When you decided to provide care for a senior loved one, you most likely didn’t consider your role to be hazardous. However, the challenges of senior care aren’t anything to take lightly. As many as 94 percent of caregivers who participated in a recent survey noted physical pain in at least one part of their body that may be caused by their caregiving duties. And, over 50 percent of those interviewed reported these particular injuries are severe enough to affect their overall quality of life.
But never fear: we’re here to help keep you safe from harm! Our expert senior care team has many ideas to help avoid caregiving injuries and protect your health and well-being along with that of the elderly individual in your care.
Recognize Your Limits – and Adhere to Them
It is surprising how intense everyday responsibilities can be when you’re helping another individual in performing them. Assisting a person who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one area to another, stretching and bending to support bathing, showering, and getting dressed, hoisting a wheelchair into the trunk of a car can all wreak havoc on your back. You can ensure you’re in optimal physical condition by working out every day and maintaining a healthy body weight. Yet it’s equally important to establish boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you can complete without injuring yourself. Schedule a routine physical with your physician and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then enlist the aid of someone else for tasks that are above and beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Appropriate Caregiving Practices
Numerous caregiver injuries occur from lifting or transferring someone without knowing the correct and safe way to do so. Several tips to keep in mind include:
- Lift with your legs – not your back.
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling discomfort or pain in your back or joints, you’re overdoing it.
- Utilize adaptive equipment to ease these activities, such as an adjustable bed that may be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
It’s so common for a primary family caregiver to attempt to handle everything by themselves. However, when it comes to caring for an older member of the family, delegating tasks is essential. Allowing others to provide support alleviates both mental and physical stress on you, and provides the person in your care with added benefits as well, such as increased social opportunities.
If you’re currently managing caregiving without any help, hold a meeting with other family members and close friends. Talk through what’s involved in the day-to-day care for the senior, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Absolute Companion Care, a provider of elder care in Phoenix, MD and the surrounding areas, in mind as well. We’re here to help with any responsibilities that are challenging to manage, or that you would prefer somebody else to handle. We can take care of housekeeping and meals, for instance, while you enjoy quality time with your loved one. Or, we can provide assistance with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower routine, while you take a little time to yourself.
Regardless of the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we’re here for you! Call us at 410-357-9640 for additional information about our elder care in Phoenix, MD and throughout the surrounding areas.