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Safe Transferring Practices for Caregivers

By , 10:34 pm on

Taking care of an aging loved one can sometimes require thinking outside of the box, especially when limited mobility is an issue. However, caution must be used during all transfers. Whether helping the senior into bed, to the chair or simply changing positions, injury can result to the senior and caregiver if precautions are not taken. If you provide care for an aging loved one in Omaha, here are a handful of tips that will not only ensure their safety and comfort, but yours as well.

  • Always Support the Weak Side

    In order to provide stability when transferring, many caregivers may be inclined to stand either in front of or behind the senior. This is not typically recommended. Rather, the caregiver should offer support to the side where the weakness is most prominent, while encouraging the loved one to bear the majority of the weight on the strong side.

  • Pace of Transfer

    Another issue that can result in injury is attempting a quick transfer. Caregivers may feel as though it may be easier and faster to physically move the senior themselves but this can lead to slips, falls and accidents. The senior should guide the pace of the transfer and the caregiver should not push, pull or otherwise manipulate an area of the body in order to hasten the speed.

  • Use of Devices

    There are several fairly inexpensive devices that can be used to provide safety during transfers. These items can include but are not limited to sliding boards, gait belts and assistive devices such as walkers and canes. These can be great tools when used properly, especially for seniors who have recently been hospitalized and are returning home for post hospital care in Omaha. Speak with your loved one’s primary care physician to select the assistive devices that would work best to support their current physical needs.

Transferring can be dangerous if not done properly. Therefore, positioning of the body and footing should be paid careful attention to. Many Omaha senior care professionals recommend that the caregiver block the senior’s feet with their own while assisting them to stand. This will help the senior’s feet from sliding out from under them. Additionally, to promote independence for your elderly loved one, always encourage them to do as much as possible within their limits during transfers.

Limited mobility is one of the many roadblocks that an inexperienced family caregiver may face as they provide care to their aging parent, grandparent or loved one. If you feel that you need additional assistance from a trained and professional caregiver, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 402-763-9140 today. Our devoted Care Manager will be able to answer any of your questions and can also help you schedule a complimentary consultation to further discuss your needs, as well as the specific needs of your aging loved one.