Essential Lifting Techniques for At-Home Caregivers

A woman practices safe lifting techniques for at-home caregivers as she helps an older woman out of bed.

Safe lifting techniques for at-home caregivers protect both caregivers and the people they serve during transfers.

When you assume the role of caregiver for an older family member at home, you may encounter situations that require you to assist them in navigating their living spaces, helping them in and out of bed, or moving them between various seating arrangements. If these tasks are not handled properly, there is a considerable risk of causing harm to both yourself and the person you love. When proper lifting techniques for at-home caregivers are not utilized, injuries typically occur when caregivers:

  • Lack training in effective and safe lifting and transferring methods.
  • Overlook their own physical limitations and the stress that these activities demand.
  • Are unprepared for the physical demands of lifting and moving another person.
  • Decide to tackle these tasks alone without seeking external support or help.

Back injuries are especially common due to improper lifting techniques among at-home caregivers, making it crucial to learn and follow appropriate lifting procedures. By adopting several essential practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury to both you and the person you love:

  • Attempt to lift only as much as you can manage easily, avoiding overexertion.
  • Motivate the person to participate actively in their movements during lifts and transfers. If they cannot help, you might need to obtain specialized training or equipment designed for safe handling.
  • Tailor your methods to fit the abilities of the person, ensuring they remain comfortable and free from pain during the process.
  • Avoid any abrupt or sharp movements that could potentially startle or harm either of you.
  • Refrain from pulling on the person’s limbs or shoulders to prevent injuries.
  • Make sure the person is wearing shoes or slippers with non-slip soles to prevent any falls.
  • Establish a stable base by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other, to maintain balance and provide leverage.
  • Lift using the power of your legs instead of your back to minimize the risk of strain.
  • Prevent the person from clinging to your neck or grasping you for support. If they feel anxious, have them hold their hands near their chest.
  • Continue to breathe deeply and keep your shoulders relaxed to alleviate tension during the movement.

However, the most reliable method to avoid back injuries and guarantee smooth transfers is to have another person assist you. This approach not only lessens the physical strain but also enhances the safety and comfort of the individual.

Harmony Home Health & Hospice, serving Salt Lake City, Tooele, Albuquerque, and other regions in Northern Utah and Central New Mexico, offers expert caregivers trained in proper lifting techniques for at-home caregivers. We prioritize the safety of both caregivers and seniors and are committed to providing comprehensive support and training.

We are happy to provide a free care consultation and home safety assessment for older adults needing additional support at home. During this consultation, our professionals evaluate the home environment and suggest improvements to ensure safety and accessibility.

For more information about our highly regarded home health care services and how we can help make caregiving a safer and more rewarding experience, please contact us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322). Our dedicated team is committed to offering the resources and support needed to care for an older loved one safely and effectively.