NODA Area Agency on Aging
Judy Rupp, Care Coordinator
580-237-2236 or 800-749-1149
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Caregiver Assistance News
CARINA FOR YOU
CARINA FOR OTHERS
Safe Transfers - Proper Lifting
Oh, My Aching Back!
As a caregiver, you may have to
help the person in your care move from
place to place by lifting her. When you
learn how to control and balance your
own body, you can safely control and
move another person.
You can injure your
back by not focusing
on what you are doing,
whether you are bending improperly to pick a
paperclip up off the floor
or loading the washing
machine. Being a caregiver puts you at even
more risk for back injuries. Many occur when
lifting, moving, transferring or changing the position of the one in your care.
Improper movements can cause injury
to the person being moved, such as
abrasions to skin, strains, sprains and
General Rules to Prevent
Use the same procedure for all
transfers, so that a routine is set up:
• Never lift more than you can comfortably handle.
• Create a base of support by standing with your feet 8-12 inches
(shoulder width) apart with one
foot a half step ahead of the other.
• DO NOT let your back do the
heavy work: USE YOUR LEGS.
(The back muscles are not your
• If the bed is low, put one foot on a
foot stool. This relieves pressure on
your lower back.
• Consider using a back support
• If sitting for
get up every 20
minutes to give
your spine relief.
• Stay fit by exercising and strengthening back and
• Gently stretch
often during the
• Maintain a
healthy weight to reduce pressure
on your spine.
• Have a program to manage stress
such as yoga, meditation or even
• Quit smoking, as nicotine slows
the flow of blood to the vertebrae
and disks and impairs their function. Smokers tend to lose bone
faster than nonsmokers, putting
them at risk for osteoporosis.