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Moving, lifting and handling someone else

Find out about moving, lifting and handling someone else, including common injuries and help or equipment to lift or move someone.

If you look after someone who has an illness or disability, you may need to help them move around.

In the bedroom: 

  • getting in or out of bed
  • turning over in bed
  • sitting up in bed

In the bathroom:

  • bathing
  • showering
  • using the toilet


  • sitting in a chair
  • standing
  • walking
  • getting up from the floor after a fall
  • getting in and out of a vehicle

Common carers' injuries

It's essential to know about safe moving and handling so you don't hurt yourself or the person you look after.

The most common injuries carers get are back injuries. Injuring your back will limit your movement and your ability to care for someone. It could take a long time for you to recover.

Lifting someone incorrectly can also cause injuries to them, damage fragile skin or cause bruising or cuts.

If you regularly lift or move someone, it's important to get training or have a healthcare professional demonstrate the correct techniques.

How the council can help

Your local council has an obligation to help carers avoid health and safety risks.

Contact your local council and ask for a needs assessment for the person you look after, as well as a carer's assessment to help you.

For advice and guidance on moving and handling, ask for an occupational therapy assessment.


Your council may run free training courses on safe handling.

If it does not offer moving and handling courses, ask for a direct payment so you can pay for a course of your choice.


The council may also provide free equipment – such as hoists, stand aids, transfer boards or slide sheets – to make moving someone safer and easier.

Buying equipment to lift or move someone

If you decide to buy any equipment, get advice beforehand from an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or a social worker.

Try any equipment before you buy it. If you're considering buying an expensive item, ask to use the equipment for a trial period in the home of the person you're looking after.

The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) has information on buying different types of equipment used to move or lift someone safely

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