Home Care Aides represent one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing occupations. Although our times are marked by technological innovation, caregiving remains an inherently human function. It is a high‐touch, time‐intensive, and intimate part of human life. While many aides take great personal satisfaction from helping elders and people with disabilities, caregiving is also a real job, a fact too often overlooked. Home care work can be tough and demanding. It requires skill, patience, and endurance.
All health care workers who lift and move patients are at high risk for back injury and other musculoskeletal disorders. A work-related musculoskeletal disorder is an injury of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, cartilage, bones, or blood vessels in the extremities or back that is caused or aggravated by work tasks such as lifting, pushing and pulling. Symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders include pain, stiffness, swelling, numbness, and tingling.
Home health care workers do many of the same tasks as workers in traditional healthcare settings, but conditions in the home setting often make the work more difficult. Home healthcare workers most often perform heavy work, like lifting and moving patients, without assistance. Patient-handling tasks often involve motions that challenge a home health care worker’s body including twisting, bending, stretching, reaching, and other awkward postures.
Health Care workers are now have the highest rate of on-the-job injuries over all others. That includes the traditional injury leading industries like manufacturing and construction. It only seems natural that the largest growing industry is also the industry that leads in injuries but it doesn’t have to be this way. Home Care Aides can protect themselves using assistive devices and by following safe patient handling guidelines.
Traxx Mobility Systems manufactures the Titan 500, a freestanding overhead patient lift system for the home. The overhead patient lift allows a single caregiver to transfer a patient without fear of injury. The lift system fits in any bedroom and works with any bed and wheelchair combination. The rechargeable electric motor raises and lowers a patient while the overhead track allows the caregiver to gently glide the patient to complete the transfer. The system even comes with a machine-washable universal sling.