Although the ultimate goal is always to maximize safety and health for older adults they love, family caregivers, unfortunately, commonly end up diminishing their own health along the way. In fact, an incredible 94% of caregivers in a recent research study conducted by Ohio State University documented musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain affected their quality of life.
And realize that a “family caregiver” can represent anyone within the family who helps another individual with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this means 34 million Americans are at risk of caregiver injuries through the home care services they provide.
Atlanta Home Care Partners knows firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing required in meeting the care needs of an older adult, which is the reason why each of our professional caregivers is competent in techniques that safeguard both themselves as well as the seniors within their care. Injuries might result from even the simplest of tasks which need more physical strength than you might realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking and especially transferring a senior to a chair or bed.
To help family caregivers decrease the likelihood of injury, we provide the following tips:
- Let assistive products do the lifting. For senior loved ones with mobility issues, transfers, such as from a bed to a chair, exemplify one of the more common reasons for injury to those caring for them. Not only this, but the danger of a senior loved one falling and obtaining an injury are heightened. Caregivers should investigate equipment like a Hoyer lift to help with safe transfers (but remember that proper training will be necessary).
- Perform 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 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 means of helping the individual should really be explored.
- Find help. The best way to try to avoid injury in caregiving is by acknowledging your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team from Atlanta Home Care Partners is thoroughly experienced and proficient in delivering a full range of senior care help, enabling family caregivers and older adults alike to stay safe and well.
Reach out to Atlanta Home Care Partners, and their trusted caregivers in Atlanta, GA, at (404) 228-0103 to request an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, share resources to aid in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly customized, home care solutions in Atlanta and the surrounding communities including personal care, companion care and more. This allows families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love.