Dementia is a major concern among elderly adults. If you’re a senior or you’re taking care of an elderly relative, you may have concerns about dementia. While some factors, like aging and genetics, are beyond your control, many experts believe that lifestyle changes can reduce your risk by as much as 30% or more.
WHAT STUDIES SHOW ABOUT DEMENTIA
In fact, a recent study found one more way to help your brain stay healthy in your golden years. According to researchers at Yale University, a positive attitude about aging could cut your risk of dementia in half.
Discover how you can boost brainpower, enhance your mood, restore energy levels, and nourish and protect your brain.
You have to know, that dementia is not a normal part of aging. It is a set of symptoms that often includes a decline in memory and other daily functions. It can be very debilitating and can lead to physical deficits as well. This can include the inability to take care of one’s self or handle one’s life and daily responsibilities for self-care.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning how to embrace aging and develop other healthy habits.
STRATEGIES FOR CHANGING YOUR ATTITUDE ABOUT AGING
Stay positive, reframe your thoughts. Changing your attitude about aging can make a difference. You’re in control of how you respond to situations, so replace negative beliefs with more affirming ones. Learn from setbacks and use hardships to make you stronger and braver.
Stay in touch, stay connected. Surround yourself with family and friends who nurture and encourage you. Ask for help when you need it.
Let out those funny bones! Laugh more. Try to see the humorous side of difficult events. Schedule time in your day to play with your grandchildren or watch a funny movie.
Be an advocate for aging. Studies also show that experiencing age discrimination can intensify negative beliefs about aging. Speak up when you see incidents of ageism at work or in the media.
Stay active, exercise that body. Aim to work out at least 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Exercise can help to protect you from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, which are some of the most common conditions that raise your risk for dementia.
It’s time to quit smoking. Using tobacco harms your brain by interfering with your circulation. If you have had trouble giving up cigarettes in the past, try a different method or a combination of approaches.
Shed that extra weight. Shedding excess pounds benefits your brain as well as your body. Even a modest 5% loss can have dramatic effects.
Cut down on alcohol intake. Heavy drinking makes you more vulnerable to dementia. The Centers for Disease Control recommends no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
Keep that brain working. Exercise strengthens your brain just like lifting weights builds your muscles. Enjoy word puzzles or Sudoku. Study a foreign language or practice playing a musical instrument.
Check your hearing. Scientists are discovering more evidence about the link between hearing loss and dementia. Many experts believe that this is because hearing impairment causes social isolation and also makes the brain work harder to process sounds, leaving fewer resources available for other mental activities.
Sit less. Prolonged sitting can take its toll on your mental and physical health even if you exercise regularly. The most effective strategy may be to shift positions often among sitting, standing, and walking.
Spot early signs.The first visible symptoms of dementia frequently include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can often delay the onset of further symptoms. Talk with your doctor and get routine checkups.
Stay mentally sharp and active by lowering your risk of dementia. A positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle will give you more years to spend with your loved ones and enjoy your favorite pastimes.
Seniors – Stay Fit, Trim, and Healthy with Safe Exercises
Older adults have a lot to gain by regular exercise. Staying active can improve your physical and mental health and extend your ability to live independently. Below are some tips for developing a beneficial exercise program and sticking to it.
1.Work onIncreasing your endurance.Aerobic exercise like walking or biking is great for your heart and circulation. Swimming is especially good for seniors because you get a total body workout with low impact and little risk of injuries. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity daily.
2.Build your strength. Your muscle mass declines with age, but resistance training two to three times weekly can help offset that loss. To be safe, start off with easy exercises and progress by increasing weights and repetitions gradually. You may want to visit a local gym or take a class at a senior center.
·If you prefer working out at home, you can buy weights or use household items like cans of soup, half a gallon of water, bags of rice, etc. You can get creative with what you can lift. I have patients who have used a hammer, crowbar, and other tools!
3.Staying flexible. Stretching will keep you limber and help protect you from injury. Do it as often as possible – daily is great! Warm up with some light aerobics and then ease into a stretch gently. Hold your stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each movement a few times, gradually extending your range
·It’s good to feel some slight tension, but if you experience any pain, stop and withdraw back to a more comfortable position.
