Written by Craig B

Fall Prevention At Home Safety Information

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5 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 Keep paths free of any furniture in each room of the house. Secure all throw rugs with double-sided tape or nonslip backing. Make sure there are no other objects, [...]

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

National-Senior-Games-Association
Written by Craig B

Golf Clubs For Seniors

Golf truly is a game for a lifetime and modern advances in golf equipment have kept seniors playing the game they love for longer. But whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, it is a game where the appeal never fades. In this article, we are going to talk about the various categories of clubs. Although we will not be recommending particular brands, the information will be very useful in making your next golf purchases.

Senior Does Not Mean Senior Or Does it?

Just because you are getting on in years it does not mean you automatically need senior flex shafts in your clubs. But if your clubhead speed has lessened over the years, how you assemble your set of clubs may be the key to lower scores. Known as “set make-up” – it really comes down to putting the clubs in your bag that give you the best chance of playing well. The late Arnold Palmer played golf against the kids on the PGA Tour well into his seventies as well as playing senior golf. One of his secrets was he adapted his equipment. He put more flexible shafts in his clubs, increased the loft on his driver, added some fairway woods and hybrids as well as oversized cavity back irons, wedges he felt comfortable with and rocked the modern putter for many years. Let’s look at each category of equipment for some ideas. By the way, although you can buy new and get totally custom fitted, there is now a burgeoning used golf club market, especially online. You can save money and still get great playing golf clubs!

Driver

The USGA (United States Golf Association) has set rules regarding the flexibility of driver faces so any top make driver made after 2010 or so should have a similar amount of face flexing. The 4 things the senior should look for are these:

1. Loft. Loft is your friend in golf. The Chances are you do not hit the ball as far as you used too. And yes, you may still be able to hit it out there 250 yards, but it is a fair bet the average is a lot less. A way to pick up some additional yards is to improve the “carry” distance on your tee shots and more loft helps you to do that. A lot of manufacturers offer Drivers in the 12-15 degree range of loft and they are definitely worth checking out if you can leave your ego alone!

2. Shaft length and weight. Many drivers are 46 inches long, yet the average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44.5 inches long. If you try a shorter driver, you will surprise yourself how much easier it is to hit the sweet spot and gain yardage by trimming an inch to an inch and a half off the grip end. It will not really impact the shaft flex but you can always add a little lead tape to the head if you like (one of Arnold Palmer’s tricks!)

3. Face Angle. Nowadays many drivers come with adjustable face angles to help counteract a tendency to hook or slice the ball. If you are a slicer, some manufacturers offer drivers with offset heads to reduce the slice and improve the launch angle of the ball.

4. Head size. There are some seniors who are just not comfortable with the 400cc to 460cc head size on modern drivers. Although you will give up a little distance on all but the purest hits, looking at some old school titanium club heads in the 250cc to 350cc range may help you find some confidence you can square the club up at impact. This may be especially the case if the shaft is also shortened and the loft is at least 11 degrees. Another bonus is these clubs are often less than $20!

Fairway Woods And Hybrids

Much of what can be said for drivers can also apply to fairway woods. Unless you can hit a 3 wood higher than a one level house, it is a club you probably do not need unless you play in a climate with very firm fairways where you may be able to eek out some yardage because of the roll. A 5 wood (hugely popular on all tours these days) will probably work better for you. Look for one with 18 or 19 degrees of loft and for the average sized person, a shaft of no more than 42 inches. A 7 wood and or a 9 wood (with between 21 and 24 degrees of loft) is also a great club for the senior to use as they work very well out of the rough as well as the fairway and tee box. The 5 wood can replace a 1-2 iron, a 7 wood, a 3-4 iron and a 9 wood a 4-5 iron. If you are looking for additional height, a shallow faced club may help, if you are using them more off the tee and from the rough, a slightly deeper face may help. Hybrids are iron replacements and are usually slimmed down looking hollow headed clubs designed to replace the longer irons. For most seniors a 1,2, or 3 iron is not a user friendly club but adding a 5 or 7/9 Wood combo and starting with a couple of hybrids in the 4 or 5 Irons can make the game a lot easier. You can even buy iron sets entirely made from hybrids. These are not “cheater clubs.” Lot’s of top notch players of all ages often have two or more in the bag.

