Caregivers have a difficult enough job ensuring patients have what they need to live a healthy and safe life. What makes the job even more difficult is when the patient weighs more than the caregiver, and the patient requires assistance when getting up from their chair, bed or other places. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the biggest risk factor when it comes to an overexertion injury in a healthcare worker is manual patient handling. If you’re caring for a loved one at home, you’re exposed to similar risks. These safe-lifting caregiving tips can help make the experience better for you and your patient.
Lifting Should Be A Dual Effort
To the extent it’s possible, your patient needs to do their part in helping you move them from one place to another. This could be difficult with senior care since many seniors have limited mobility. However, every little bit of help they can provide could be the difference between moving them safely or one or both of you getting injured. Your goal as a caregiver is to assist them rather than lifting them entirely by yourself.
Communicate Your Plan For Safe Lifting
Any time you’re getting ready to move your patient, communicate what the plan is going to be for doing so. This seems like one of the most obvious caregiving tips, but it can make a huge difference in safely moving the person. Both of you could get seriously injured if the patient thinks you’re doing one thing and shifts their weight to the left, while you’re thinking something else and try to move them to the right. When you’re both on the same page, the lift can go much more smoothly.
Use Your Leg Strength Rather Than Your Back
You may have heard before in other scenarios to lift with your legs rather than your back, and the same is true when handling a patient. Use your leg strength as much as possible to prevent a back injury. Even a minor back tweak can make senior care very difficult since you don’t have as much strength to help them move. Practice your lifting technique with your legs for a more effective process.
Invest In A Patient Lift
A patient lift offers one of the safest, most effective and most comfortable methods for lifting a patient. The patient simply sits in the lift and you can move them safely from one place to the next. It’s one of the most popular products for senior care if the senior is unable to move around safely to do routine actions in their house. Caregivers often indicate a patient lift is the most useful and helpful assistive device they have for providing the highest and safest level of care.
Next Day Access is a leader in providing high-quality mobility and assistive devices for caregivers and people with mobility limitations. If you need assistance safely lifting your patient, contact us today to see how our patient lift can create a safer environment for you and your patient.