There aren’t reliable statistics on injuries sustained by family caregivers, partly because such injuries often go unreported. However, the act of providing care for an older loved one can sometimes be physically demanding and result in slips and falls, cuts and bruises, muscle strains, back issues, and other injuries of varying severity. This is why it’s important to take steps to protect yourself against injury when providing care.
Stay in Shape
Not only is this good for you physically, but it also puts you in a better position to be able to handle the demands of providing care. One especially good thing about staying in shape is the many ways exercise can fit into a busy schedule. Possibilities include:
• Daily walks
• Swimming, water aerobics, and other water-based forms of exercise
• Weight training that targets core muscle groups
• Yoga, Pilates, and similar disciplines that increase balance, strength, and coordination
What’s more, you can always exercise with your loved one. This is a great way for both of you to remain physically healthy while also spending time together.
Caring for a loved one can take a physical toll on even the strongest caregivers, so it’s important to practice preventive measures to keep yourself as healthy as possible. You may also want to consider seeking the help of a professional caregiver. The type of senior home care Mesa, AZ, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
Wear Safe, Supportive Shoes
Reduce the risk of slipping and falling or losing your balance while providing care by wearing the right shoes. Opt for shoes that are comfortable and supportive, such as sneakers or flat-soled shoes. Flat-soled shoes are also safer to wear when providing assistance with stairs.
Remove Safety Hazards from the Home
Do occasional walk-throughs in your loved one’s home. Look for anything that could present safety risks as you provide care, such as loose rugs, oddly placed furniture, or electrical cords that could be tripped over.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
If part of your care routine involves lifting things for your loved one or physically lifting him or her from a chair to a bed or into a vehicle, make sure you’re doing so correctly. Proper lifting is done by:
• Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart for added support
• Bending at your hips and knees only
• Maintaining good posture (e.g., shoulders back, chest out, and back straight)
• Lifting slowly without twisting or turning
• Leading with your hips if you need to change direction
Consider lift assist devices if you physically lift your loved one on a regular basis. These include things like pivot pads, gait belts, and grab bars that can be used in bathrooms.
Don’t Put Off Seeing Your Doctor
If you’re injured while providing care, don’t put off a visit to your doctor, especially for anything involving worsening or lingering aches and pains. It’s often easier to treat injuries when they’re still minor. Also, don’t forego your own regular physical exams and other healthcare needs. You’ll be in a better position to provide the type of care your loved one needs if you’re mindful of your own health, too.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Know When to Get Some Help
This could involve asking other family members or friends to take care of things like yard work or strenuous cleaning tasks. Doing this also gives you more time to focus on providing direct assistance with your loved one’s daily routines. In-home care is another way to ease your burden and reduce your injury risk. In addition to getting a helping hand, you’ll be able to rest and refresh personally and physically, which also reduces your susceptibility to injuries.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Mesa, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call us today at (480) 699-4899 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.