Irons And Wedges

Assuming you have added a wood or a hybrid or two, your longest iron will probably be a 5 or a 6 iron. Cavity backed irons that spread their weight around the perimeter of the club is the way to go. Buying new or used, one of the most important things to get right is the lie angle (how the club is soled at impact with the ball.) Most golf clubs can be bent a couple of degrees in the neck area and with the help of a professional club fitter, this small adjustment to your irons may make shots a lot more accurate. Modern golf clubs are lofted stronger than clubs from the past. a Pitching Wedge in 1995 had around 48 degrees of loft, today 44 or 45 is commonplace as most sets now come with a Gap Wedge, an additional wedge of around 50 degree of loft before you get to the sand wedge (usually with around 56 degrees of loft.) Looking at some of the super senior professional golfers, it is notable, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino and many others do not carry a 60 degree wedge (also known as a Lob Wedge) so although you may want to carry one if you have a lot of hills and carries over sand traps around the greens on your home course, it is not by any stretch mandatory. A good sand wedge needs “bounce” on the sole (the number of degrees the back of the leading edge sits lower than the front of the leading edge.) If you play in wet conditions with a lot of fluffy sand in the bunkers, a sand wedge with 12 to 15 degrees of bounce is ideal. If you play on a course that is firm under foot with less sand in the traps, a sand wedge with 9 to 12 degrees of bounce will be a better weapon.

Putters

There is so much personal choice among putters. But whether you choose a traditional blade or centershaft putter, a Ping style heel to toe putter or one of the large and fashionable MOI putters, two things to look for. Most putters are too long for the user. You can cut it down and add weight with lead tape but take your putting stroke, see a professional and make sure your eyes are comfortable over the ball and then the right length of putter can be fathomed for you. Whatever design you choose, you will find a head weight that just feels ideal. Have fun trying different putters out and remember there are plenty of great putters on the used market!

Shafts And Grips

Modern graphite shafts do not have the performance issues of graphite from the 1980’s but it is amazing to hear experienced golfers still say silly things like: “Graphite turns the club into a hook machine” or “It has too much torque.” From a scientific viewpoint, that is simply not the case any more with decent quality graphite shafts the major manufacturers use. With its lighter weight, graphite should be a must for a seniors in their woods and hybrids and probably their irons as well. Most off the rack wedges come with “Wedgeflex” shafts, these are inevitably stiff shafted. Throughout his career, Jack Nicklaus used a sand wedge with a soft flex shaft and even if you keep steel in the wedges, having them reshafted with a more flexible shaft can help a great deal. You do not have to go with senior flex but it is a fact most american male amateur golfers use stiff flex because of their ego, when a regular or even senior flex club may help them better. Try out different shafts with a competent club fitter and you may surprise yourself.  Whatever grip you like the feel of can be assembled to suit your grip. If you have arthritis in your hands, the grip can be built up – many top senior pros do this to eliminate the grip taper on the lower half of the grip and to help with the vibration of the club at impact if they get sore and stiff hands.

Putting It All Together

Let’s take the example of Tom. Tom is a 65 year old male golfer with a swingspeed of 84 mph with a driver and 67 mph with a 6 Iron. His handicap is 12. He does not hit the ball as high or as far as he once used too. But he uses good course management and hits the ball pretty straight. He carries a 12 handicap and is capable of shooting 81-83 on a regular basis on a 6,100 yard par 72 golf course. Here is a suggested set make-up for him using senior flex shafts in the clubs:

Driver: 300-460cc (based on personal preference) driver head with 12-14 degrees of loft.

Wood: 5 Wood with 18 to 19 degrees of loft.

Hybrids: 4 and 5 Hybrids to replace the 4 and 5 Irons.

Irons: 6,7,8,9, Pitching Wedge and Gap Wedge – same model, same shaft.

Sand Wedge: 56 degrees with 12 degrees of bounce with a shaft, be it steel or graphite, of a similar flex profile to the other clubs.

Putter: Whatever he chooses!

That is only 12 clubs! The rules allow you 14 and you may find you do not need them but this set up gives you the room to add an additional fairway wood, maybe a 6 Hybrid Iron or a 60 degree wedge!

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National-Senior-Games-Association
Written by Craig B

National Senior Games Association

If you enjoyed playing sports as a professional or amateur in your younger days, there is no reason you cannot continue to enjoy some form of sport as a senior. To that end, the National Senior Games Association hosts bi-annual games in the United States, welcoming all seniors to as the Olmpic motto has it: “Citius, Altius, Fortius” “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.” Read on to learn more.

