June 19, 2024

A female caregiver practices safe strategies for lifting and transferring seniors while helping an elderly female client out of bed.

These safe strategies for lifting and transferring seniors can help caregivers avoid injury to themselves and the seniors in their care.

The data is alarming: more than 50% of all caregivers report injuries from lifting or transferring an older adult. As an increasing number of family members take on caregiving responsibilities, it’s vitally important that they learn and utilize proper techniques for lifting and transferring to ensure that everyone involved stays safe.

Continuum‘s care team is here with the professional expertise that helps reduce the risk of injuries. Our fully trained and experienced caregivers utilize the following safe lifting and transfer tips, and we’re happy to share them with you to help you and someone you love. We want to make sure that you are fully equipped to provide the best possible care without compromising your safety or that of the person you love.

Be sure to follow these steps in the order below:

  • If the bed is low, place one foot on a stepstool beside it to ease the strain on your lower back.
  • Move the wheelchair as close as you can to the bed and then check to ensure the brakes are engaged and the armrests and footrests are moved aside.
  • Communicate clearly with the individual about the upcoming transfer, to make sure they are prepared and aware of their destination. Begin the move with a vocal countdown, “1-2-3.”
  • If the person is able, ask them to use their hands to help with the transfer.
  • Stand close to the person you are assisting for maximum support.
  • Rather than bending from the waist, bend your knees, keeping your back and neck aligned and your weight evenly distributed on your feet. Use your core and back muscles to support a proper lifting posture.
  • Lift using your legs and use your arms to stabilize the person.
  • Pivot on one foot to turn, rather than twisting your body, to avoid strain.
  • Consider utilizing a transfer belt around the person’s waist for additional stability and support during the transfer.
  • If possible, have the person hold onto the wheelchair armrests for added support.

If transferring the person you love between a bed and a wheelchair is still challenging, Continuum is always here to provide the necessary support. Our team in Ladue, Sunset Hills, St. Louis, and the surrounding areas is trained in safe lifting and transferring techniques for older adults, promoting as much independence at all times as possible.

Whether you need occasional respite care or continuous, full-time support, you can reach us any time at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to prevent injuries to yourself and ensure the safety of someone you love.