Helping a mobility-impaired senior means that you may be offering her support as she walks, or you may even be lifting her at times. There are safe ways to do this that are less likely to cause injury to you, but you may need to learn how to use those techniques. If you don’t pay attention to making sure that you’re keeping your back healthy, you may not be able to keep going as a caregiver.
Make Sure You Understand Your Own Limits
Part of protecting yourself physically as a caregiver is understanding what your own limits are. The best way to start that process is to talk to your doctor about your health. Make sure that you know what your health issues are and how you can best take care of yourself. If you have lifting restrictions, you have to respect those now in order to protect your back.
Do What You Need to Do Physically
There are specific things you need to do from a physical standpoint to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Eating right, sleeping well, and moving more are all part of that list. As you exercise more, make sure you’re adding things like flexibility exercises to your routine. Building up your own muscle tone is also important.
Consider Assistive Tools
Assistive devices can be back savers for you and for your elderly family member, too. There are a wide range of different types of tools to consider that can help your senior to rise from a seated or prone position. Lifting winches, lift chairs, braces, and support poles can all fit that bill. You may want to try a variety of different types of tools, both for your senior and for you, to see which ones help the most when assisting her with moving.
Communication Is Key
Whenever you and your aging family member are maneuvering her from one position into another, communication is crucial. You need to make sure that your senior know what you’re doing and when you’re going to be actually ready to lift. She needs to communicate with you, as well. If she’s not ready to go when you are, you need to know that.
This may be a perfect time to work with senior care providers. They’ve got experience in using proper lifting techniques and they can help you and your elderly family member to learn how to safely learn what you need to know.