If the person you’re caring for hurts their leg or foot and can’t put weight on it, or they just need some extra stability when walking, they might need to use crutches. You might be wondering how they should be using their crutches and how to keep them safe. In this video, we’ll show you how to use crutches so you can support the person you’re caring for.
If the person you’re caring for hurts their leg or foot and can’t put weight on it, or they just need some extra stability when walking, they might need to use crutches
You might be wondering how they should be using their crutches and how to keep them safe
In this video, we’ll show you how to use crutches so you can support the person you’re caring for.
Usually, the hospital will provide the crutches for a small fee and they will measure to make sure they’re the right height for the person using them.
Using old crutches you have at home will only work if they can be adjusted to the correct height. Crutches should sit 2-3 finger-widths below their armpits and the handgrips should be level with their hips.
The most common thing that people do incorrectly is resting their weight on their armpits. This can cause pressure wounds, blisters, and nerve damage. Their weight should be resting on their hands instead.
To walk with crutches, the person you’re caring for should start by putting the crutches out in front of them, no further than their regular stride, or how far they would normally step
Next, they should transfer their weight onto their hands and swing their strong leg forward, keeping their weight off of their weak or injured side.
Let’s look at that again slower, crutches forward, weight on their hands, swing their strong leg forward, that’s it!
Using crutches on flat walking surfaces is pretty straight forward, but what about if they have to go up or down the stairs?
To go up the stairs, they’ll have to hold the handrail and put both crutches under their opposite arm.
To step up they should put their weight on the handrail and crutches then lift their strong leg up onto the step, keeping their weak leg off of the floor completely
They would continue this until they got to the top. You can stand behind them so they feel more secure, but they’ll need to be able to lift themselves up the steps to make it work
To go down stairs on crutches, they’ll need to hold the handrail and tuck both crutches under their other arm, just like they did when they were going up the stairs.
Next have them hold their injured leg out in front of themselves, put the crutches on the step below and using their crutches and the handrail for support, step down to the next step on their strong leg.
To go down the stairs, you could stand a few steps below them, but again it’s more so the person you’re caring for feels a bit more secure. They need to be able to lift their weight onto their arms and balance their weight to use crutches safely. If they can’t do that, or they feel really unsteady they can go down the stairs on their bottom then try and keep everything they need on one level so they don’t need to use stairs and suggest they talk to their doctor or occupational therapist about using a different type of assistive device.
Learning to use crutches, especially on the stairs can be challenging and the person you’re caring for will need your support and guidance. Following the steps in this video, you’ll help them be successful in no time
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