Using A Cane
Written by Craig B

Use A Cane The Right Way!

Learn how to properly use a cane to stand up and walk, sit down onto a chair and go up and down stairs. Read on to learn more.

To Stand Up And Walk 

  1. Quad cane: Push up from the armrest of the chair or from the bed to a standing position. Grasp the cane and make sure you are steady.
  2. Standard cane: Hold the handle of the cane in one hand as you push up from the armrest. Once standing, pause to be sure you are steady.
  3. Move the cane forward a short distance. Make sure you keep the cane a few inches out to the side.
  4. Step forward with your injured or weaker leg first, putting weight onto the cane. Then take a step with your stronger leg.
  5. Look up to see where you are going, not always down at the floor.

To Sit Down Onto A Chair 

Back up until you feel the chair against your legs. Instructions based on type of cane are:

  • Quad cane: Place both hands on the chair arm. Ease down into the chair.
  • Standard cane: Hold the cane in one hand and the armrest with other hand. Ease down into the chair.

To Go Up The Stairs

Push down on the cane. Step up with your stronger or uninjured leg. Then step up to the same step with your weaker or injured leg. Bring the cane up.

To Go Down The Stairs

Place your cane down one step. Step down with your weaker or injured leg. Then step down with your uninjured leg.

If you have a railing, hold onto it with your other hand. If you use a large quad cane, you may need to turn it sideways so it fits on the step.

To Prevent Falls

  • Be sure your cane is in good condition. Your cane should have grooved rubber tips covering the bottom of each leg(s) of the cane.
  • Avoid throw rugs and waxed floors.
  • Be careful when walking on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Wear low-heeled, tie shoes for better support.

Follow your physician’s orders regarding any limits on your activities.

Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15541-how-to-use-a-cane

Having a home safety assessment performed to identify fall risk and provide safety recommendations followed up by installation, can greatly reduce your risk of falls in your home environment. You are unique and your needs are too!

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Preventing Falls At Home

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We often worry about our aging parents’ safety, well-being and even fiscal health, and many adult children find themselves in the sometimes-awkward position of having to bring up these sensitive conversations with aging parents. Among these concerns, fall prevention may be the hardest to bring up – especially if your parents have chosen to retain [...]

When Denial Gets in the Way of Safety

As we age, there is no doubt in our hearts we feel young. And although being young at heart is wonderful, this ethereal feeling is no match for the ever-changing state of our bodies and the status of our health. As we age, changes take place with our health that can dramatically affect our ability [...]

Written by Craig B

When Denial Gets in the Way of Safety

As we age, there is no doubt in our hearts we feel young. And although being young at heart is wonderful, this ethereal feeling is no match for the ever-changing state of our bodies and the status of our health.

As we age, changes take place with our health that can dramatically affect our ability to navigate our home environment safely. Although falls are not necessarily a part of aging, 40% of nursing home admissions are due to slip and fall accidents. These accidents can affect the course of our ability to be independent and live quality lives at home.

Of course walking around in bubble wrap to keep from falling in your home is not a doable solution – it’s hot, unsightly, and frankly not a fashion stopper. Many individuals elect to do nothing, feeling invincible. This denial can lead to unexpected accidents, which then brings you into crisis mode. However, seeking preventative solutions in advance of a potential crisis, is the most optimal way to stay safe while aging at home. Intervention IS prevention.

Top of your list should be a Home Safety Assessment. The American and British Geriatric Societies report, “ Multifactorial risk assessment and intervention strategies are effective in decreasing the rates of falls and have a similar risk reduction to that of other prevention measures such as statins for cardiovascular disease”.

What can I expect from a home safety assessment? Who will evaluate my environment? What happens following the assessment?

Our physical therapist provides a home safety assessment, during which time, not only will you be evaluated navigating your home environment, but the environment itself will be evaluated for safety hazards in a variety of rooms, including the bathroom, where falls occur most frequently in the home.

The therapist will make clinical recommendations based on your individual diagnosis or physical limitations to ensure optimal fall prevention safety outcomes, customized for you in your space.

We complete the process by providing and clinically installing all needed items. We provide a warranty for all of our products and services, and we are licensed, bonded and insured.

You may not have concerns about falling now, but denying that it’s a possibility puts you at greater risk. Once injuries occur from falls, often there is no turning back. Protect your health, independence and future, scheduled your clinically guided home safety assessment.

