How to Avoid Injuring Your Back as a Caregiver

Posted by Joe on 12/4/2014 to Getting Ready
As a caregiver, you may need to often help your loved one move around. Or, you may need to lift a wheelchair and other types of big equipment. In some cases, you might have to move fast to prevent her from falling. If you are not careful, you can have a serious back injury and lots of pain. You can avoid these problems by following a few lower back tips:

Lift Properly

No matter if you are lifting a wheelchair or helping your loved one get out of bed, you need to remember some simple points. To avoid a serious back injury:
  • Get as close as you can to the object you need to lift
  • Put your feet wide apart to give you a good support base
  • Bend at your knees and keep your back upright
  • Life with the legs and not the back
  • Do NOT bend and twist

Transfer Properly

Transferring your loved one from, say, bed, to a chair, will present several challenges. Before you even start, you should prepare for the transfer process. Put the wheelchair or walker so that the transfer occurs to your loved one's strong side. You also should make sure that you finish the transfer with your neck and head properly aligned. Any device's wheels need to be locked.

You also can use a gait belt as you do the transfer to help your loved one complete the needed motion. Do NOT use the gait belt to lift anyone.

Use an Assistive Device

There are a variety of helpful assistive devices that can make transferring your loved one much easier. Just a walker or a cane can be a big help. Some of the assistive devices we carry include this one:

Safety Sure Transfer Board

Be sure to follow the guidelines above to keep your back as healthy as you can - your loved one is counting on you.













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