When you decided to care for an older loved one, you most likely didn’t consider your role as being risky. However, the challenges of senior care are nothing to take lightly. Approximately 94% of caregivers who took part in a recent survey described physical pain in at least one part of their body that could be attributed to their caregiving responsibilities. And, more than half of respondents said these caregiving injuries are extreme enough to impact their overall well-being.
But don’t worry: we are here to help keep you safe from harm! Our experienced caregiving team has many ideas to help protect your health and well-being along with that of the older adult in your care.
Understand Your Limits – and Stick to Them
It is surprising how intense day-to-day tasks can be when you’re helping another individual in performing them. Assisting someone who is unsteady to get on their feet and move from one area to another, stretching and bending to help with bathing, showering, and getting dressed, lifting a wheelchair into the trunk of your car can all wreak havoc on your back. You can make sure you are in optimal physical shape by doing exercises every day and maintaining a healthy body weight. Yet it’s equally important to establish boundaries and only perform tasks that you know you’re able to take care of without injuring yourself. Schedule a regular physical with your physician and come to a consensus on where you should draw the line – and then engage the help of someone else for tasks that are beyond your comfort level.
Learn Proper Caregiving Techniques
Many caregiving injuries arise from lifting or transferring a person without knowing the correct and safe way to do it. Several tips to bear in mind include:
- Lift with your legs instead of your back.
- Listen to your body. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your joints or back, you’re overdoing it.
- Use adaptive equipment to ease these tasks, such as an adjustable bed that can be raised and lowered or a Hoyer lift.
Ask for Assistance
It’s so common for a primary family caregiver to attempt to take care of everything independently. But, in terms of caring for an older member of the family, delegating tasks is crucial. Allowing others to help eases both mental and physical stress on you, and provides the senior in your care with extra benefits as well, such as increased social opportunities.
If you are currently trying to manage caregiving by yourself, hold a meeting with other members of the family and close friends. Talk through what is included in the day-to-day care for the older adult, and find out where others can fit into the caregiving picture.
Keep Abby Senior Care in mind as well. We’re here to help with any responsibilities that are difficult for you to manage, or that you’d prefer somebody else to handle. We can take care of housekeeping and meals, for example, while you enjoy quality time with your loved one. Or, we can assist with the senior’s morning or bedtime bath/shower regimen, while you take some time to yourself.
Whatever the need, up through and including full-time, 24/7 care, we’re here for you! Give us a call at 303-699-8840 to find out more about our in-home care caregivers in Denver and throughout the surrounding areas.