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Minimizing Fall Risks When Leaving Hospital
Written by Craig B

Minimizing Fall Risks When Leaving Hospital

  • There is a high incidence of falls after hospital discharge, particularly among patients who are functionally dependent. Major fall risk factors at discharge include: decline in mobility, use of assistive devices and cognitive impairment/confusion.
  • Patients who were functionally dependent and needed professional help after discharge had the highest rate of falls.
  • Hospitalization in older adults, including those who are admitted for medical problems, rehabilitation and acute care, has been shown to be associated with decline in function and mobility – creating a higher risk of slip and fall accidents.
  • The period after discharge has been shown to be associated with high risk of falls, social problems and medication errors, with up to 30% of older people experiencing an adverse event following hospital discharge.
  • 45% of older people fall in the period following discharge.
  • One study examining the incidence of falls in older, recently hospitalized medical patients requiring post-discharge home care, found that falls were substantially increased during the first month after hospital discharge.
  • Research has shown that fall prevention home safety assessment and home safety modification intervention immediately following discharge critically reduces the risk of falls once at home.
  • A full clinical assessment of function as it relates to how individuals are navigating their environment doing daily tasks (restroom, shower, walking through the home). Installation of safety grab bars, commode risers, shower chairs, ramps and rails are just a few of the modifications which can be made that will reduce fall risk.
  • Typically, upon discharge, families and are overwhelmed and often don’t know where to turn for resources (you can bring in MB home safety here if you’d like). Coming home following discharge is a critical time, where patients are often in a weakened, tired and cognitively impaired state. Family members rush to “get something in”. Just having a “safety grab bar” won’t do the trick, where your bar is placed and clinical attention to the placement of any modification is imperative in not risking further injury.

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4 Wheel Walkers
Written by Craig B

4 Wheel Walkers

More and more individuals are opting for wheeled walkers, also known as rollators, over traditional models with no or only front wheels.

If you don’t have the strength or endurance to lift and push a standard walker all day, a wheeled walker can help you go around. There are a few different types of wheeled walkers to consider:

In this post, we’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing a four-wheel walker.

The Advantages of Using a Four-Wheel Walker

Several people prefer 4 wheel walkers to normal walkers because of its enhanced mobility, stability, and seat alternatives.

Mobility

A four-wheel walker assists you in maintaining your balance without exerting too much effort. You can still lean on your four legs, but the wheels allow you to move more rapidly and smoothly than you could with a walker without wheels.

Stable

A four-wheel walker is stable and long-lasting. If you’re looking for a rollator, you’ve probably heard there are three and four wheel options. Although three-wheeled walkers are quite versatile, they are not as stable as four-wheeled walkers. On four-wheel walkers, you can also put more weight.

Options for Seating and Backrest

The size of the 4-wheeled walker has the advantage of being able to accommodate a seat. There are even backrests on some of them. If you get fatigued while out and about, a seat on your walker allows you to stop and rest wherever you are.

All you have to do now is lock your rollator’s brakes and relax. Some types allow you to fold the backrest to make transporting the walker easier.

Size Modifications

Even though you should take measurements before buying a rollator to determine what handle height is most comfortable for you, having adjustment choices is useful. Rollators with four wheels often have a wider range of adjustability than three-wheeled rollators.

Cons of Using a Four-Wheel Walker

For some people, a four-wheeled walker isn’t the greatest option. There are several reasons why you might prefer to use a different style of walker.

Not for Use in Serious Weight-Bearing Situations

Wheeled walkers are designed for persons who need assistance with balance but not with weight bearing. A classic model may be ideal for you if you need to carry a substantial amount of your weight on a walker to get around.

Leaning too heavily on a wheeled walker can lead to control issues. Because of your weight, the rollator may travel faster than you’d want.

Your body weight has no bearing on whether or not you should use a wheeled walker. Bariatric walkers, in reality, are designed for persons who are overweight or obese. If you can’t support much of your own weight while walking, though, a wheel-less walker is the way to go.

Flexibility is limited.

A four-wheeled walker can help you move faster, but it doesn’t have a wide range of motion. A compact 3-wheel walker may be the ideal option for people who need to make fast turns and move in narrow spaces.

Selecting a Four-Wheel Walker

If a 4-wheel walker appears to be the best option for you, examine the following factors: height, wheel size, seats, and storage.

Height

The most significant component of your walker is its height and overall measurements. Consider the product’s measurements to guarantee that you’ll be able to fit it through the locations you frequent. Make sure you know the height of your handles as well as the height of your product.

It’s also helpful to have a walker that can be adjusted in height. Depending on the shoes we’re wearing, our height can change slightly. You should be able to grasp your walker while maintaining a comfortable wrist angle.

Size of the Wheels

Many people neglect the wheel size or choose small wheels because they appear natural. Large wheels, on the other hand, will be most useful. On uneven ground like cobblestone, little wheels can become wedged in crevices and cause problems.

