- Patient Education
Physical therapy and wellness programs can be very beneficial for those with multiple sclerosis, but what about for the family and for caregivers?
A major area of concern related to the role of the caregiver and physical wellness is in regard to transfers and transitions. Transfers refer to a person moving from one position or sitting area to another location. Some examples include moving from a sitting position to standing, standing to sitting, or sitting in a wheelchair and moving directly to another sitting surface. Transitions refer to moving from one position to another position within the same location. Examples of a transition are to adjust the sitting position in a chair, or a person moving from lying on his or her back to lying on his/her side.
Caregivers, whether family, friends, or people who are hired to help, are often essential in providing assistance for safe and effective transfers or transitions. The concern of this process, however, is the risk to the caregiver and patient alike. These “routine” activities are commonly performed without formal training or proper preparation.
Many times, taking care of another person would not be thought to require “formal training.” However, moving anything that weighs 75 lbs or more does require training. This is true in all industries and is needed to minimize the risk of injury to all those involved.
Patient handling is one term that is most commonly used to refer to this process. Safe lifting and moving in healthcare is the term that the organization, “New Yorkers for Patient and Family Empowerment” uses. Regardless of the term, this process is more than just an act of love and caring for another person, it is a physical task that comes with risk. The PTs at the IMSMP offer unique services related to this for our patients and their family and/or caregivers.
Transfer training for caregivers can be incorporated into a physical therapy session upon request or when deemed necessary by a PT, RN, or MD. Most people with MS can get in and out of their bed, house, and cars with the proper training, practice, and equipment.
Feel free to schedule an appointment to go over options related to transfers and to discuss the schedule for transfer training that would be most appropriate to increase safety and efficiency for all involved.