Who cares for the carer?
I have been inspired to write this blog after working with one of my patients. I have worked with many carers in my career. I have even signed one carer off, their job was physically breaking them! Carers can be a paid person or anyone of us taking care of another. Hopefully the person in employment receives some sort of formal training on handling and body awareness. Those who care for family members and loved ones probably do not. A huge responsibility is suddenly bestowed upon you and you just have to get on with it. Some of my patients have undergone a massive lifestyle change, with no formal training. They either work it out for themselves or follow advice by suppliers of hoists or various equipment. Whoever you may be caring for, I want to help you care for yourself.
Believe me I know that if YOU are not in pain right now, you probably will not read much more. If YOU are in PAIN then I have your full attention! Either way save this blog, implement this blog and use it to help support you with your lifestyle change, job, new role as a carer.
- Use your legs! They are MUCH stronger than your arms. It is how i manage to treat people of all sizes! Doing gentle squats everyday will help keep your legs strong and your lower back supported. So imagine this;
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Keep your spine long and straight.
- Soften your knees and point your bottom towards the skirting behind you.
- Squat down
- DO NOT allow your knees to cover your toes. If this is happening push your bottom (to shift your centre of gravity) back towards the skirting so you can see your toes.
- Repeat between 3 -10 times depending on how strong you are.
You can do this whilst brushing your teeth, waiting for the kettle to boil, evening ironing! Little and often is key.
Ok don’t laugh, we need to strengthen our arms!!! Even if all you can do is two, doing that repeatedly over the course of the day will soon add up!
- Hold onto the top of your doorframe with your hands.
- Soften your elbows and knees.
- Breathe in and as you breathe out lift yourself up, or at least pull your body weight up with your arms.
- Breathe in and relax and drop your weight back onto your feet.
- Repeat 2-10 times, whatever you can do and feel comfortable with.
- Try and do this 3-4 times a day, or overtime your walk through a particular door i.e. kitchen door.
- You can buy pull up devices.
If you are moving another person try and use your legs for leverage so you are not using your arms for strength but rather movement. The more you do with your arms, the more your hands will eventually hurt. As a general exercise to keep hands supple and strong you can ;
- Invest in a hand ball exercise gadget to work your hands and fingers
- Squeeze a stress ball whilst rotating your wrists
- Place one hand on the table and use a golf ball or a ping pong ball to gently massage the hand on the table. Moving the ball all around the palm, under the thumb and up and down your fingers.
- Cold and hot baths. Placing your hands in alternative bowls of water can help reduce ache and inflammation.
This post is short and does not incorporate the vast variabilities that exist. Had I attempted to address them it would be a very long read! I do hope it is a useful start to get you thinking about your body when you are helping another.
Please comment with your questions so I can respond with another blog or answer directly. I shall write again more specifically for carers. Until then take care of yourself so you can take care of others 🙂
www.loveyourback.co.uk/book-now/ is the link for booking an appointment today, or call 07956 390 217 and speak with me direct 🙂
Thank you for your time until next week 🙂