4.Work toImprove your Balance. Balance is a must for older adults. Protect yourself from falls and broken bones or fractures by working on your balance. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in older adults over 65 years old. Tai Chi is another low-impact activity ideal for seniors. It promotes balance and strength. Even just practicing standing on one foot can enhance your stability.
(Above Video: Facts about Balance and Falls in the Elderly)
(Above Video: A Sample of a Specialized Tai Chi Based Exercise Program)
You can incorporate simple balance exercises in your everyday chores. Here are some tips:
By the sink or kitchen counter when doing dishes or cooking:
1. SINGLE LEG STANDING: Stand straight, stand on one leg lifting one leg high up off the floor. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat on the other leg for another 5 – 10 secs, Repeat as many as you are able. Holding this exercise longer facilitates more muscle recruitment that helps with increasing strength and stability.
2. HEEL AND TOE RAISES. Standing and holding on to the kitchen counter or sink, go up on tiptoes and hold this for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, rock back and stand on your heels, toes up off the floor and hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as able.
3. MINI SQUATS. Still holding on to the kitchen counter, bend both knees to squat just halfway down and whatever you can tolerate. Hold this for 5 seconds, then get back up with knees straight. Repeat for up to 10 times, or whatever you can tolerate. This helps strengthen the muscles of the legs especially the quadriceps muscles that can help improve the strength necessary for going up and downstairs, steps, or curbs.
👉👉👉(For more info on balance exercises, Email me at email@example.com)
STICKING TO YOUR EXERCISE PROGRAM
1.Set realistic goals. A regular workout routine is safer and more beneficial than scattered efforts. Keep yourself motivated by establishing realistic goals. Find activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule such as cutting back on TV viewing to go for a daily swim. When your favorite program is on, you can even exercise during commercials.
2.Have fun.Think about the pastimes you love and expand upon them. When your grandkids visit, go for a long walk through the park. If you get tired of using the treadmill alone every day, sign up for a yoga class with a buddy whose company you enjoy.
3.Make contingency plans.Life events will sometimes interrupt your normal schedule. While traveling, look for hotels with fitness centers. If it’s too cold to ride your bike outdoors, browse the public library for exercise videos for seniors.
MORE SAFETY TIPS TO CONSIDER
1.Talk with your doctor.If you’ve been sedentary for a while, your doctor can advise you on how to get moving safely. No matter what health issues you may experience, there is usually some form of exercise that you can engage in even if you need to modify the standard positions.
Proper breathing will help you maintain good form. Generally, you exhale when you exert effort and inhale when you relax. So breathe out when you lift a dumbbell and breathe in when you lower it.
3.Drink plenty of water. We all know about the benefits of hydration to the body.Your body needs water regardless of whether you’re sweating. By the time you’re thirsty, you’ve gone too long without drinking.
4.Wear the right footwear.Shoes can make a difference in your walking pattern and stability. You can exercise without spending a fortune on expensive equipment, but good shoes are worth the cost. Get protective footwear that’s designed for your chosen sport, whether it’s golf or tennis. If tying laces is a struggle, Velcro closures will give you a secure fit.
Exercise is a great way for older adults to stay healthy and fit. Follow simple safety precautions so you can remain active and enjoy the pastimes you love.
Strokes are a serious health issue, but early treatment may minimize the effects. Give you and your loved ones the best chance at recovery by learning the basic facts about strokes.
Know the Facts About Strokes
1.STROKE: What is it?Strokes are events that interrupt blood flow to the brain. Some people make a full recovery, but most survivors experience some degree of disability. Strokes can be caused by a blood clot or when a blood vessel breaks.
2.Understand the prevalence.No one is exempt from a stroke. It is sneaky and can creep up on anyone. Anyone can have a stroke. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. The good news is that 80% of strokes can be prevented.
3.Learn how to recognize the symptoms.The symptoms of a stroke depend on where in the brain they occur and the severity of the event. Common signs include:
*** sudden numbness or loss of movement, especially if it affects only one side of your body. Other indicators are
*** mental confusion, disorientation
***headaches, pain, or tightness felt on the head
***trouble with vision can be blurred vision, double vision, or partial blindness
***incoordination (Ex: cannot hold a spoon, drops objects)
***hemi-weakness, or weakness on one side of the body or the leg: leg or hand can feel heavy
***Facial asymmetry (one side of face droops)
*** When asked to stick out tongue, tongue drifts to one side
***Drooling on one side of the mouth
4.Know the uncontrollable risk factors.Some factors are beyond our control. These include being past the age of 55 or having a family history of strokes. Men and certain ethnic groups like African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are also at higher risk.
