Elderly Care in Darien, CT - Assist a Senior Safely and Protect Your Back with these Helpful Tips
Many family members providing elderly care have injured their back as a result of improper lifting. Having to move a loved one from place to place or get him or her up and down or in and out of bed requires using the right lifting techniques to protect your back.
Anyone who just bends down to pick something off the floor or perform a simple daily chore can injure their back if they don’t bend or position themselves properly. However, the risk of a back injury is even greater for those who are caregivers. Elderly care providers who have learned how to balance and position their own body are able to safely move and control another person’s movements.
The following are four tips for elder care services to consider to protect their back:
- Standing with your feet 8 to 12 inches apart, or shoulder width, and having one foot a half of a step ahead of the other will create a base of support. Lift with your legs and not with your back.
- Use a back support belt and do not attempt to lift more than you can comfortably handle.
- Maintaining a healthy weight lessens the pressure on the spine. Exercise regularly to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. Yoga, Pilates, or walking is a great way to stay fit. Getting up every 20 minutes, for those who sit for extended periods of time, will also help alleviate pressure on the spine.
- Smokers should reconsider their bad habit. Nicotine reduces the flow of blood to the vertebrae and disks impairing their function. Smokers are also more at risk for osteoporosis as they tend to lose bone faster than someone who doesn’t smoke.
If you are providing elderly care to someone who requires repositioning in bed, getting to a standing position, or transferring to and from a wheelchair, learn the proper techniques for doing these activities. Keeping the back straight and lifting with your legs is the best way to prevent an injury.
Other things to consider when you move or lift a person are:
- Keep your head and neck in proper alignment with your spine.
- Do not bend at the waist. Keep the natural curve of the spine.
- The person being moved should be kept close to your body.
- Avoid twisting.
Being an elderly care provider can often be physically demanding. Knowing what to do and how to perform proper lifting and moving techniques will minimize the risk of obtaining a back injury.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Darien, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at (203) 340-0652.