Look for wheels that are at least 8 inches in diameter to be able to handle most terrain.

Taking a Seat or Leaving a Seat

You should also consider whether you want a seat on your rollator. While some people do not require a seat, others find it extremely useful. There aren’t always benches available for you to rest on. You’ll appreciate being able to stop and rest anywhere if you suddenly become tired or experience acute joint pain.

Seats with cushioning or padding are suitable for persons who have hip problems. Another good alternative is a backrest, which will maintain your posture upright as you sleep.

Storage Alternatives

Almost all rollators come with storage, whether it’s a basket, tray, bag, or all three. Select a model with sufficient storage space for your own belongings.

Baskets used to be the most popular storage option, but people are now realizing that they can be cumbersome and make foldable products more difficult to travel. Choose a rollator with a removable basket or storage units as an alternative.

Having a home safety assessment performed to identify fall risk and provide safety recommendations followed up by installation, can greatly reduce your risk of falls in your home environment. You are unique and your needs are too!

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Getting Your Home Ready For Knee Or Hip Surgery
Written by Craig B

What Is A Functional Capacity Evaluation?

Three million workers were wounded or were ill as a result of their work tasks in 2014. Moreover, 4,679 workers were murdered in work-related accidents. Because the consequences of a worker’s disability or death are so severe, countries introduced workers’ compensation systems in the 1970s.

Employers pay workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees. Employees can file a claim for benefits in the case of a job injury or illness, including pay loss benefits and medical benefits, among other things, to cover expenditures while they recuperate.

However, in order to file and process a claim, it is necessary to demonstrate the injury and objectively quantify the severity of the harm. It’s crucial to assess how much an injury or illness affects a worker’s capacity to fulfill their job duties.

Employers and insurers must evaluate whether a person is genuinely ready to return to work — and in what capacity — once he or she has healed and been approved to return to work. Insurers and businesses want to make sure that people don’t return to work too soon, putting themselves and others at risk. Some of these difficulties are addressed by a functional capacity evaluation (FCE) for workers’ compensation.

A functional capacity evaluation, in essence, aids in the assessment of damage or disability. A disability or damage can be visible at times. Determining how badly someone is hurt and how much their injury impacts their ability to work, on the other hand, is more difficult. An FCE is a professional who works to define injuries and professionally evaluate the level of ability in a systematic manner, which is often required to determine the appropriate amount of benefits. Instead of just designating all wounded workers as “incapable” or “damaged,” a functional capacity evaluation examines each worker individually to identify the best course of action.

A functional capacity evaluation is another technique to match an injured worker’s abilities to the employment needs. Each FCE is tailored to the worker’s unique ailment as well as his or her job title. The FCE’s job is to assess how well an employee’s existing talents match the job’s requirements.

If a postal worker’s employment requires them to carry sacks of mail and walk long distances, a functional capacity evaluation may include examining the worker’s ability to walk and handle high weights if they have had a back injury. If the FCE judges that the worker is unable to walk great distances, the worker may not be allowed to return to the same tasks, but may be able to work at a post office desk instead.

In another situation, an office worker with a similar injury might be cleared to return to work, or the FCE report might suggest that the person sit for no more than two hours at a time. Because every injury and sickness is unique, the functional capacity evaluation produces recommendations for each specific condition and person.

What Is the Importance of Functional Capacity Evaluations in Workers’ Compensation Cases?

An attorney, an insurance carrier supplying workers’ compensation coverage, or your employer may order an FCE. The FCE is a set of examinations that assesses your physical ability in relation to your job. An evaluator certified to conduct these examinations will always administer the tests in an FCE.

A functional capacity evaluation is intended to be both safe and objective in its assessment of an accident or sickness. The tests that make up an FCE will assess a worker’s ability to:

  • Motion-capacity
  • Physical stamina
  • Capacity to lift
  • Flexibility
  • The ability to carry goods and maintain stamina
  • Other skills essential for their position

If you have a handicap or illness, a functional capacity evaluation might help you evaluate if you can return to work. If you are able to return to work, an FCE can help you assess if you need to return to work in a limited capacity or whether you need to make special accommodations. In workers’ compensation situations, functional ability evaluations are critical because:

They can assist you in determining whether or not you are able to return to work. Trying to figure out when an employee will be able to return to work is a crucial part of the recovery process. The FCE is one instrument that can assist with data collection in order to answer this issue.

