Assisting someone to walk
Keeping older people mobile and on their feet is good for families, their carers and the older person. The more people can do for themselves the less physical strain there is on the carer.
Often carers try to help older people get up from sitting and walk by hooking the older person under the arm, which could easily damage the older person and the carer’s shoulders. The other mistakes we often make are:
If you want to assist an older person walk, first we need them to stand. Just follow the guidelines:
- shuffle their bottom forward in the chair
- place legs shoulder width apart
- tuck feet under chair
- lean forward, feet on the floor, nose over toes
- on the count of “Ready, steady, stand” ask them to push up through
their hands and feet to stand
Walk the person while holding them with your arm across their back and hand on their bottom or hip. Their shoulder should be sandwiched firmly between your shoulder and hand. They may use a walking stick or walker.
You may wish to use a hand grip instead of the shoulder sandwich hold.
Have your hand open upwards and allow the person to grab it. If you can avoid them grabbing your thumb do so especially if the older person has dementia.