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Lifting Someone Safely - Carers UK Forum

Lifting Someone Safely

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hello!

I'm new to these forums so I hope this topic is in the right place.

I'm looking for some advice on lifting someone safely. My partner has cerebal palsy and is a full-time wheelchair user. He's completely unable to weight-bear and has recurrent problems with his feet, which means sometimes when transferring he slips and ends up on the floor.

He's taller than me, 6'1" to my 5'3", and I don't have fantastic upper body strength (although I have quite strong legs from pushing him around all the time!). I have some manual handling training so I know the basics (lift with your legs not your back, bend your knees, plan your route, keep your back as straight as is natural etc), but this is all designed for inanimate objects and obviously lifting a person is much harder.

Does anyone have any specific recommendations for ways to safely help lift him, often from a position on the floor? He doesn't need me to take his whole weight, but to support him. In August I tried a lift which went wrong, ending up with me pulling a ligament in my spine and I'm anxious to avoid making it worse.
Hi Lentil,

Welcome to the forum, love your username Image

I'm sure others with more experience than me will come along with tips and advice soon, but I'd thought I'd flag up an article we did a while ago on lifting the person you care for. It might cover stuff you already know, but there are also some ideas for exercises you can do to strengthen and protect your back: http://carewelluk.org/page/moving-the-p ... u-care-for

Hope you like the forum,
Lucy
Hi,
If you can get your hands on a book by The Red Cross called 'Carer's Handbook' it will give you tons of info and diagrams for all kinds of things you need to do.
Also I am always checking how to do things on you tube.
Hope this helps.
If you are lifting a person it usually requires 2 people, or a hoist, to lift them safely. Its really not a good idea to do it yourself because, as you have discovered, it can cause injury.
If he can partly weight bear could you use an inanimate object, such as a frame for him to put his weight on with you just guiding him?
Have to agree that crocus has the best and correct info.

Only a few weeks ago, we had a professional Carers Assessment and the lady asked me if I lift my wife. Of course, I replied Yes. She frowned and said it's really best NOT to lift her on my own if I can possibly help it but to use a wheelchair or some other aid to move her from A to B. Easier said than done, to be honest and totally useless advice if she's collapsed/fallen on the floor but I could understand and appreciate her advise was the correct one and for the best for myself (my back!) and (in the long run) for my wife, since, as her carer, I'm no good to her laid up in bed (or on a hard floor) with a bad back!
Put simply... DON'T DO IT!!!

I used to think nothing of lifting someone alone - much like you, the height difference was more or less the same (about 1ft - give or take). There was this one day when Dave had somehow managed to fall and land between the toilet and the wall. Once I finished laughing, I realised that there was no way on earth I was going to be able to get the right angle to lift him alone (I've done a manual lifting course) but I foolishly lifted him from the wrong angle all the same.

The end result was a slipped disc. I later mentioned it to SS because there is no way I can ever lift him again now in the event of him falling again and my SW was supposed to send me a number to call when he falls - I'm still waiting on that number coming... over a year later.

The best course of action if your caree is falling is to ring 999 (even if he's uninjured and doesn't require medical treatment) and let them come out and pick caree up. After a while of doing this, they might get tired of it and look into what equipment they can get for you to make your life easier and enable you to lift him alone.
Beck is absolutely right. 999 calls for help getting someone off the floor are part of the advice we received from the local ambulance service. They helped my Mum get my Dad off the floor on more than one occasion.
Advice given to me from Hubs physio was to try and do it in stages, get him onto a low poof or similar first, rest, then aim for something higher.
We have a very low foot stool on wheels which does the trick.
O.k for us as Hubs is not totally immobile, we use this method when his knee gives way/dislocates or after an absence when his whole body weakens and his head gets woozy.
Not sure this would work for all
xx
Thank you very much for all the prompt replies!

I'll have a look at those links, definitely. I know it's not ideal to lift someone but he would absolutely hate the idea of calling 999 for it, and would rather struggle on his own than do that (which has in the past caused him longer term problems and made things worse).

Fortunately he can normally get up into a kneeling position so I'll look and see about lifting from there.

Thank you again!
My caree doesn't like the idea of my ringing 999 for it, either... until I pointed out to him that his behaviour is rather selfish in that it means that I'll have to continue to lift him with a back injury which is going to need surgery to fuse the vertibrea together at some point or other (I don't want any surgery until I absolutely have to have it).

You could try telling your sw and ask them for ways that you could get him up again without ending up like me - they might give you a number to call or look at what they could give you to help you to pick him up (If you need to, don't be afraid to point out to the sw that his cerebral palsy is never going to get better only worse with time and even the professionals don't pick up patients alone... so why should you? - I had to do that myself).

I don't know exactly what appointments your caree has with medical professionals but if he's willing, perhaps you could accompany him when he sees these professionals so that you could voice your concerns, too - that way, you could ask them how you are supposed to lift him... they might send you on a short course in lifting him or they could add extra weight to your claim that you need a hoist.

If he doesn't want you to go with him, try asking your own GP (I know they won't discuss your caree's medical needs with you but since this will affect your health in the long term, they might be able to do something for you).

You might have to keep on at them a bit like a dog with a bone - but keep at it... they'll see your point at some time or another