Moving and handling people is a skill

Moving and handling people is a skill

Safety for both you and the patient

The elderly, the vulnerable, the disabled. If you’re a carer working with people with limited strength or mobility, you will be expected to help them move around. This might mean assisting them to get out of bed, to sit or stand, even to walk from one room to another.

It might sound straightforward but helping people to move around is a very specific skill. I’ve mentioned my own mother in these posts before as she suffered from two strokes and my family had to be carefully instructed by our support team in how to safely assist her to move around. But when it comes to safety, it wasn’t all about her but also to make sure that we did not injure ourselves in the process.

There are many different pieces of equipment you’re likely to come into contact within the care industry – bed hoists, bath hoists and lifts, walkers, wheelchairs, turntables and slings. All these require education in how to use properly and safely for the protection of both you and the person you’re caring for.

Practical knowledge is all well and good but another aspect of ‘moving and handling’ is personal dignity. While time is always a factor when you have many people to look after you cannot just rush in and ‘get on with it’. Many elderly people suffer from aches and pains that can have a much more severe emotional impact. Small knocks and bumps can be felt much more acutely. What might seem like an appropriate action could cause real distress. Imagine how you would feel being flung around! Take care, take your time and think about the effect of what you’re doing on the person you’re assisting.

And what about you? Bear in mind that you’ll be asked to help lift and move sometimes heavy and unresponsive weights. In terms of protecting your own body from injury, it’s no different to lifting a heavy box. There are techniques and processes that will help you assess a situation and decide on the correct method of movement. Remember, safety first, for both the patient and you.

Flexible Training run regular Moving and Handling Refresher courses which will take you through everything you need to know including the opportunity to practice the principles of safer handling using equipment on their own and as part of a team. Please call Becky on 01462 222300 to discuss how we can help you and your organisation.