To avoid re-injury, they can assess whether you need to return to work at a reduced capacity. Returning to full work duties too soon can lead to re-injury, especially if a worker overstretches or pushes a muscle that hasn’t fully recovered. With every scenario, the goal is to assist an individual in returning to work in a safe manner.

A qualified evaluator can determine any limitations that the worker (or employer) must consider during a functional capacity evaluation. A functional capacity examination, for example, may reveal that a worker can only sit for two hours at a time or cannot move goods weighing more than 10 pounds. A worker may be told that they can only return to sedentary employment or that they can return to heavy-duty job. Knowing and following these principles can help you heal fully from a job injury.

They have the potential to avoid additional industrial injuries. Furthermore, recognizing a worker’s potential limits and dangers can help prevent harm to other workers. An FCE can help assess if a worker can lift large objects, for example, minimizing the danger that the employee will drop a big box on a coworker’s foot because they overestimated their abilities. A functional capacity evaluation lowers the risk by keeping workers out of the workplace if their capacity levels are insufficient for their responsibilities.

They can aid in the objective resolution of disagreements over the severity of an injury. A worker’s employer or insurer may disagree regarding the severity of a disability or injury. An FCE from a professional can help provide accurate information on capacity and readiness to work in certain scenarios.

They may be able to provide additional details regarding an injury or illness. Workers’ compensation claims are, in many respects, about accumulating a lot of facts. It might be tough to put a monetary value on an accident or illness. For example, depending on the worker, job requirements, and type of fracture, two employees with broken arms may have vastly varied work capacity. A functional capacity assessment gathers more data so that judgments can be made in each case individually.

They are more precise. Professionally conducted FCEs are more accurate in determining ability than wounded workers self-reporting their abilities, according to researchers. Part of the rationale is that, while a worker’s attitude and conviction about his or her ability can influence how well they perform on any test, a functional capacity assessment relies on standardized tests to assess actual ability. It is also administered by professionals who understand how to assess those abilities. They are one of the more accurate measures to determine ability to return to work, albeit they are not perfect.

They can assist you in determining whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation, Social Security, or other benefits. A functional capacity assessment can also help you figure out if you require occupational therapy or other types of assistance. In many circumstances, an FCE report will propose therapy or allow a worker to receive enough benefits, which will aid in their recovery.

They can aid in the prevention of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud costs the United States roughly $80 billion each year, and it raises rates and makes firms less competitive, putting jobs at risk. An employer whose employee has committed fraud may see their insurance costs skyrocket, making it difficult for them to acquire new employees or even stay in business. When a worker’s claims are evaluated, an FCE encourages them to return to work in some capacity as soon as they are able.

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Best Shoes For Elderly To Prevent Falls
Written by Brian B

5 Best Shoes For Elderly To Prevent Falls

Best Shoes For Elderly To Prevent Falls

Seniors should value comfort, design and, of course, safety above all else when it comes to footwear. Here is a look at some of the best shoes to prevent falls.

Senior Footwear Necessities

Before picking out a pair of shoes, seniors need to know exactly which elements to look for in a new pair of shoes. Here are a few necessities:

Soles: Make sure the midsoles of the shoes are sturdy and not too flexible. This ensures stability during movement. Any shoe that is too flexible on the inside can easily cause falls within or outside the home. Sturdy shoes will be more slip resistant than brands featuring a flexible sole.

Closed Heels: Seniors should wear shoes with closed heals at all times. Oftentimes open heal shoes do not fit tightly enough, causing the foot to slide and create balance issues.

Size: Shoes that fit properly should be priority number one for the elderly. Shoes that are too big can cause falls, while shoes that are too small can easily cause discomfort. Try multiple pairs on before making any purchases.

Material/Design: Look for a pair of shoes that features a slip-resistant sole. A smooth sole can be slippery.

Weight: This is another important element to watch out for. Historically, heavy shoes have been a problem for seniors. If you have trouble lifting your feet to walk, falls will occur. The heels of the shoes should be no more than one inch in thickness.

Elderly Shoes

5 Best Shoes For Seniors

Here are some of the best shoes for seniors today:

1. Sketcher’s Women’s Go Walk

Featuring a lightly padded collar and cushioned 5Gen midsole, these are some of the best shoes for elderly women to wear in and around the house. These shoes will slip on and off easily, so neither of these processes will feel like a chore. For women wishing for a choice of colors, this pair works very well. A thick rubber sole provides extra grip, perfect for movement on any sort of surface. This pair is also very lightweight, too, making falls very uncommon. The Gen5 cushioning also keeps the pair comfortable for the long haul.

