Having to take care of a loved one with mobility issues is never easy. It’s not as simple as having to assist them whenever they find it difficult to move. It’s also about knowing whether you’re providing the right kind of care and support they need. You will feel it holding you back, but you feel twice as bad for them at the same time.
It can be challenging, especially if you’re only starting out. But you can easily overcome it by researching and asking for help. Looking up proper information and getting guidance from health care providers will assure that you will provide your loved one with limited mobility with the care they need.
Caring for your loved ones can get easier when you know how to solve problems along the way. It will take some getting used to, but you will be able to do it well. What are some effective ways to deal with your loved one’s mobility issues? Here are four steps.
Be clear that you want to help
Sometimes, you might forget that you also need to communicate with your loved one before stepping in. You can end up startling or even offending your loved one, so it’s best to just tell them what you have to do when you want to help them do anything.
Communicating properly might not be one of your first considerations when assisting a loved one with mobility issues, but it’s very important. You wouldn’t want to overstep and make your loved one feel like their boundaries aren’t being respected. Regardless of whether you have good intentions, you need to tell them that you’re willing to help before doing anything.
The first step is making those intentions clear before doing anything. Always remember to tell your loved one what you need them to do and how you’re going to help them. Be clear about your objective and what you plan to do. For example, start by asking them if they’d like you to help them sit up, then assist them.
Check your timing
One more thing you have to consider is the timing. Just like communication, this might seem innocuous enough. But since you’re dealing with your loved one’s feelings, you need to pause and think if the timing of what you want to do for them is right for them as well.
You might get ticked off easily without stopping to understand your loved one’s reasons first. Since you can’t control how they will react, you just need to adjust your timing. Can you postpone it until they’re ready? It will make them feel more in control of their situation.
If your loved one is resistant to be moved or assisted, just let them be for a while, then ask again later. Adjusting to their needs will also show them that you respect their choices and are mature enough to accept when the person you are caring for doesn’t need your help yet.
Look out for injuries
As the caregiver, you also have to avoid injuries yourself. One misstep can not only put your own health at risk, but your loved one’s as well. Just because you’re caring for someone else doesn’t mean you don’t have to look out for yourself first.
If you have to lift or move your loved one, make sure you bend your knees and your feet are shoulder-width apart. Lower your body using your leg muscles and relax your shoulders and neck. Keep your loved one close to your body to make you feel more stable. Always be careful with your back and don’t use your back muscles to lift your loved one.
Don’t forget to move slowly and just take one step at a time. Your loved one might move unexpectedly, so it’s best to just take it easy. Lastly, turn and pivot with your whole body instead of just twisting to maintain your stability. These steps will ensure that both you and your loved one are safe.
Acknowledge when you need help
You might feel like you need to shoulder the responsibility of being a caregiver all on your own. But you don’t have to. Much of caregiving requires some assistance as well. You don’t need to do it alone.
If you think you need some help when lifting or moving your loved one, look for someone who can assist you. It’s better to get others to help rather than risk hurting yourself and your loved one. Remember that when you look out for your own safety, you are doing it for them as well.
Remember to not do anything more than you can take. Always stay within your capacity, and keep in mind that you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who will be willing to lend you a hand when you ask.