Lifting Techniques for Home Caregivers to Prevent Injury

A young man utilizes proper lifting techniques for home caregivers to help an older man get out of bed.
These lifting techniques for home caregivers will reduce the risk of injury.
As a care professional, you wear a lot of different hats. While each part of your role is highly rewarding and fulfilling, some of the tasks you need to complete can put you and the person in your care at risk for injury. 

Take, for instance, lifts and transfers. Without knowing the proper lifting techniques for home caregivers, you could end up falling, hurting your back, straining muscles, and more – not to mention the danger of the person in your care slipping and falling.

How Can You Ensure Safety While Lifting or Transferring?

Whether you’re a seasoned caregiver or new to the field, it’s a good idea to take a moment to read through these steps for safe lifts or transfers:

  1. Stabilize your feet and stand as close as possible to the person, face to face.
  2. Squat with your knees slightly bent, keeping your back straight and pulling in your abdomen.
  3. Always lift with your legs – never your back.
  4. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between both feet, and avoid extended bending/reaching forward.
  5. Use slow, steady, gentle rocking motions to move the person.
  6. Move around the bed as needed so that you are always in the closest possible proximity to prevent stretching.
  7. Never pull the person by the arms; always lift by the hips.

Additionally, using assistive devices whenever possible can help ensure safe transfers for caregivers and care receivers. For example, consider recommending:

  • A hoist or Hoyer lift
  • Rolling shower and/or toilet chairs to reduce the number of transfers needed
  • Friction-reducing devices such as slip sheets
  • Grab bars
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Adjustable bed

Take Care of Your Health, Too

Caring for someone else requires both physical and mental stamina. Make your own health a priority by designating time for:

  • Exercising
  • Sleeping and rest
  • Nutritious meals
  • Calming activities: journaling, reading, taking walks in nature, etc.
  • Spending time with friends and family who lift your spirits
  • Joining a caregiver support group (online or in person)
  • Talking with a professional counselor if you feel overwhelmed

If it seems hard to carve out time for self-care, remember that caring for yourself is key to preventing burnout, depression, injury, and other serious health concerns. A healthy caregiver is better equipped to provide the highest quality of care.

At Caregiver Jobs In San Diego, we’re pleased to offer additional resources to help you in your role as a caregiver, while also providing you with opportunities to connect with those who are actively hiring care professionals.

We invite you to browse through our blog to find the information and support you need to excel in your caregiving role. Or, apply for a new caregiving opportunity that better meets your needs for flexibility, higher pay, an easier commute, or just a healthier life balance. It’s our goal to help San Diego care professionals and those seeking to hire them to find each other and the resources they need.