As a person grows older, they may find it more difficult to rise from a chair or walk around their home. Weakened muscles and frail bones make these everyday activities exhausting, time consuming and dangerous. Professional in-home care providers and family caregivers use special techniques to make standing and walking easier and safer for older people, surgical patients, and those recovering from serious illness or injury.
Helping Someone Stand
- Make sure the senior is wearing shoes or non-skid socks, if his feet tend to slide
- Ask him to move to the front of the chair and place his feet directly under his center of gravity
- Block his knees with your knees to help him keep his legs under him
- Place your arms around his waist
- Instruct the senior to put his or her hands on the arms of the chair, never around your neck
- Ask the senior to lean forward so that their nose is directly over their toes
- Tell him to push off with his hands, if possible, on the count of three
- Count to three, and then provide any additional support the individual needs to stand
Helping Someone Walk
If the individual needs only minimal assistance to walk, ask them to take you by the arm. Walk behind them if they need more assistance; place one hand on their shoulder and the other on her belt or waistband. Stand close and walk in step behind.
Do not attempt to do all the work yourself – ask the individual to do as much as he or she possibly can. With care and practice, you can help someone rise to a standing position and walk safely and efficiently.