Being a caregiver isn’t easy. Not only do you have cumbersome physical tasks to complete when assisting someone with his/her daily requirements, but you also endure the mental and emotional brunt of ensuring another person’s safety. This isn’t to say, of course, that caregiving isn’t an incredibly rewarding experience. However, no one should deny your hard work and tireless efforts.
Because you understand how much is required of you as a caregiver, you’re very well aware of both the physical and emotional tolls that are taken on your care recipient. This is especially true for the elderly. It’s important to keep both their physical and emotional well-beings in mind. With that said, we’d like to offer up a few tips for assisting elderly people who have mobility issues.
Here are three:
1. Allow your care recipient to maintain control.
Losing independence is an incredibility difficult thing to accept. Most elderly people who are incapable of walking on their own endure emotional hardships, knowing that they can’t depend on their own strength to get from one place to the next. Mobility solutions such as wheelchairs and walkers help disabled individuals to restore their independence. If you’re the caregiver of such a person, be sure to respect his/her personal space.
“Some people who use a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker or cane, see these aids as part of their personal space,” explains Alden Habacon on Vancity.com, “Similarly, never start to push someone’s wheelchair without first asking the occupant’s permission. Don’t touch, move or lean on mobility aids. This is also important for safety.”
2. Make the staircase a safer place.
In many of our past blogs, we’ve highlighted the dangers of the stairs. You don’t need to have a mobility issue to take a tumble down a staircase. Naturally, those with disabilities often have tougher times getting themselves up and down the stairs. This is especially true if they’re not taking advantage of stair lifts.
“When helping someone climb up stairs, it’s best to walk next to or behind him,” advises Cleveland Clinic, “If he starts to fall, it’s easier to nudge him forward. Keep your hand on his shoulders or on the belt to keep his center of gravity forward.”
3. Take care in transferring your care recipient to and from his/her mobility device.
One of your most important tasks as a caregiver is getting your care recipient from his/her mobility solution to the bathtub, or to the bed or into a car. Any transfer requires great care. As Cleveland Clinic explains, there is a proper way to transfer someone from a bed to a wheelchair to promote maximum safety.
“Position the wheelchair,” they instruct, “When helping someone transfer out of a bed, start by moving the wheelchair leg rests out of the way, so that you can manoeuvre the chair as close to the bed as possible. Lock the wheels so the wheelchair doesn’t move.”
Help us to help you keep your care recipient safer! For more information about the mobility solutions offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!