How to Avoid Common Caregiver Injuries
Whether you work in clients’ homes or in an assisted living facility, the work you do is so important to so many people. Unfortunately, working in this field also increases your risk of being injured. Although you put your all into caring for your patients, make sure you also prioritize your own health and safety.
If you do suffer an injury at work, make sure you pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. We can help, and even better, you can keep recovering at home the whole time—we are fully set up for Zoom meetings and we accommodate document signing via DocuSign. Call Pisegna and Zimmerman at 818-888-8888 to set up a consultation.
Invest in Assistive Lifting Training
At most assisted living facilities or places that provide in-home care, there are lots of assisted lifting options. It’s easy for caregivers to get into the routine of using gait belt transfer option or two-person manual lifts, simply because they are familiar and easy. These lifts put you at a high risk of injury when compared to machine lifts, such as Hoyer transfers and EZ-Stand machines. While it may take a bit more work and time to get used to assistive lifting options, doing so can help your back in the long run.
Make Safe Movement a Habit
Schedule periodic check-ins with yourself throughout each shift. When you lift, have you been bending your knees and keeping a flat back to protect your spine? Have you ignored any tweaks or pains that you really should check on? Are you keeping your posture in alignment so you limit your overall pain levels? The more you work on making safe movement a natural part of your daily life, the less likely you are to get stuck in risky and unsafe lifting or moving patterns. If you regularly suffer pain in the same areas of your body, find out what you can do to stretch and strengthen those areas to prevent future injury.
Get in Tune With Your Body
You know that you’re more likely to get injured than people working in other fields, so you must take steps to protect yourself. Part of that is listening to the warning signs your body gives you. When you feel unexpected tightness or soreness in your muscles, that may indicate that you need to slow down, take a day off, or spend a day on light duty. It can be hard to advocate for yourself this way, so consider finding a primary care doctor you trust. If they know your injury patterns and general pain levels, they can recommend when you need time off and ensure that you have the proper documentation for any workers’ compensation claims.
Prioritize Your Medical Care
Too many caregivers put their own health to the side because they’re so busy caring for others. Don’t let this happen to you. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Keeping up with routine medical care ensures that you have the support you need to prevent injuries and get prompt treatment if you do become injured. Depending on your overall health and medical history, this may include physical therapy, chiropractic care, or therapeutic massage.
Report Injuries Immediately
For many caregiving employees, this is the hardest part of protecting yourself. If you report an injury when it is minor, you can stop it in its tracks before it becomes a major injury. However, many employees hesitate to do this. They worry about looking like they are trying to get out of work, irritating management, or facing retaliation. But when you push through a minor injury and keep working, you could cause permanent damage. On top of that, your treatment will be even more time-consuming and expensive. If you report any injuries right away, seek appropriate treatment, and focus on preventative care going forward, you can become a stronger employee and give yourself the care you need.
Reach Out to Pisegna and Zimmerman Today
If you have been hurt at work, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. Our team of workers’ compensation attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you are owed. Don’t worry about finding our office or driving while injured. We can meet with you over Zoom and send documents over DocuSign, allowing you to get the rest you need. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 818-888-8888 or sending us a message online.
William Zimmerman is an experienced Los Angeles work injury attorney at Pisegna & Zimmerman. He offers invaluable advice and assistance when dealing with the often complicated workers’ compensation system. As part of Pisgena & Zimmerman, he and his team are a full-service law firm that is dedicated to obtaining the maximum amount of compensation from all available sources.