How to Prevent Back Injuries When Lifting Someone

Back injuries are some of the most common problems that caregivers and nurses face when performing their daily duties. Whether you’re an individual caring for a family or friend, or you’re a professional care provider, using the right equipment and techniques could not only help to ensure the safety and comfort of the person you’re caring for but also reduce your own risk of injury.

Reducing the risk of injury to caregivers in any environment begins with learning the correct lifting techniques, and choosing the right equipment. By assessing the risks that are present in any care situation, it’s easier to determine what kind of assistance you might need when it comes to moving patients or individuals with limited mobility.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Although it can feel like you need to do everything yourself when caring for someone with limited mobility – that isn’t really the case. In fact, there are plenty of tools, pieces of furniture, and equipment solutions that can help to make your job much easier. For instance, hoists are one of the key elements involved in lifting another person.

With an electric hoist, you can remove much of the discomfort and risk associated with moving a patient, and ensure that you don’t even need to ask for the help of other people. Additionally, a hoist can make the moving process much simpler and less uncomfortable for the person in need of care, meaning that they’re far less distressed by the overall experience.

One of the major choices that you’ll need to make when selecting hoisting equipment, is whether you’d prefer to invest in a mobile hoist or a hoist with a ceiling track. Typically, ceiling hoists are ideal for areas with limited space, such as a bathroom or a small bedroom. Try to assess the positives and benefits of each option before making your purchase.

Learn how to Lift

For cases when it may not be possible to use a hoist, or in instances where you might need to move a patient from the floor into a hoist, it’s crucial to know the right lifting techniques. The spine offers the basic stability and foundation for movement in the human body, and it’s important to keep it safe when you’re lifting a heavy object.

To reduce your chances of injury when moving an individual in need of care, make sure that you:

  • Keep your feet steady, and as close to the person being lifted as possible.
  • Face towards the person being lifted, bending slightly at the knees in preparation, and keeping the spine straight. This will add strength and improve power from the arms and legs.
  • When turning someone from their back to their side, make sure you distribute your weight evenly between both feet and avoid any extended forward-bending motions.
  • Attempt the lift using a flowing and smooth motion, pushing up with your leg muscles, and reducing the risk of any awkward positions.

Remember to Protect Yourself

Ensuring the safety of a person in need of care is incredibly important for caregivers. However, many of these people forget to think about defending themselves against injury. By making sure that you protect yourself with the right lifting techniques, and the correct equipment, you make sure that you’re creating a safe environment for everyone involved in a care setting.

As a care provider, it’s important to remember that you should never put yourself in danger trying to look after another person. While there’s nothing wrong with doing your best to keep an individual comfortable, it’s crucial to think about the different ways that you might be able to make your tasks a little easier and reduce the risk of damage to your spine and muscles.

Something as simple as relying on the equipment we provide here at HLS Healthcare could be enough to make movement a more comfortable process for those in need of care while limiting the risk of injury for caregivers.

If you have any questions about ceiling hoist solutions for the disabled or any of our health care solutions please contact us directly on 1300 931 893.

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