Caring for your back is important when providing care for a family member.
Taking care of someone can be very physically demanding, especially is the later stages of dementia. Please make sure to think before you lift, bend your knees and not your back. Here are a few more tips to promote a healthy back:
- Assess your lifting limitations, (Do you have back or hip problems? etc.)
- Are tools you can use (back support, sliding board, taking out armrest of wheelchair, walker or cane) to make the lift easier?
- Inform your aging family member what you are about to do, (lift, roll them over, transfer)
- Ask your aging family member if he or she can assist with the lifting
- Be sure that the surface is not wet or slippery (wear sensible shoes when lifting)
- Make sure your aging family member has shoes on with a rubber soles when lifting.
- NEVER jerk or suddenly pull on your aging family member
- Transfer from your family members strongest side towards the chair or bed
- If your aging family member starts to fall, lower him or her gently on the floor. If you do not think you can lift them without risk of injury, ask for help or call 911
- Lift with your legs and keep your back straight
- Prior to and after the lifting, carefully do some back stretches
Here are some exercises you can do