How to Avoid Caregiver Injury Risks When Caring for Elderly Parents
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
While the ultimate goal is always to increase health and safety for the aging adults they love, family caregivers, regrettably, typically wind up compromising their very own health while caring for elderly parents. Believe it or not, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently available research study conducted by Ohio State University reported musculoskeletal pain one or more parts of their body – and 66% noted this pain was influencing their quality of life.
A “family caregiver” can be anyone in the family who helps another individual with daily activities. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, this means 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through caring for elderly parents.
At Heaven at Home Senior Care, we know firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing required in meeting the care needs of a senior loved one, and that’s why each of our professional caregivers is well-trained in methods that safeguard both themselves and also the older adults within their care. Injuries can happen from even the simplest of tasks that call for more physical strength than you may realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking, and especially transferring a senior loved one to the couch or bed.
To help family caregivers lower the likelihood of injury, we offer the following suggestions:
- Let assistive devices do the lifting. For seniors with mobility issues, transfers, for example from a bed to a sofa, represent one of the most common reasons for injury to the caregiving family member. Additionally, the danger of a loved one falling and acquiring an injury is increased. Caregivers should look into equipment like a Hoyer lift to assist with safe transfers (but remember that proper training will be necessary).
- Perform safe movement practices. We have all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but ahead of lifting a finger, caregivers should take a quick assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it’s a sign that the body has been pushed past its capability – and an alternative method of helping the individual really should be investigated.
- Find help. The easiest method to steer clear of injury in caregiving is through recognizing your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team at Heaven at Home Senior Care is thoroughly experienced and adept in providing a complete range of senior care assistance, helping members of the family and seniors alike to stay safe and well.
Call us at 866-381-0500 to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can complete a safety assessment of the home, furnish resources to aid in your caregiving journey, and provide the fully personalized, professional Denton home health care services that allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the older adults they love.