Although the ultimate goal is to maximize health and safety for the older adults they love, family caregivers, unfortunately, frequently end up diminishing their own health along the way. The truth is, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recent research study conducted by Ohio State University reported musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life.
And understand that a “family caregiver” can be anyone in the family who helps another individual with daily activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the caregiving they provide.
At Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, we know firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing needed in satisfying the care needs of a senior loved one, which is the reason why each of our professional caregivers is competent in techniques that safeguard both themselves and also the seniors within their care. Injuries might result from even the simplest of tasks that need more physical strength than you may realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking, and especially transferring a senior to the couch or bed.
To help increase safe caregiving we offer the following suggestions:
- Let assistive devices do the lifting. For older adults with mobility issues, transfers, for instance from a bed to a sofa, exemplify one of the more frequent factors behind injury to those caring for them. Not only that, but the chance of a loved one falling and obtaining an injury are heightened. Caregivers should explore equipment like a Hoyer lift to assist with safe transfers (but note that proper training will be required).
- Practice safe movement. We have all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but ahead of lifting a finger, caregivers should take an assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it is a signal that the body could have been pushed past its capacity – and a different means of helping your loved one should be investigated.
- Seek help. The ideal way to avoid injury in caregiving is by being conscious of your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care is fully experienced and adept in providing a full range of senior care solutions, enabling family caregivers and seniors alike to remain safe and well.
Contact us at (269) 849-9252 to request an in-home consultation from our experts. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, furnish resources to assist in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly personalized, professional in-home care services which allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love. You can also reach us at (269) 373-5444 (Kalamazoo, MI), (269) 763-5350 (Paw Paw, MI) or (269) 963-9888 (Battle Creek, MI).