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A Guide to Lifting The Elderly

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Published:  February 22, 2023

When caring for our frail loved ones, we may need to lift them from time to time. It’s important to do this safely so that neither you nor the person you’re helping will be in any danger. In this article, we’ve collected some tips on how to properly and safely lift elderly people:

Lifting From a Chair

When lifting an elderly person from a chair, be sure to use your legs and not your back. Stand in front of the chair with one foot slightly ahead of the other for stability. Place one arm around the person’s torso and have them clasp their hands together over your arm. Bend at the knees and lift with your legs, keeping your back as straight as possible.

Lifting From a Bed

When lifting an elderly person from a bed, be sure to provide them with something solid to hold onto for support. Place your hands under their arms and gently lift them up while keeping your back straight and using the strength of your legs. When you have lifted them out of the bed, help them to stand with your hands supporting their weight. Check out our article on repositioning patients in bed for further information.

Lifting Into a Wheelchair

When lifting an elderly person into a wheelchair, stand directly behind them with both feet slightly apart. Place your arms on either side of their torso and help to lift them up in one smooth motion. Keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs. If you find it difficult to do this alone, get someone else to help you for added stability.

Lifting Off The Floor

If an elderly person has fallen on the floor, be sure to take all necessary precautions before attempting to lift them. Make sure to talk with them before lifting, ask them if they’re hurt and if so, where the pain is. Have someone call for help if necessary and then assess the situation before doing anything else.

First, place a stable chair by their feet and another one near their head. This will provide a safe surface for them should they slip or lose balance during the process and allow you to create leverage as you lift them. It is also important to ensure that these chairs are level and stable on even ground to prevent any accidents.

Next, roll them gently onto their side using your arms for support and help them into a kneeling position. The person should brace their hands on the chair in front of them while placing one of their legs up towards the other chair like they are doing a knee lunge. Once in this position, carefully slide your arms underneath their shoulder and chest area and slowly lift them from below while keeping your back as straight as possible at all times. You can then reposition the other chair behind them for additional support until they can sit up properly in it without assistance.

When lifting an elderly person off of the ground, it is important not to jerk or pull too hard as this may cause damage or injury to both parties involved. If anyone else is available, it is always best practice to seek assistance from a second person so that you do not put yourself at risk of straining muscles or injuring yourself during the process.

General Safety Tips

When lifting an elderly person, be sure to move slowly and carefully. Make sure the path is clear of any obstacles that could trip you or cause harm to either of you. It’s also important to make sure the person you are lifting can understand and follow your instructions. Speak clearly and explain what you will do before doing it to ensure they remain calm and comfortable.

Mission Healthcare Can Help

If you would like to learn more about lifting the elderly or fall prevention, reach out to the experts at Mission Healthcare. Our team is committed to helping ease your worries about providing the highest quality of care for your elderly loved ones. We will take the time to listen to you and provide guidance on how best to protect and support them in their day-to-day activities. Contact us today!