optimal physical shape by exercising every day and sustaining a healthy body weight. Yet it is just as important to set up boundaries and only perform tasks that you know are possible to do without hurting yourself. Schedule a routine physical with your physician and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then enlist assistance from someone else for tasks that are beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Appropriate Caregiving Techniques
Numerous caregiver injuries happen from lifting or transferring someone without knowing the proper and safe way to do so. Several suggestions to keep in mind include:
- Lift with your legs – not your back.
- Pay attention to your body. If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your joints or back, you’re overdoing it.
- Take advantage of adaptive equipment to ease these tasks, such as an adjustable bed that may be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Assistance
It’s so common for a primary family caregiver to try and handle everything independently. But, in terms of taking care of an older family member, delegating tasks is crucial. Allowing others to help lessens both physical and mental stress on you, and provides the person in your care with extra benefits as well, such as improved social opportunities.
If you are trying to manage senior care all on your own, hold a meeting with family and close friends. Discuss what is included in the day-to-day care for the elderly individual, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Compassionate Nursing Services, the experts in respite care in Oakville, MO and throughout the surrounding areas, in mind also. We’re here to help with any tasks that happen to be difficult for you to handle, or that you would prefer somebody else to manage. We are able to take care of housekeeping and meals, for instance, while you enjoy quality time with your loved one. Or, let us help with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower schedule, as you take a little time to yourself.
Whatever the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we’re here for you! Give us a call at 314-432-4312 to find out more about our home care and respite care in Oakville and nearby areas and how we can help family caregivers avoid injury risk.