When you made the decision to care for an older adult you love, you probably didn’t consider your role as being hazardous. However, the dangers of providing care aren’t anything to take lightly. As many as 94% of caregivers who took part in a recent survey reported physical pain in at least one part of their body that could be associated with their caregiving chores. And, over 50% of those interviewed claimed these particular injuries are extreme enough to impact their overall health and wellbeing.
But never fear: we’re here to help keep you safe from injury! Our professional caregiving team has many injury prevention tips to help protect your health and well-being along with that of the loved one in your care.
Understand Your Limits – and Stick to Them
It is remarkable how intense day-to-day tasks can be when you are assisting another individual in completing them. Helping someone who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one spot to another, bending and stretching to support bathing, showering, and getting dressed, hoisting a wheelchair into the trunk of your car can all put stress on your back. You can make sure you are in optimum physical health by exercising each day and sustaining an ideal body weight. Yet it is equally important to set boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you’re able to take care of without hurting yourself. Schedule a regular physical with your doctor and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then engage the help of someone else for tasks that are above and beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Appropriate Caregiving Techniques
Many caregiver injuries arise from lifting or transferring a senior without comprehending the correct and safe way to do so. Several tips to bear in mind include:
- Use your legs to lift instead of your back.
- Pay attention to your body. If you are feeling pain or discomfort in your back or joints, you are overdoing it.
- Take advantage of adaptive equipment to help ease these activities, such as an adjustable bed that may be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
It is so common for a primary family caregiver to try and handle everything on their own. However, in terms of caring for an older family member, delegating tasks is vital. Allowing others to assist eases both physical and mental stress on you, and provides the older adult in your care with extra benefits as well, such as improved social opportunities.
If you are currently trying to manage senior care by yourself, hold a meeting with other family members and close friends. Discuss what’s involved in the day-to-day care for the senior, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Inspired Home Care, a trusted provider of in-home care in Barrington, IL and the nearby areas, in mind as well. We are here to help with any responsibilities that are difficult for you to handle, or that you would prefer someone else to take care of. We are able to tend to housekeeping and meals, for instance, as you enjoy quality time with the senior. Or, we can assist with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower regimen, as you take some time to yourself.