How To Prevent Injuries When Lifting A Mobility Impaired Loved One

If you are the caretaker of a loved one or family member with mobility issues, then products from places like Twin City Stair Lifts such as stair lifts, rollators, canes, and walkers can all offer assistance. Even with these devices though, you will likely need to pick up your loved one or help them stand on occasion. This can cause injuries to your back, neck, knees, and hips. You want to keep your own injuries from occurring so you can continue to care for your loved one and the tips below can assist you with this.

Buy a Good Pair of Shoes

Proper lifting techniques require you to plant your feet firmly on the ground before you lift with your knees. If your feet are not as secure as you think they are, then you may slip or fall. Laminate floors, outdoor moisture, and uneven terrain can all cause you to lose your footing. This can lead to a catastrophic fall for both you and your family member. You can prevent this by making sure to wear shoes at all times that will not slip.

Look for the Right Soles

The best pair of shoes to reduce slip accidents are ones made out of vulcanized rubber. This type of material is created when sulfur is added to the rubber. The sulfur makes the rubber more durable and it also allows a small amount of water to absorb into the material when it comes into contact with moisture. The durability and absorption properties keep the soles from sliding, cracking, or breaking, and this prevents falls. Vulcanized rubber shoes are often marketed as no-slip, so look for this when you go to your local shoe store.

The shoes you buy should also feature a deep tread that allows water and other fluid materials to channel away from the shoes. Circular tread patterns are often considered best, so the shoes do not cascade on top of the water before it is able to move away from the shoes.

Stretch Beforehand

Most people know they need to stretch before they exercise to reduce muscle strains, but you probably do not think of lifting as a form of exercise. However, when you lift, you use the muscles in your arms, legs, abdomen, shoulders, and back. This means all muscle groups should be ready to exert energy before you lift your loved one.  

One of the best ways to do this is to use your muscles a small amount beforehand to increase blood flow. This helps to bring oxygen to the tissues so they have enough nutrition to work properly. This can help to reduce strains, and stretching is enough to warm up the muscles. Stretching also helps to increase the range of muscle and joint movement so your muscles can help you lift without tearing.

How to Stretch

It will take you several minutes to stretch out your body, because you use almost all of your muscle groups to lift your loved one. Start your stretches by touching your toes for two or three minutes and twist your body from side to side to stretch your hips. Do arm circles as well in front of your body and shrug your shoulders up and down. You may want to do several sit-ups as well to warm up the abdominal muscles and practice lunges to prepare the back. Several jumping jacks are also a good idea before you lift.

Once you complete your stretches, make sure to drink a glass of water. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and spasms. Use soap and water to wipe the sweat off your hands and arms as well, so the fluid does not cause you to drop your loved one.

If you have a family member who cannot get around as well as they used to, then it may be wise to install mobility devices in the home. You still may need to help your loved one in and out of the devices, and the tips above can help to reduce injuries when you lift.