When you decided to provide care for an older loved one, you likely never thought of your role as being hazardous. However, the challenges of providing care are nothing 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 may be associated with their caregiving chores. And, over 50% of respondents reported that these injuries are significant enough to impact their overall quality of life.
But never fear: we are here to help you reduce the risk for injury! Our professional in-home care team has some strategies to help protect your health and wellness along with that of the elderly individual in your care.
Understand Your Limits – and Adhere to Them
It’s surprising how intense daily tasks can be when you are supporting another individual in performing them. Assisting a person who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one area to another, bending and stretching to support bathing, showering, and getting dressed, hoisting a wheelchair into the trunk of a car can all put stress on your back. You can ensure you are in optimum physical condition by doing exercises every day and sustaining a healthy body weight. Yet it’s just as important to establish boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you’re able to manage without hurting yourself. Schedule a routine physical with your physician and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then engage the aid of another person for tasks that are above and beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Proper Caregiving Techniques
Numerous caregiver accidents arise from lifting or transferring someone without knowing the correct and safe way to do it. Several tips to bear in mind include:
- Use your legs to lift instead of your back.
- Listen to your body. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your back or joints, you are overdoing it.
- Utilize adaptive equipment to ease these activities, such as an adjustable bed which can be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Assistance
It is so common for a primary family caregiver to attempt to manage everything independently. But, when it comes to taking care of a senior family member, delegating tasks is a must. Allowing others to assist alleviates both physical and mental stress on you, and provides the elderly individual in your care with extra benefits as well, such as increased social opportunities.
If you are presently trying to manage caregiving on your own, hold a meeting with other family members and 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 Grace Home Care’s experts in at-home care in Topeka in mind also. We are here to help with any tasks that happen to be difficult for you to take care of, or that you would prefer somebody else to manage. We can tend to housekeeping and meals, for instance, as you enjoy quality time with the senior. Or, let us assist with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower routine, as you take a little time to yourself.
No matter the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we are here to help you and your loved one! Give us a call at 785-286-2273 to learn more about our at-home care in Topeka and how we can help you reduce your risk for injury while caring for a senior you love.