5.Manage the controllable risks.Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to lower your risk. A healthy lifestyle will help keep your brain and whole body strong. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, also contribute to the likelihood of stroke, so that’s another good reason to manage them correctly.
6.Distinguish between different kinds of strokes. There are two major forms of stroke:
·An ischemic stroke is related to a blood clot to any region in the brain and requires restoring the blood flow.
·A hemorrhagic stroke indicates bleeding and calls for controlling blood loss, as in an aneurysm.
7. Know what are mini-strokes. The technical term for mini-strokes is transient ischemic attacks (TIA) where a blood vessel is briefly blocked.
FACT: Up to half of all strokes occur within two days after a TIA so act promptly if you notice slurred speech or blurry vision.
Preventing and Treating Strokes
1.Seek emergency care.The first hours after a stroke are a crucial opportunity to minimize brain damage. Go to the hospital immediately or call 911. Fast action makes all the difference.
2. Consult with your doctor. Surgery is sometimes needed but many strokes are treated with medication and lifestyle changes. Your doctor can advise you on the best regimen for you.
3.Quit smoking.Giving up tobacco lowers your risk of stroke in addition to all the other benefits. Check out the website of the American Lung Association for tips on quitting.
4. Drop or control that weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight will also help. Find a sensible diet you can stick with for life.
5.Exercise regularly.Physical activity is good for your brain and waistline. Keep your circulatory system in prime condition with a half-hour aerobic workout at least a few days a week.
6.Eat a balanced diet.Proper nutrition provides your brain cells with the fuel they need. Get most of your calories from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Select lean sources of protein and healthy fats.
7.Easy and be smart with your alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can increase your risk for a stroke due to elevated or high blood pressure. After a hemorrhagic stroke, avoid drinking alcohol weeks after and consult your doctor when it is safe for you to consume some. This is also because some medications prescribed after a stroke prohibits alcohol use and can even become fatal.
Using alcohol responsibly protects you from strokes. The general guidelines are two drinks or less daily for men and one for women.
Prompt medical treatment is vital to improve your chances of survival and recovery after a stroke. A healthy lifestyle, as always, can significantly reduce the risk of you or a loved one ever experiencing such an event.
Gout used to be called the disease of kings, but now it affects more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life. It’s a form of arthritis that can be very uncomfortable and a little tricky to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to several other joint conditions. It is characterized by too much uric acid in the bloodstream and joints causing it to be crystallized and deposited in the joints.
Gout can flare up commonly at night. It is a flare-up. It is very common in the base of the big toe. It is very painful and can cause a very painful gait, difficulty wearing shoes,. Most patients describe it as a sharp, throbbing pain especially with standing up for a long time or walking.
Men are 3 times more likely to develop gout than women, and you could also be at high risk depending on your family history, drinking habits, and other factors.
Gout usually responds well to medication and lifestyle changes. While most attacks will run their course in a few days to a few weeks, proper treatment can also relieve many of the most troubling symptoms and reduce joint damage.
Learn how to live more comfortably with gout. Understanding your medical options and recommended lifestyle changes can help you to manage your condition.
Medical Care for Managing Gout:
Understand the causes. Your body usually removes excess uric acid when you urinate, but sometimes it can accumulate in your blood and start to form needle-like crystals in your joints. This can be due to your diet or to your body making too much uric acid on its own.
Spot the symptoms. Many gout patients notice tingling or other sensations before an attack during which the affected joint becomes red, swollen, and painful. In some cases, your joints can be so sensitive that even the pressure of a bed sheet or a breeze can be irritating. 👉👉👉Powerful Pain Relief Through Meditation
See a specialist. To develop your treatment plan, your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. That’s a doctor who specializes in diseases that affect joints, muscles, and bones.
Get diagnosed. Your doctor may order several tests, but a joint fluid test is the most conclusive. By drawing fluid from your joint and looking at it under a microscope, they’ll be able to tell if the urate crystals associated with gout are present.
Take medication. There are numerous drugs now available that can treat gout attacks, relieve pain and complications, and help prevent future attacks. Your doctor may also adjust your medication over time if your symptoms change.