2. Propet Tasha

The only drawback to this pair is the somewhat high price tag, but the cost is worth it when it comes to safety. Comfort is another factor that the Tasha is not lacking in with its rubber outsole. These shoes feature a unique U-shaped design which is built into the sole. This helps support a natural gait.

3. New Balance 990

New Balance has been popular for many years, known for its variety of wide offerings, ideal for those prioritizing comfort first. The 990 is a bit pricey like Tasha, but the shoes will last a very long time. Most seniors have commented on the great heal stability with the 990 pair. Multiple color options can make shopping a fun experience, as well.

4. Hush Puppies Men’s Gil

This is the ultimate comfort footwear for senior men lounging around the house. The pros are endless: a long-wearing rubber on outsole, smooth leather upper and contoured removable EVA footbed. The leather uppers provide the perfect mix of support and comfort. Durable rubber soles are in place to prevent spills. These shoes can be offered with either laces or velcro.

5. Propet Men’s Stability X Strap Sneaker

If you are looking for a pair that resembles running shoes you may have worn years ago, this is your pair! These shoes are designed specifically to prevent falls, though, making them a popular choice for the older generations. The Strap Sneaker pair comes with a removable footbed, contoured heel stabilizer and a rubber outsole.

How Seniors Can Keep Healthy This Summer
Written by Craig B

How Seniors Can Keep Healthy This Summer

Although COVID-19 precautions take priority, here are some other ways senior can enjoy the summer in a healthy manner. Read on to learn more.

Activity

30 minutes a day of keeping your body moving to stay fit can help all seniors! Try new types of exercises, such as low impact aerobic exercises. The water helps to stabilize the body and strengthen the muscles. It’s a great option for those with osteoporosis because it reduces your risk of a bone fracture. Taking part in new exercises is a great way to meet new friends.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to heat stroke, which can be life threatening if it’s not treated. As people age it can become more difficult for their bodies to regulate their internal temperature. Senior’s may not feel thirsty, but it’s important to keep track of how much water they are drinking. Also, certain medications can lead to further effects of dehydration. All of these things leads to the importance of staying cool and hydrated. They should discuss with a doctor how much fluids they should be drinking a day. In the hot months seniors should have access to an AC system for efficient cooling down.

Enjoy The Outdoors

This super vitamin helps in keeping your bones strong. Have fun outside walking your dog, having a picnic, or playing with your grandchildren at a park. While spending time out and about make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen. Seniors are more vulnerable to the sun’s rays because of their thinning skin. Other forms of protection are wearing cotton shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses. When out walking wear stabilizing shoes and beware of insect bites.

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Fall Prevention Checklist
Written by Brian B

Fall Prevention Checklist

Fall Prevention Checklist

If you are searching for “fall prevention checklist” or “home safety“, this list will help you secure your floors, stairways, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen areas.

Floors

  1. Keep paths free of any furniture in each room of the house.
  2. Secure all throw rugs with double-sided tape or nonslip backing.
  3. Make sure there are no other objects, such as papers, boxes, shoes or blankets on the floors.
  4. Keep all wires securely taped or coiled next to walls.

Kitchen

  1. Keep most frequently used items on the lower shelves.
  2. Have a sturdy step stool in the kitchen, if needed.

Bedrooms

  1. Tub and/or shower floors should have nonstick rubber mats.
  2. Have grab bars to use for getting in and out of the tub.
  3. Grab bars can be placed around the toilet, as well.

Bathrooms

  1. Light(s) should be near the bed within reach.
  2. Light the path from the bed to the bathroom well with nightlights.

Stairs

  1. Remove any loose objects from the stairs/steps.
  2. Fix any broken or uneven steps.
  3. Make sure there is no loose or torn carpeting in the area.
  4. Have sufficient lighting above the stairways.
  5. Make sure there is a light switch at the bottom and top of the staircase.
  6. Have handrails on both sides, making sure they are not loose or broken.
  7. Handrails should run the full length of the stairway.

Home Safety Tips

  • Try to do exercises each and every day to increase your strength and improve balance. These exercises will likely help you feel healthier and improve your confidence at the same time.
  • Have your eyes checked at least once a year by a doctor. Update/upgrade your glasses, if necessary.
  • Try to wear shoes both inside and outside the home. If you don’t go barefoot or wear slippers, you increase your odds of not falling.
  • Always look at the lighting in and around your home and consider upgrades. Florescent bulbs are very bright and they cost less than other bulbs.
  • Keep all emergency contact information near each phone.
  • Put a phone near the floor or keep your cell phone nearby at all times in case of any accidents.

Source: https://uvahealth.com/sites/default/files/2018-08/Fall-Prevention-Checklist.pdf

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