The Right Way to Lift and Move: A Guide for Caregivers at We Care Together

At We Care Together Southampton, our priority is the health and safety of both our clients and our dedicated team of caregivers. One of the most challenging aspects of providing in-home care is the physical task of lifting and moving clients who are elderly or less abled. Incorrect lifting techniques can lead to injuries for both the caregiver and the client. This guide is designed to provide our caregivers with essential techniques and principles to follow, ensuring safety and comfort for everyone involved.

 

Understanding the Risks

Lifting and moving clients improperly can result in various injuries, including strains, sprains, and even more severe musculoskeletal disorders. For our clients, especially those who are elderly or have limited mobility, there’s an increased risk of discomfort and injury. Recognizing these risks, it’s crucial to approach each situation with care and the right knowledge.

 

Preparing for Safe Lifting

Before attempting to lift or move a client, assess the situation carefully:

Evaluate the Client’s Condition: Understand the client’s level of mobility and any specific health concerns that may affect the lifting process.

Communicate: Discuss with the client what you’re about to do. This ensures they’re prepared, can assist if able, and helps prevent any sudden movements that could lead to injuries.

Plan the Move: Determine where you’re moving the client and the best route to get there. Ensure the path is clear of obstacles.

Use Proper Equipment: If available, use aids like transfer belts, sliding sheets, or mechanical lifts. These tools can significantly reduce strain and risk.

 

Key Principles of Safe Lifting

When lifting or moving a client, keep the following principles in mind:

Keep a Wide Base of Support: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to maintain balance.

Bend at the Knees, Not the Waist: Use your legs, not your back, to lift. This reduces strain on your back muscles.

Keep the Client Close: Hold the client close to your body while lifting. This reduces the strain on your back.

Lift with Your Legs: Straighten your legs in a smooth, steady motion to lift. Avoid twisting your body while carrying the client.

Work as a Team: Whenever possible, work with another caregiver. This not only distributes the load but also provides additional support and safety for the client.

After the Lift

Once you’ve successfully moved the client, monitor them for any signs of discomfort or distress. Adjust their position to ensure they’re comfortable. Also, take a moment to assess yourself for any signs of strain or discomfort.

 

Continuous Learning and Training

At We Care Together, we’re committed to providing ongoing training and resources to ensure our caregivers are equipped with the latest techniques and tools for safe lifting and moving. Regular workshops and refresher courses are part of our commitment to your safety and professional development.