Apply ice. If you want to try managing your pain without medication, it may help to apply ice or cold compresses to sore joints. Keep a cloth or other barrier between the ice and your skin. Foot soaks with Epsom salts have relieved some of my patient’s symptoms. There are commercial portable foot baths now available in drug stores and pharmacies. Some have a whirlpool-like function that is quite soothing to inflamed joints of the foot and even ankles. You can add ice cubes to the water for cooling. 👉👉👉SAUNA VS. ICE BATH: Which One Works Better?
Continue monitoring. Measuring uric acid levels is an important part of managing gout. Ask your doctor to set up a schedule of regular appointments, so you can stay on track.
Lifestyle Changes for Managing Gout:
Limit alcohol. Beverages and foods high in a substance called purine can trigger gout attacks. That includes alcohol, especially beer.
Avoid certain foods. Foods rich in purine include organ meats, red meats, game meats, and some seafood. Some fishes such as tuna, mackerel, anchovies, sardines have a high purine content and should be taken in less quantity and frequency.
Even salmon is also in this category.Scallops, beer, sugary drinks, high-fat dairy products are also some that have to be avoided. Even some vegetables have a high purine content: asparagus, cauliflower, and spinach. Some fruits that also have a high purine content are dates, prunes, lychees, plums, cherries, and pears.- Check labels for high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners too. While they’re not high in purine, they can trigger gout attacks.
Eat healthily. Most of the foods that may help lower uric acid levels are suitable for any balanced diet. That includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dairy products, and eggs.
Drink water. Staying well-hydrated can also help your body to remove uric acid more efficiently. Drink water with meals and carry a bottle around with you.
Lose weight. Obesity and related conditions like diabetes greatly increase your risk for gout. Shed pounds gradually with a lower calorie diet and regular exercise.
Great progress has been made in treating gout in recent years. Talk with your doctor about your options and control your symptoms by adjusting your diet, limiting alcohol, and losing any excess weight.
1. Maximize your range of motion. People with arthritis often try to cope with the pain by holding their joints in bent positions that feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, this causes further loss of mobility Exercise helps to keep your joints as flexible as possible and prevent further damage.
Discover how you can boost brainpower, enhance your mood, restore energy levels, and nourish and protect your brain.
There are many gadgets you can use for strengthening your hands: Stress balls, hand gripper exercises, finger bands, etc. Ask a therapist about exercise programs for painful arthritic hands.
2. Strengthen your muscles and bones. Strong muscles and bones provide more support and protection for fragile joints. Weight-bearing exercises build up muscle and thicken your bones.
3. Lose excess weight. You burn a lot more calories when you’re moving around, which of course helps with weight loss. A more active lifestyle will help you reach and maintain your ideal weight without resorting to dangerously low-calorie diets.
4. Improve cardiovascular fitness. Endurance exercises that are gentle on your joints will make your heart work more efficiently without aggravating your arthritis. You’ll feel more energetic and reduce your risk for many health conditions including heart disease and obesity.
5. Make daily activities easier. Stiff joints interfere with daily pleasures and tasks, from playing with your grandchildren to just buttoning a shirt. Exercise improves your ability to function and live independently.
6. Boost your mood. Living with chronic pain may cause depression. Physical activity elevates your mood and helps you sleep better. You can even make new friends by enrolling in group classes like Tai chi or water aerobics.
Top Exercises for Arthritis:
1. Design a balanced program. A well-designed fitness program includes exercises for flexibility, strength, and endurance. Stop what you’re doing if you feel any sharp pain. This conventional wisdom for exercisers is even more important when dealing with arthritis.
2. Stretch. Daily flexibility moves will help restore your range of motion. Warm-up with a little walking in place and do these exercises in a controlled manner. One simple stretch for fingers is to massage your hands. Then, alternate extending and closing your fingers into a loose fist.
3. Train for strength. Strengthen your muscles with resistance exercises using weights, elastic bands, or your own body weight. For example, target your knees by sitting in a chair and slowly straightening and bending each leg.
4. Perform low-impact aerobics. Walking, aqua aerobics and stationary bicycles are just a few examples of endurance activities that are easy on your body. Exercising in warm water is especially good because the temperature and buoyancy protect damaged joints.
Additional Safety Tips:
1. Talk with your doctor. Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program to find the best approach for your type of arthritis. Your physician can recommend safe activities and help you avoid injury.
