Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Tips for July 16

Health Tip: Lifting Safety for Caregivers

If you are caring for an ill or injured loved one, you could be at risk for serious injury yourself if your daily routine includes a lot of heavy lifting.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions for caregivers to help prevent injury:

When lifting a person or heavy object:

  • Keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
  • Don't force your spine into awkward positions, and avoid bending at the waist.
  • Don't twist yourself when lifting or carrying.
  • Hold the loved one or object close to your body.
  • Don't stand with your feet too close together. Keep them about the width of your shoulders apart.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • If the person or object is too heavy to lift, ask someone else for help.

Health Tip: How a Caregiver Can Help

If a loved one has become ill and needs your help, you may be overwhelmed by the responsibilities that now become yours.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers this list of common tasks that caregivers can help with:

  • Personal care activities including bathing and getting dressed.
  • House cleaning and laundry.
  • Cooking and preparing meals.
  • Taking care of financial responsibilities.
  • Scheduling and transporting the person to medical appointments.
  • Taking care of grocery shopping and errands.
  • Administering medications, shots or other treatments.
  • Changing tubes or dressings.
  • Keeping other loved ones updated on the patient's condition.

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