August 6, 2019

Family caregivers do not need to sacrifice safety in order to provide care.

Even though the ultimate goal is to increase safety and health for the aging adults they love, St. Louis caregivers, unfortunately, often wind up diminishing their very own health in the process. The truth is, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently available study conducted by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in one or more parts of their body – and 66% revealed this pain influencing their quality of life.

And know that a “family caregiver” can represent anyone in the family who assists someone else with daily activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this implies 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the caregiving services they provide.

At Continuum, we know firsthand the degree of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing needed in satisfying the care needs of a senior loved one, which is why each of our professional caregivers are competent in caregiver safety methods that protect both themselves and the seniors in their care. Injuries can occur from even the most mundane of tasks that require 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 the sofa or bed.

To help family caregivers lessen the likelihood of injury, we provide the following suggestions:

  • Let assistive devices do the lifting. For older adults with mobility issues, transfers, such as from a bed to a sofa, represent the most common factor behind injury to those caring for them. Not just that, but the danger of a loved one falling and acquiring an injury are heightened. Caregivers should investigate equipment like a Hoyer lift to assist with safe transfers (however, understand that proper equipment training will be needed).
  • Exercise safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but before lifting a finger, caregivers should take a quick assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it’s a sign that the body appears to have been pushed beyond its capacity – and a different means of helping the individual must be explored.
  • Seek help. The best way to eliminate injury in caregiving is by acknowledging your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team at Continuum is fully experienced and adept in delivering a full range of senior care help, allowing members of the family and older adults alike to stay safe and well.

Reach out to us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to request an in-home consultation. We can complete a safety assessment of the home, provide you with information in order to help in your caregiving journey, and provide the fully customized, professional in home care St. Louis families can use as an opportunity to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love.