As a family caregiver, you probably do many physical tasks, like helping your older family member stand up, transfer to a wheelchair, or walk safely. There are lots of ways caregivers can accidentally injure themselves. If you’re injured, you won’t perform your caregiver duties at your usual best. In fact, you may not be able to do them at all. Preventing caregiver injuries is an important part of keeping yourself healthy so you can continue to care for your loved one.

Below are 5 ways to avoid caregiver injuries…

#1: Learn How to Perform Wheelchair Transfers Safely

Getting your aging relative from their wheelchair to bed or from another surface into their wheelchair isn’t as easy as just sliding them over.

Depending on the senior’s level of disability, you may have to lift most of their body weight. If you do that incorrectly, you could strain your back or even fall.

If you’re unsure how to perform a wheelchair transfer, ask the doctor for a referral to a physical therapist who can teach you the safest way.

#2: Know Your Limitations

Some caregivers injure themselves by trying to lift or do more than they are physically capable of. When you know your limit, you’ll know when you need to ask someone else for help.

#3: Lift Items Correctly

As a caregiver, you probably do some physical tasks around the house for your older family member. You may occasionally need to lift heavy things. There’s a right way and a wrong way to lift heavy items. You should keep the item you are lifting close to your body and bend at your knees instead of your back when lifting. It’s also wise to put your feet at approximately shoulder width apart to give you better balance.

#4: Know How to Use Assistive Devices Correctly

If the older adult needs to use assistive devices, like a wheelchair or a lift, know how to use them safely. Not only does this keep the senior safer, it also can prevent caregiver injuries that may occur when you try to catch the senior as they fall.

#5: Get Help When It’s Needed

Sometimes the best way to avoid injuring yourself is to ask others for help. One place you can turn for help is a home care agency. Home care providers know how to perform caregiving tasks without injuring themselves or the senior they are caring for. Having someone to take over some of your caregiving duties can give your body a break it needs to rest and heal.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver, please call the compassionate, caring staff at Mothers Helping Hands Home Care. Call 470-260-4137.