If you look after someone with an illness or a disability, you may need to help them move around.
It’s essential that you know about safe moving and handling so you don’t hurt yourself or them.
For example, you may find that you need to help an ill or disabled person in the following areas:
The most common injuries carers experience are back injuries. Injuring your back will limit your movement and your ability to care for someone. It could take a long time for you to recover.
Lifting someone incorrectly can also damage fragile skin, cause shoulder and neck injuries, increase existing breathing difficulties, or cause bruising or cuts.
If you are regularly lifting someone, it’s best to get trained or see the best techniques demonstrated.
Before attempting to move someone, ask yourself:
If you have assessed the situation and have decided to move the person, make sure you:
If you find it difficult to help someone move around, your local authority has a responsibility to consider your needs as a carer and the needs of the person you care for.
Since April 2015, local authorities have a duty to support people whose needs are eligible for support. This is explained in more detail in the factsheet Accessing needs and determining eligibility on the GOV.UK website.
Contact the local authority and ask for an assessment for the person you look after, as well as a carer’s assessment to help you. For advice and guidance on moving and handling, ask for an occupational therapy assessment.
You may be given free specialist equipment to help you, such as hoists, stand aids, transfer boards or slide sheets. You may also be able to find free training courses, which will teach you safe handling methods.
You may decide you need specialist moving equipment. Before you buy any equipment, get advice from a healthcare professional such as an occupational therapist or a social worker.
Try all equipment before you buy it. If you’re considering buying an expensive item, ask to use the equipment for a trial period in the home of the person you’re looking after.
The Elderly Care site, run by consumer information service Which?, has a guide for choosing and buying mobility products, ranging from walking sticks and walking frames to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
The Elderly Care guide also has a list of useful equipment that can make different rooms of the house safer for the person you care for:
Your local authority has an obligation to help carers avoid health and safety risks. They may run training courses on manual handling and may provide you with equipment to make caring for someone safer and easier. If your local authority doesn’t offer manual handling courses, ask for a direct payment so you can pay for a course of your choice.
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45