Take Steps to Transfer Your Senior Loved One Safely and Prevent Back Injury
It’s a sobering fact: more than 50 percent of all caregivers suffer from injuries during transfers and lifts of senior loved ones. With so many family members providing care for the elderly at home, it’s essential that they educate themselves on proper lifting and transferring techniques. Home & Hearth Caregivers, the top-rated providers of in-home care in La Grange, IL, offers the following step-by-step information to help keep both caregivers and their senior loved ones from injury:
- If the senior is in a bed that is low, stand with one foot on a footstool, which will help relieve pressure on your lower back.
- Set the wheelchair closely beside the bed and check to make sure the wheelchair’s brakes are locked and both footrests and armrests are swung out of the way.
- Let the senior know what you’re doing and ask him look in the direction in which he is going to be moved. Prior to beginning the transfer, count aloud: “1-2-3”.
- If possible, have the senior place his hands on the bed to assist with the move.
- For optimum support, stand as close as possible to the senior you are lifting.
- Bend your knees (and not your waist), ensuring both your back and neck are in a straight line and your weight is balanced on both feet. Tighten your stomach and back muscles to maintain support.
- Use both arms to support the older adult, and use your legs for lifting.
- Pivot on one foot, rather than twisting your body.
- Use a transfer belt around the senior’s waist to provide an extra measure of support and stability.
- Ask the senior to hold the wheelchair armrests for support with both hands (if possible).
If it’s still a struggle to safely transfer your senior loved one from his bed into a chair or wheelchair, Home & Hearth Caregivers is here to help with a full range of professional in-home care in LaGrange, IL and the surrounding area. Our caregivers are experienced in safely lifting and transferring seniors, and helping them maintain the most active and engaging lifestyle possible. If you need a little respite care to take care of other responsibilities or to relax from caregiving tasks, or if full-time care is needed 24/7, we’re on hand with care you can trust. Contact us any time at 800-349-0663.