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wheelchair, etc. I tried using my left arm for a while but that did not work out well. Do other caregivers have this problem of repetitive strain on your right arm and upper-right arm (if you are right-handed)? Is this a common problem for caregivers? Does anyone have any suggestions or tips? My pain is not severe, but it is definitely noticeable. Before I was caregiving for my Mom, I did not do any heavy lifting, and my Mom weighs well over 100 pounds.

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Please consider seeing your doctor about the pain; he may prescribe physical therapy which will be very good for you. Try ice packs or heat packs 20 minutes at a time on the arm to see if they help reduce the pain. That was what my doctor recommended when I had a similar problem. My husband weighs nearly 300 pounds and has spinal stenosis.
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Whitney, yes I have left arm upper arm.shoulder/pain from lifting my mom. I now have a hoyer lift and use that to get her into her wheelchair (that a tough one but I can do it now) and into her recliner and bed.(those transfers are easy) I still however lift her myself onto the toilet to bathe her every morning. For my mom a gaitbelt didnt for unfortunately, she is a big woman and a good ol bearhug works best for me. I wish I could solve the toileting problem, but an overhead lift system for my hoyer is too expensive. Moms 91 and late stage alz/dementia. Your Moms doctor can write her an rx for a hoyer and medicare will pay for it. If you need any tips on how to use it, I have learned the tricks so just send me a note. Good Luck, my caregiver also hurt her arm trying to help give me a break.
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Castle- you made some excellent points. If the caregiver is doing all the "work" of lifting it will only be a matter of time before an injury occurs. If a person can "help themselves" at all it is better for all parties. Get equipment and utilize proper lifting practices to reduce risk of injury. Products like "Superpoles" and "Friendly Beds" can make a huge difference is repositioning and transfer assistance. A hospital bed isn't always the answer- they can be uncomfortable to sleep on and provide little aid for transfers. Also they may lead to bedsores as gravity tends to put more pressure on a backside for people that are sensitive to pressure issues. Most people prefer to sleep in a normal bed- but they may need assistive help for mobility.
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Heavens! you're not supposed to be lifting anybody! You have to solve that, before you hurt yourself. It's a good thing if you feel that pain, because it's a warning. I've worked years in healthcare with elders, and I really appreciate the ongoing warnings about how easy it is to hurt your own back, by bending or lifting at the wrong angles. Whenever I think of taking a shortcut, I remember that - you're no good to anyone, and especially yourself, if you are hurt.

Every person is different and so is every bed, so you need to look at your situation closely or contract to have an OT or PT come into the home, and into the bedroom when your mom is in bed - they can be very helpful at explaining to your mom, and observing you to see what method is best for you. Are you getting her up to walk? Into a chair? You may need to raise the bed up - you can do that by getting a hospital bed, which is often covered by insurance. If your mom's condition is likely to stay the same or deteriorate over time, then you should get healthcare people to order a bed. If you are afraid of your mom's reaction, you might be able to get some clever person to put boards under the legs of each end. Another option - practice NOT lifting. I'm short and always learned to get the person started in the right direction, make them secure by lean over them in a "hug" position with their arms around your neck, and your feet placed so your you are positioned to lift A LITTLE. Then stop, nudge her the next inch and stop pulling, till she moves herself, while still secure in your arms and hug lock. Aim for the point where her weight is on her feet. Another option, put a flat transfer bench beside the bed and help her slide over onto it. Or - get a kind of bed rail (they have some for normal beds) - and get her to pull one side of herself up with that while you help only with the other side. Don't expect her to agree instantly, but work with your situation, study it closely, and find something that eliminates whatever point you find you are using your own strength to lift, and find how to use her strength to pull or push herself up, wait for her, and she will gradually begin to help you. Good luck!
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Is your mother able to provide any assistance or is she dead weight? There are assistive items available to have her assist to reduce the risk of injury to herself (only a matter of time).
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Go to a medical supply store and buy a Gait Belt. They will help you learn how to use the belt. Its important that you are in a athletic position so that you can protect your back as well as your shoulders.

Once you use the belt you will never be without it! Hope this helps you.
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