2. Build up gradually. Start conservatively and progress gradually. When you’re comfortable with walking in water, you may want to add more intense movements like leg lifts.
3. Modify your workouts during flare-ups. Your doctor can advise you about exercising during flare-ups. You may need to rest or modify your program to alleviate pressure on the affected joints.
4. Find the best time of day for you. Many people experience morning stiffness, so experiment to find the best time of day for you. Taking a warm shower first or using a heat pack may also make exercising more comfortable.
5. Work with physical or occupational therapists. Therapists with experience working with arthritis can provide more guidance. They can help you learn to move safely during your workouts and all your daily activities.
Exercise makes it easier to live with arthritis. Manage your pain and stay healthy with safe and regular workouts using activities that you enjoy.
A Hip and Knee Replacement or other surgeries can be a lifesaver…..Working closely with an orthopedic surgeon who is exceptional in performing knee and hip surgeries, I came up with a quick guide that can prove helpful to persons who are facing the possibility of a knee or hip replacement.
More than 7 million Americans are living with an artificial knee or hip, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and those figures are likely to keep growing. Total knee replacements more than doubled between 2000 and 2009, and total hip replacements increased almost as much.
Severe Osteoarthritis is the common reason why a knee replacement or a hip replacement is indicated. Arthritis causes degeneration and erosion within the joint that erodes the soft tissues including the meniscus.
This causes both the bone of the thigh and the lower leg to rub against each other, resulting in a bone-to-bone contact between these two structures that can be very painful. This can also cause severe inflammation, stiffness, and pain. The result can be very debilitating making standing, walking difficult, so with the inability to tolerate simple tasks of daily living.
Hip and knee replacements can provide a new lease on life for patients who experience severe arthritis pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments, medication, or lifestyle adjustments. Surgery often restores joint function and makes many daily activities possible once again.
However, what you do before and after surgery will play a big role in the outcomes you experience.Read this guide before you decide on joint surgery.
Steps to Take Before Your Joint Surgery:
1.Explore other alternatives. While surgery can be very beneficial, it’s a major undertaking. Try less intensive treatments first, including drugs, physical modalities such as heat or cold packs, and exercise. You may also want to ask your doctor about cortisone injections.
Cortisone injections work by treating the inflammation that can cause knee pain, swelling, stiffness, and warmth. The effects of a cortisone injection can last from three weeks to three months. I have had patients who report relief for up to a year. Arthritis sufferers who want quick, temporary relief from knee arthritis pain may choose to have a cortisone shot. Ask your primary physician or orthopedic surgeon.
2.Understand your options. If surgery is indicated, your doctor may recommend total or partial joint replacement or other types of operations. That may include arthroscopy, which often takes as little as one hour, or joint fusion surgery, which can be used when joint replacement isn’t feasible.
3.Consider your timing. Deciding when to act can be tricky. You want to have joint surgery as soon as necessary but as late as possible to minimize additional damage and the need for replacement procedures.
4.Lose weight. Your doctor may suggest you take off excess weight to make surgery safer and put less strain on your knees and hips. Maintaining your new figure will also be important.
5.Work out. Exercise plays a big role before and after you’re in the hospital.
Being fit will speed up your recovery and increase your mobility.
6.Review your medications. Let your doctor know about any drugs or supplements you use. Substances like glucosamine can interfere with anticoagulants that reduce the risk of blood clots.
7.Plan your finances. While insurance will probably cover your surgery, it may not extend to other expenses like home health care and medical supplies. Ensure you budget for the total cost.
Steps to Take After Your Joint Surgery:
1.Prevent infection.You can reduce your risk of infection by keeping wounds clean and taking antibiotics as recommended. Contact your doctor if you see warning signs like fever, redness, or drainage from a wound.
It is common to experience swelling days after surgery. Cryotherapy, or using cold packs regularly throughout the day can help ease discomfort and pain. It also keeps the swelling or edema, under control. If left alone, the leg can swell up all the way to the ankles as gravity tends to pull fluids down when we are up on our feet.
Patients always ask how long do they have to apply ice packs each time. Orthopedic surgeons have their specific protocols regarding icing schedules. I recommend for the first 3 days to hourly as feasible, then every two hours once swelling and pain are more controlled. About 20 to 30 minutes should do it, but always check your skin to make sure you don’t freeze your knee or hip! No frostbites!
