In 2018, approximately one in four (25%) of Canadians over the age of 15 provided care to a loved one with a long-term health condition, disability, or age-related needs. Caregivers (paid and unpaid) play a vital role in reduction of costs associated with healthcare and institutionalization. It is therefore vital to ensure that the caregivers are ultimately physically healthy to continue providing care, and to limit the occurrence of injuries within this population. The prevalence of pain, lack of assistive lifting devices in a homecare setting, as well as the high injury rate within healthcare workers with no decrease in these percentages shows us that there is a gap in addressing these concerns today.
Given this opportunity, our team is proposing a six-week long randomized control trial which introduces a weekly physical exercise routine to an intervention group, followed by a weekly survey reporting back pain and general physical health. The objectives are to understand the importance of physical exercise for lower back health, and what the effect of this routine would be on overall physical health, pain management and injury prevention.
The results of this study will reinforce the importance of physical exercise for caregivers, both paid and unpaid, and will hopefully engage caregivers to take a more proactive approach towards an exercise routine that directly improves their day to day lifestyle and well-being. The recommendations that will be made can also be implemented within other healthcare members such as those in hospitals (nurses, clinical staff etc.), clinics (dentists, chiropractors), long term care facilities etc.
This research is ongoing and the results of this study are not yet available.