When you made the decision to provide care for a senior loved one, you likely didn’t consider your role to be risky. Yet the dangers of caregiving aren’t anything to take lightly. As many as 94% of caregivers who participated in a recent survey described physical pain in one or more parts of their body that could be attributed to their caregiving duties. And, more than half of those interviewed claimed that these injuries were extreme enough to affect their overall well-being.
But never fear: we are here to help you avoid getting injured when caring for loved ones! Our experienced caregiving team has some suggestions to help protect your health and well-being along with that of the elderly individual in your care.
Recognize Your Limits – and Stick to Them
It’s surprising how strenuous everyday duties can be when you’re helping another person accomplish them. Helping someone who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one place to another, bending and stretching to support bathing, showering, and getting dressed, lifting a wheelchair into the trunk of a car can all wreak havoc on your back. You can ensure you are in optimum physical shape by exercising every day and sustaining a healthy body weight. Yet it’s equally important to set boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you’re able to do without hurting yourself. Schedule a regular physical with your physician and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then engage the help of someone else for tasks that are beyond your comfort zone.
Learn Proper Caregiving Practices
Many caregiver injuries arise from lifting or transferring a person without knowing the correct and safe way to do so. Several tips to bear in mind include:
- Lift with your legs instead of your back.
- Listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your back or joints, you are overdoing it.
- Take advantage of adaptive equipment to help ease these tasks, such as an adjustable bed that may be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Help
It is so common for a primary family caregiver to attempt to take care of everything on their own. But, when it comes to taking care of an older family member, delegating tasks is crucial. Allowing others to assist lessens both mental and physical stress on you, and provides the person in your care with extra benefits as well, such as improved social opportunities.
If you are currently trying to manage caregiving on your own, hold a meeting with family members and close friends. Discuss what’s involved in the day-to-day care for the person, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep At-Home Care Company, a provider of senior care in Des Moines, IA and nearby areas, in mind also. We’re here to help with any tasks that are challenging for you to take care of, or that you’d prefer somebody else manage. We are able to tend to grocery shopping and housework, for example, as you enjoy quality time with the older adult. Or, let us assist with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower regimen, while you take a little time to yourself.
Regardless of the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we are here to help you! Get in touch with us at 515-292-2650 for more information about our senior care in Des Moines, IA and throughout the surrounding communities.