Most hospitals will send you home with special ice packs, and some even send you with an ice device such as Game Ready, Aircast Cryocooler, Don Joy iceman, or Polar active ice device. There are many available in the market. Basically, it is a device for an ice circulation system. These products are available on the market, even Amazon that can cost anywhere from $75 to $2,700 plus on the high end.
For home use, if one does not have access to these fancy ice devices, here’s a real homemade ice pack you can use that is very effective, just as cold as expensive ice packs and you can make it yourself!
CORN SYRUP COLD PACK: Buy the KARO brand LIGHT (not the dark) corn syrup at your grocery.
Place syrup in an airtight largest freezer ziplock bag you can find. Make sure you double bag it to avoid any leakage. Once frozen the syrup solidifies but is moldable over the joint. Use a pillowcase as a cover, not a towel to ensure maximum coldness needed for symptom relief.
If preferred, check Amazon and search for “Cold Packs”. You will find an array of cold packs with different sizes and shapes. Read the reviews and find one that does not harden and gets stiff once frozen. I have found that some of these cold packs actually harden once frozen and are hard to mold over the hip or knee.
2.Do physical therapy. Of course, I am impartial to this, being one.Your surgeon will surely refer you for Physical therapy that will start at your home for a few weeks. You will then be referred to outpatient Physical Therapy soon after, where you can work on an advanced therapeutic activities program.
Expect to work a little harder with your outpatient PT who will help with you regaining more knee flexion and strengthening the hip or knee. This will allow you to progress towards being able to walk again on your own, or with the least restrictive walking device like a cane. Plan to start physical therapy before you leave the hospital. Some orthopedic clinics provide a pre-op consult or even therapy itself for a few visits to prepare you for surgery.
A Physical Therapist can teach you the appropriate Pre-Op exercises or Anti-embolic exercises (Simple exercises that are aimed at preventing blood clots common after any surgical procedure) right after surgery. A home exercise program can be prescribed by your physical therapist which you can probably perform safely on your own at home once you receive proper instructions.
3.Prepare your home. Be ready for departure day. Clear away clutter and area rugs that could lead to falls. Install grab bars in the bathroom and move your sleeping arrangements to the ground floor if necessary. Stairs can be tough to manage early on after your surgery.
4.Dress comfortably. Select loose garments. When doing physical therapy, it is easier for your therapist to access your knee or hip for manual therapy if the therapist so prefers. Elastic waist pants and pull-on tops will save time. Wear slip-on shoes until you can bend your legs.
5.Bathe carefully. Keep your incision dry until the stitches, sutures, or staples are removed. Some surgeons use Aquacel dressings for knee and hip replacements. This is a sterile dressing with an inner non-woven pad made of Hydrofiber technology and ionic silver.
Take sponge baths or use a stool and shower hose. Keep the surgical site dry. If Tegaderm, a transparent dressing is used, you can take a shower without having to cover the area as it is waterproof. Tegaderm is a sterile, breathable, waterproof, germ-proof barrier dressing commonly used in surgical procedures due to its stated qualities.
6.Buy assistive devices. Your physical therapist, medical supply stores, and online catalogs can help you find various items to aid in your recovery. Crutches and walkers can be delivered to the hospital or your home. The use of a walker may be temporary as many of my patient s can pretty much walk on their own once outpatient therapy has started.
TIP: Check your local thrift shops including Goodwill and Salvation Army. I seem to always find barely used walkers in these places for about $8 to $15. Ask your physical therapist to adjust and check it for you for your ideal fit.
Ideally, the walker height should be about the level of your wrist joint when your hand hangs on your side. A good fit can save your back from having to slouch so much forward while walking. Practice the heel/toe walking pattern even before your surgery. This allows better gait patterns and avoids excessive loading on just the surgery side. Ask your physical therapist.
7.Arrange for help. Ask a family member or close friend to bring you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first few days. It is safer for you when there is someone else who can help you while you are recovering and unable to move around well just yet. That knee or hip will feel heavy, stiff, and uncomfortable making walking difficult. If no one is available locally, see if your church has a homebound ministry.
Joint replacement or other surgeries can be the start of an active and fulfilling new life. Being prepared will help you work with your health team to find the appropriate options for your condition.
Feel free to ask me more about joint surgeries and exercises you can do to help feel better and recover faster.
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