Safety on the toilet is a lot easier than you might think, but you need to remember you’re not there for the heavy lifting. Your role is about being supportive and making sure your aging family member doesn’t lose her balance. If you’re doing more than that, you’re risking injury for both of you.
Let Your Senior Do Most of the Moving
A common mistake that caregivers make is that they try to do most of the work for their aging adult. You need to be there for support rather than doing the bulk of the moving. Encourage your senior to do as much as she can on her own. You’re right there to offer her support the second she needs it, but doing more for her can cause one or both of you to become injured.
Avoid Grabbing Her Extremities
Another mistake that caregivers make is that they grab their senior’s arms or legs when offering balance support. This can throw your elderly family member off balance even more and it can cause damage to joints, muscles, and ligaments in the arms and legs. You mean well, but this is a dangerous way to help. Instead, reach for the middle of your senior’s body, around her waist or hips.
Try to Avoid Lifting Your Senior
In keeping with letting your senior handle most of the movement, you want to avoid lifting your senior. This can throw you off balance and you might accidentally lift your senior incorrectly. This can create injuries for you and that might lead to your elderly family member falling as well. Your best option is to continue to provide support and balance.
Brace Yourself and Bend Your Knees
While you’re being the one to offer a stabilizing presence, it’s important that you are braced with your feet slightly apart. You also might want to bend your knees and be conscious of how you’re bending and moving. You want to make sure that you’re not putting strain on your own body as you help your senior. You also need to ensure that you’re not off balance yourself as you try to provide balance for your elderly family member.
If you’re still having trouble with the logistics of helping your senior use the bathroom, it might be a good idea to hire some elder care providers. They can give you examples of how to help and take over for you with helping your senior.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Brick, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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