Currently, the National Senior Games Association offers the following sports:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball
  • Power Walk
  • Race Walk
  • Rqcquetball
  • Road Race
  • Shuffleboard
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Triathlon and Tri Relay
  • Volleyball

Qualifiers for the games are held all over the country, You can check out locations near you, here.

To qualify for the 2021 National Senior Games, an athlete must be at least 50 years old by December 31, 2020.

It is important to be aware of the ruels for events and you can read up on them here.

If you are not able to qualify, the national Senior Games always enjoys having volunteers to help the games run smoothly and you can read more about those opportunities here.

You can learn more about the National Senior Games Association, here.

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How Seniors Can Keep Healthy This Summer
Written by Craig B

Great Balance Exercises For Seniors

Most seniors love to stay active. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, activity is vital in independent and assisted living facilities. With a plethora of exercises and games available across the state, we’ve hand-picked some of the best physical games for seniors.

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect activity for the indoors or outdoors-man. This is a highly effective practice for senior citizens. Yoga is comprised of controlled body positions and stretches, with a goal of physical and mental well-being. The activity is perfect for participants looking to attain deep spiritual tranquility. This is one hobby that is great for the body and soul!

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits for yoga participants. Weight loss is, of course, at the top of the list. With the possible weight loss comes a more balanced metabolism, with a lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But, that’s not all! Yoga can result in increased muscle strength, flexibility and better balance. Yoga, which is a practice believed to be more than 5,000 years old, has been shown to improve cardiovascular and blood circulation, as well.

Shuffleboard

Beginning in 15th century English pubs, this sport has constantly changed over time, but the goal has remained the same. This is one of the most popular sports to play for seniors because of its competitive, yet lighthearted nature. A player wins in shuffleboard when reaching a score of 15, but some bigger tournaments could require 21 points for a win. Alternating turns, each player slides four weights across an opponent’s board. Sliding your weights to the highest available scoring area is the objective here. Players can also knock opposing weights off the board with their own weights or use them to protect their current score.

Health Benefits

Shuffleboard increases heart rate and reduces stress at the very same time. Another benefit is the obvious workout for various muscle groups.

Line Dancing

A simple way to take part in the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day is by partaking in line dancing. The sport is great for the heart and it keeps its dancers healthy and in shape. If you’re intimidated by dancing, there is no need to worry because line dancing is the perfect exercise for beginners.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits in the world of line dancing. Improved stamina, posture and balance are just some of the benefits. The exercise can lower stress and improve stamina in the process. Avid dancers may see a lowered risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well.

Bocce Ball

This sport’s history is fascinating! Dating back to ancient Egypt in 5200 B.C., bocce ball’s popularity began to soar in Greece hundreds of years later. The sport made its way to Belgium, Flanders and Holland after that. Bocce ball took center stage during the first Bocce Olympiad held in Athens in 1896. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the sport officially took off in the United States, though. Open Bocce is the most played version of the game. Eight balls, plus a smaller ball (pallino) are shared between 2, 4, 6 or 8 players. A random player is chosen to throw the pallino first, then all participants try to get their ball closest to the pallino. The closest to the pallino receives one point after each round. Additional points are awarded when the leader’s ball is closer to the pallino than any other opponent’s shots. Once a total of 13 points is attained by one player, a winner is crowned.

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Physical Games For Seniors
Written by Craig B

Physical Games For Seniors

Most seniors love to stay active. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, activity is vital in independent and assisted living facilities. With a plethora of exercises and games available across the state, we’ve hand-picked some of the best physical games for seniors.

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect activity for the indoors or outdoors-man. This is a highly effective practice for senior citizens. Yoga is comprised of controlled body positions and stretches, with a goal of physical and mental well-being. The activity is perfect for participants looking to attain deep spiritual tranquility. This is one hobby that is great for the body and soul!

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits for yoga participants. Weight loss is, of course, at the top of the list. With the possible weight loss comes a more balanced metabolism, with a lowering of blood sugar and blood pressure. But, that’s not all! Yoga can result in increased muscle strength, flexibility and better balance. Yoga, which is a practice believed to be more than 5,000 years old, has been shown to improve cardiovascular and blood circulation, as well.

