At the time you made the decision to offer care for an older loved one, you most likely did not think your role would be hazardous. Yet the challenges of caregiving aren’t anything to take lightly. Approximately 94% of care providers who participated in a recent survey noted physical pain in one or more parts of their body that might be associated with their caregiving responsibilities. And, more than half of respondents stated that these injuries are severe enough to impact their overall well-being.
But don’t worry: we are here to help you learn how to avoid injury when caring for seniors! Our experienced senior care team has some ideas to help protect your health and wellness along with that of the older adult in your care.
Recognize Your Limits – and Stick to Them
It is remarkable how stressful daily duties can be when you’re assisting another person in accomplishing them. Assisting an individual who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one area to another, stretching and bending to help with bathing, showering, and getting dressed, lifting a wheelchair into the trunk of a car can all put stress on your back. You can make sure you’re in optimal physical fitness by working out each day and maintaining a healthy body weight. Yet it is just as important to set boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you are able to manage without injuring yourself. Schedule a regular physical with your doctor and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then enlist assistance for tasks that are beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Proper Caregiving Techniques
Numerous caregiver injuries arise from lifting or transferring someone without understanding the proper and safe way to do it. Several tips to keep in mind include:
- Lift with your legs instead of your back.
- Pay attention to your body. If you’re feeling discomfort or pain 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 can be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Assistance
It is so common for a primary family caregiver to try to take care of everything independently. However, in terms of caring for an older family member, delegating tasks is crucial. Allowing others to help lessens both physical and mental stress on you, and provides the senior in your care with extra benefits as well, such as increased social opportunities.
If you are currently trying to manage caregiving all on your own, hold a meeting with other family members and close friends. Discuss what’s included in the day-to-day care for the person, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Anthem Home Care, a provider of senior home care in Portland, TX and the nearby areas, in mind also. We are here to help with any tasks that are challenging for you to handle, or that you’d prefer another person to undertake. We can take care of housekeeping and meals, for instance, as you enjoy quality time with your loved one. Or, we can help with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower routine, while you take a little time to yourself.
No matter the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we’re here for you! Call us today at 361-643-2323 for more information about our senior home care in Portland and the surrounding areas.