The Keys To Avoiding Orthopedic Injuries As An Elderly Caregiver

Posted on: 25 May 2016

From dealing with absentmindedness to making sure the elderly individual is taking their medication, being in charge of the care of an elderly patient no doubt comes along with a few challenges. However, there is one hidden challenge that is easy to forget: elderly individuals are especially prone to orthopedic injuries. This means that as the caregiver of someone who is in their senior years, you do have to be careful to avoid orthopedic injury. There are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as the caregiver. 

  1. Keep the house well lit at all hours. - Poor vision is a primary contributor to falls of elderly individuals. For this reason, it is best to ensure that their living area stays as well lit as possible so they can better see obstructions that could make them trip and fall. Even at night, make sure night lights are in use and they have a lamp within reach at their bedside to turn on if they need to get out of bed while you are sleeping. 
  2. Avoid pulling an elderly person from a seated position with their arms. - It is incredibly easy to dislocate an elbow or shoulder of an elderly individual because the connective tissue around these joints is no longer as elastic or strong as it once was. Pulling them from a seated position using their arms can be enough to cause the joints to slip out of place, which is both painful and may require surgery to correct. Instead, wrap your arms around an elderly person's waist and try to lift them to their feet. 
  3. Encourage exercise daily. - Try to encourage the elderly individual to continuously exercise to keep their muscles strong. You may not be able to change the strength of their bones, but the stronger their muscles are, the more support and strength they will have and this will help to discourage falls. 
  4. Make sure they use their mobility equipment. - Whether it is a cane for stability, a walker, or a wheelchair, make sure the elderly person you are in charge of actually uses their mobility equipment even if the show some resistance about doing so. Accidental falls often occur because of sudden weakness or instability, and along with falls often comes fractures. 

Fractures, dislocating joints, and even degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis are all health concerns that come along with an aging body. For more information about caring for an elderly individual to avoid orthopedic injuries, contact an orthopedic physician or visit a website like