Shuffleboard

Beginning in 15th century English pubs, this sport has constantly changed over time, but the goal has remained the same. This is one of the most popular sports to play for seniors because of its competitive, yet lighthearted nature. A player wins in shuffleboard when reaching a score of 15, but some bigger tournaments could require 21 points for a win. Alternating turns, each player slides four weights across an opponent’s board. Sliding your weights to the highest available scoring area is the objective here. Players can also knock opposing weights off the board with their own weights or use them to protect their current score.

Health Benefits

Shuffleboard increases heart rate and reduces stress at the very same time. Another benefit is the obvious workout for various muscle groups.

Line Dancing

A simple way to take part in the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day is by partaking in line dancing. The sport is great for the heart and it keeps its dancers healthy and in shape. If you’re intimidated by dancing, there is no need to worry because line dancing is the perfect exercise for beginners.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits in the world of line dancing. Improved stamina, posture and balance are just some of the benefits. The exercise can lower stress and improve stamina in the process. Avid dancers may see a lowered risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, as well.

Bocce Ball

This sport’s history is fascinating! Dating back to ancient Egypt in 5200 B.C., bocce ball’s popularity began to soar in Greece hundreds of years later. The sport made its way to Belgium, Flanders and Holland after that. Bocce ball took center stage during the first Bocce Olympiad held in Athens in 1896. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the sport officially took off in the United States, though. Open Bocce is the most played version of the game. Eight balls, plus a smaller ball (pallino) are shared between 2, 4, 6 or 8 players. A random player is chosen to throw the pallino first, then all participants try to get their ball closest to the pallino. The closest to the pallino receives one point after each round. Additional points are awarded when the leader’s ball is closer to the pallino than any other opponent’s shots. Once a total of 13 points is attained by one player, a winner is crowned.

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Strength Training For Older Adults
Written by Craig B

Strength Training For Older Adults

From time to time we feature an interview that is worth quoting in full. Such an interview is one with Dr. Roger Fielding on Strength Training for Older Adults. Below is the text from the interview at the News In Health website. You can find the original at: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2020/03/dr-roger-fielding-strength-training-older-adults

Disclaimer: You should speak with a medical professional before undergoing any exercise regime. Use proper safety precautions and have assistance available when you exercise.

NIHNiH: Are the benefits of strength training different for different age groups?

Fielding: The benefits of strength training across the lifespan are relatively similar. But as people get older, there’s a progressive decline in the amount of muscle mass and muscle strength.

So as we age, I think it’s even more important to consider incorporating some strength training into our physical activity routine, to either slow down the progression of that decline or to some extent prevent it from occurring.

NIHNiH: How does strength training help older adults live independently?

Fielding: There’s a very close relationship between the loss of muscle strength with aging and the development of mobility limitations and poor physical functioning. As people lose muscle mass and muscle strength, they begin to develop problems with their ability to walk, their ability to get up from a chair, to climb a flight of stairs. And those changes can reach a point where people lose their ability to be living independently.

Interventions that can prevent that loss in muscle mass and strength as people age may be able to delay or prevent people from losing their independence.… The most robust type of exercise training to prevent the loss of muscle strength and the loss of muscle mass is strength training.

NIHNiH: What would you say to an older adult who feels unsure about how to start strength training?

Fielding: The first thing to remember is that some exercise or a little bit of exercise or physical activity is better than no exercise and no physical activity. So anything you can do is going to have benefits that are real and sustainable.

More and more, there are programs at local gymnasiums, local health clubs, and accessible gyms like the YMCA and other organizations that are very targeted for older people. So if people are intimidated, I would suggest they look to see if there are programs like that in their community that might be more friendly and more accessible and welcoming to their age and their demographic.

There are also some strength training activities that can be done with things like ankle weights, or using your body weight and a chair. So there are some strength training activities that don’t really require specialized equipment or going to a gymnasium, that people can do to start off with.

They may ultimately progress to getting strong enough that they might want to go to a gym or a community program where there’s a bit more challenge. But there are certainly things that you can do in your home that are very scalable and accessible that don’t involve going to the gym.

NIHNiH: What are some tips for staying motivated with a new strength-training program?

Fielding: Ask yourself: Why do you want to do this? Like, you want to go on a four-mile hike or be able to play in the yard with your grandchildren or start playing a sport again. Goal setting can be really useful in trying to keep people motivated to stay with a program of physical activity.

