Even though the ultimate goal is always to improve safety and health for the seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, often end up compromising their own health along the way. In fact, an astonishing 94% of those who provide care in the home, in a recently available study conducted by Ohio State University, documented musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% revealed this pain impacting their quality of life.
And know that a “family caregiver” can be anyone in the family who helps out another individual with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this means that 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the care they provide.
At JFS Care, we know firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing required in meeting the care needs of a senior, which is the reason why each of our professional caregivers is well-trained in techniques that safeguard both themselves as well as the older adults in their care. Injuries can 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 loved one to a chair or bed.
To help family caregivers lower the likelihood of injury, we offer the following suggestions:
- Let assistive equipment do the lifting. For seniors with mobility issues, transfers, for example from a bed to a chair, represent one of the more common factors behind injury to those providing
- . Not just that, but the chance of a senior loved one falling and obtaining an injury are heightened. Caregivers should explore equipment such as a Hoyer lift that can assist with safe transfers (however, keep in mind that proper training will be required).
- Perform safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but prior to lifting a finger, caregivers should take an assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it’s a signal that the body appears to have been pushed beyond its capability – and a different means of helping the individual should be investigated.
- Find help. The simplest way to eliminate injury in caregiving is by remembering your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team at JFS Care, the most trusted Los Angeles, CA home health agency, is fully experienced and proficient in furnishing a full range of senior care help, enabling family caregivers and seniors alike to remain safe and well.
Contact us at (213) 383-2273 to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can complete a safety assessment of the house, provide information to assist in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly customized, professional in-home care services which allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the older adults they love. Click here to see our full service area and to determine if our services are available in your loved one’s community.