Even though the ultimate goal is always to increase safety and health for the aging adults they love, those providing senior assistance at home, unfortunately, sometimes end up diminishing their very own health in the process and can experience various caregiver injuries. Believe it or not, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently released study conducted by Ohio State University reported musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain having an effect on their quality of life.
And know that a “family caregiver” can be anyone within the family who helps another person with day to day activities. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming hurt through the home care services they provide.
At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, we know firsthand the degree of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing required in providing senior assistance in the home, which is why each of our professional caregivers is educated in techniques that safeguard both themselves and also the older adults in their care. Injuries might result from even the most simple of tasks that require 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 sofa or bed.
To help family caregivers decrease the chance of injury, we offer the following tips:
- Let assistive products do the lifting. For older adults with mobility issues, transfers, such as from a bed to a chair, represent one of the most frequent factors behind injury to those taking care of them. Not only that, but the likelihood of a senior loved one falling and acquiring a physical injury are heightened. Caregivers should investigate equipment such as a Hoyer lift that can help with safe transfers (but recognize that proper training to use this equipment will be necessary).
- Practice safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but before lifting a finger, caregivers should take a brief assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it’s a signal that the body appears to have been pushed past its capability – and a different strategy for helping your senior loved one must be explored.
- Seek help. The simplest way to avoid injury in caregiving is by recognizing your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The home health care team at Harmony Home Health & Hospice is fully experienced and proficient in delivering a complete range of senior assistance services, allowing family caregivers and senior loved ones alike to stay safe and well.
Contact our expert providers of home health care and in home hospice care in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas have to offer at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, share information to aid in your caregiving journey, and offer the fully customized, expert home health care services that enable families the opportunity to simply enjoy quality time with the older adults they love.