August 7, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

caregivers for seniors

Even though the ultimate goal is always to maximize health and safety for the seniors they love, family caregivers for seniors oftentimes wind up compromising their very own in the process. Believe it or not, an incredible 94% of caregivers in a recent study conducted by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in one or more parts of their body – and 66% mentioned this pain affecting their quality of life.

And understand that a “family caregiver” can be anyone within the family who helps someone else with daily activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this means that 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming hurt through the home care services they provide.

At Home Independent Living knows firsthand the amount of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in meeting the care needs of a senior, which is the reason why each of our professional caregivers is educated in methods that safeguard both themselves and also the seniors in their care. Injuries can happen from even the most basic of tasks that involve 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 a chair or bed.

To help family caregivers reduce the risk of injury, we provide the following tips:

  • Let assistive devices do the lifting. For senior loved ones with mobility issues, transfers, such as from a bed to a chair, exemplify one of the most common factors behind injury to those caring for them. Not only this, but the chance of a senior loved one falling and acquiring a physical injury is increased. Caregivers should investigate equipment such as a Hoyer lift to help with safe transfers (however, note that proper training will be needed).
  • Perform safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but prior to lifting a finger, caregivers should take an assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it’s a sign that the body could have been pushed past its capacity – and an alternative method of assisting the senior has to be explored.
  • Seek help. The best way to steer clear of injury in caregiving is through knowing your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The caregiving team from At Home Independent Living is fully experienced and adept in providing a full range of senior care services, helping family members and senior loved ones alike to stay safe and well.

Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the house, provide resources to aid in your caregiving journey, and match you with a highly qualified, professional caregiver in Syracuse, NY or the surrounding areas to allow you the opportunity to simply enjoy quality time with your loved one.