It’s also important to find something that you really like to do and can make part of your daily routine, activities, or behaviors. If you’re somebody who absolutely loathes going to the gym, signing up for a gym membership is not going to be the right strategy for you. But getting some hand weights and some ankle weights that you can use at home, in a place where you’re very comfortable, may be something that’s going to get you motivated to start.

Some people really like to exercise with a friend or partner, or with a group of people. In that case, finding someone that you want to embark on a strength training program with can also be a really good way to keep you adherent and keep you motivated. The important thing is finding something that works for you.

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

Getting Your Home Ready For Knee Or Hip Surgery

The Government website Medlineplus offers the following advice on preparing your home for knee or hip surgery. You can see the original article, here.

Before you go to the hospital for surgery, set up your home to make your recovery and life easier when you come back. Do this well in advance of your surgery.

Ask your health care provider or physical therapist about getting your home ready.

Make It Easy for Yourself

Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the floor where you will spend most of your time. Limit your stair use to once a day.

  • Have a bed that is low enough so that your feet touch the floor when you sit on the edge of the bed.
  • Set up your bed on the first floor if you can. You may not need a hospital bed, but your mattress should be firm.
  • Have a bathroom or a portable commode on the same floor where you will spend most of your day.
  • Stock up on canned or frozen food, toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items.
  • Make or buy single meals that can be frozen and reheated.
  • Make sure you can reach everything you need without getting on your tiptoes or bending down low.
  • Put food and other supplies in a cupboard that is between your waist and shoulder level.
  • Place glasses, your teapot, and other items you use a lot on the kitchen counter.
  • Make sure you can get to your phone. A portable phone can be helpful.
  • Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms you will use. This way, you can sit when you do your daily tasks.
  • If you will be using a walker, attach a sturdy bag or a small basket. Put in it the things you need to have close by such as your phone, a notepad, a pen, and other necessary items. You can also use a fanny pack.

You may need help bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to provider visits, and exercising. If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after surgery, ask your provider about having a trained caregiver come to your home. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.

Other items that may help:

  • A shower sponge with a long handle
  • A shoehorn with a long handle
  • A cane, crutches, or a walker
  • A reacher to help you pick up things from the floor, put on your pants, and take off your socks
  • A sock aid to help you put on your socks
  • Handle bars in the bathroom to allow you to steady yourself

Bathroom Setup

Raising the toilet seat height will keep you from flexing your knee too much. You can do this by adding a seat cover or elevated toilet seat or a toilet safety frame. You can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.

You may need to have safety bars in your bathroom. Grab bars should be secured vertically or horizontally to the wall, not diagonally.

  • DO NOT use towel racks as grab bars. They cannot support your weight.
  • You will need two grab bars. One helps you get in and out of the tub. The other helps you stand from a sitting position.

You can make several changes to protect yourself when you take a bath or shower:

  • Put non-slip suction mats or rubber silicone decals in the tub to prevent falls.
  • Use a non-skid bath mat outside the tub for firm footing.
  • Keep the floor outside the tub or shower dry.
  • Place soap and shampoo where you do not need to stand up, reach, or twist.

Sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:

  • Make sure it has rubber tips on the bottom.
  • Buy a seat without arms if it is placed in a bathtub.

Avoiding Falls

Keep tripping hazards out of your home.

  • Remove loose wires or cords from areas you walk through to get from one room to another.
  • Remove loose throw rugs.
  • Fix any uneven flooring in doorways. Use good lighting.
  • Have night lights placed in hallways and rooms that can be dark.

Pets that are small or move around may cause you to trip. For the first few weeks you are home, consider having your pet stay elsewhere (with a friend, in a kennel, or in the yard).

DO NOT carry anything when you are walking around. You may need your hands to help you balance. Use a small backpack or fanny pack to carry things such as your phone.

Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair. It is especially important to practice the correct ways to:

  • Sit down to use the toilet and stand up after using the toilet
  • Get in and out of the shower
  • Use the shower chair
  • Go up and down stairs

Alternative Names

Hip or knee surgery – getting your home ready; Osteoarthritis – knee

References

Niska JA, Petrigliano FA, McAllister DR. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (including revision). In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 98.

Rizzo TD. Total hip replacement. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 61.

Weinlein JC. Fractures and dislocations of the hip. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 55.

Review Date 11/5/2018

Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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