Moving Through the Pain with Physical Therapy

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

More than 50 million Americans battle chronic pain. Often caused by arthritis, chronic pain can be the result of a variety of other illnesses and diseases as well. Although our first impulse when dealing with pain is to reduce activity level, surprisingly, the best way to lessen chronic pain is often by moving more.

With the help of a professional physical therapist, those struggling with pain can learn techniques and exercises to not only help reduce the level of pain, but to ward off the additional complications that often accompany it, such as depression, isolation, avoidance of an active lifestyle, and reduced overall health.

There are a variety of community-based programs, endorsed by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to supplement one-on-one physical therapy for chronic pain, including aquatic programs, low-impact aerobics and strengthening exercises, and instructor-led walking courses.

The first step is to see the physician for a referral to a licensed physical therapist. From there, he or she can create an individualized program with attainable goals for reducing pain. THE MEDICAL TEAM offers personalized physical therapy services right in the comfort of home. Our professional therapists perform evaluations, devise personalized treatment plans, and work with seniors to implement exercise programs, walking and transferring assistance, instruction on body mechanics and safety, and training to family members to reinforce the benefits of treatment.

We also provide home health aides to help seniors adhere to a recommended exercise program, assist with other care needs in the home, prepare meals and help with housework and laundry. If needed, we can provide a full range of skilled medical services, specialized dementia care, hospice care, and so much more.

Contact us any time to learn more about how our professional in-home care services, available in New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas and the metro DC areas, are helping seniors live more fulfilling, safe, and independent lives.

Helping Seniors Overcome Weight Issues

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial at all stages of life, but there are some additional factors that can make this a challenge for those over age 60 – a more sedentary lifestyle, chronic conditions that make it more difficult to exercise, such as osteoarthritis, metabolism changes, and more. For seniors struggling with weight issues, THE MEDICAL TEAM, can help! A checkup with the doctor is a great first step to get his or her recommendations and approval to begin any new weight loss regimen. Then, try the following tips:

Stay hydrated. A reduced sensitivity to thirst can occur in older adults, so it’s more important than ever to maintain adequate fluid intake. Plain water is always best as it aids in digestion and metabolism, and feelings of hunger are often actually a result of a hydration deficiency. Sipping water throughout the day can help curb hunger, as well as bring a plethora of other health benefits.

Boost protein. Lean proteins like chicken and fish help us feel fuller longer than empty carbs, and have the added benefit of rebuilding muscle mass that can begin to decrease with age. Seniors should aim for 30 grams of protein in each meal.

Give it time. It can take longer for older adults to notice the effects of weight loss efforts, which can be discouraging. The goal should be to adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes doctor-approved cardio, strength training, and smart dietary choices, rather than reaching a particular number on the scale.

Attitude is everything. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of negative thinking when it comes to losing weight, and to follow the mindset that gaining weight is just a normal part of growing older. It can be extremely helpful for the senior to spend time with friends and family who provide motivation and encouragement. Forming a group to walk together, take an exercise class together, and hold each other accountable can help ensure a positive attitude towards healthy living.

Regardless of age, there are steps older adults can take to reach a healthier weight and improve overall quality of life and wellbeing.

THE MEDICAL TEAM’s skilled caregivers can help in a variety of ways to allow seniors to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight, such as assistance and motivation in enhancing physical activity levels, taking walks together, preparing balanced, nutritious meals, and ensuring the fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy food choices, just to name a few. Serving New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro DC areas, contact us to learn more.

Don't Fall for These Senior Fall Myths!

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

Keeping seniors safe at home is a top priority at THE MEDICAL TEAM, and since September 22 is National Fall Prevention Day, we wanted to share some helpful information to help reduce the risk of falls for the seniors in your life. There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding falls in older adults. Understanding the facts, and making necessary adaptations, is a great place to start.

  • Limiting activity does not prevent falls. While it seems logical to think that inactivity can only help keep seniors from falling, the truth is that staying active provides a wealth of benefits, including increased strength, improved range of motion, and independence. It also enhances socialization opportunities, which leads to improvements in overall health. And exercise is a great way to restore, at least partially, lost flexibility and muscle tone, providing further protection against falls.
  • Falls are most likely to happen in the home. The majority of falls in seniors (more than half) occur where they should feel most safe – right at home. A full home safety assessment to check for such fall risks as throw rugs, clutter, and poor lighting can ensure the home environment is safer for seniors.
  • Certain health concerns may contribute to falls. Medication side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, as well as poor vision and instability in ambulating can increase fall risks for seniors. Ensure the senior uses a cane or walker if needed (even if he or she is reluctant to do so), receives annual eye exams, and talks with the physician about any potential risks from prescriptions.

Why not make this fall the season that you talk with the seniors in your life about fall risks, and put a plan in place to keep them safe? THE MEDICAL TEAM is available to offer additional home safety recommendations and adaptation ideas, as well as hands-on in-home care assistance with tasks that can be challenging for older adults, such as bathing and dressing, transferring from bed to chair, light housework, meal preparation, and more.

Contact us at your convenience for assistance in New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro DC areas or with any questions you may have about our both physical and emotional, contact THE MEDICAL TEAM. We’ll provide a free in-home assessment to determine the most appropriate private duty services. From professional senior home care services. Partnering with THE MEDICAL TEAM allows seniors to remain safe, healthy and thriving, where they’re most comfortable – at home.

Preventing Diabetes Complications in Older Adults

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

With nearly 30 million Americans diagnosed with the disease already, and more than a million new cases discovered each year, it’s likely that we all either know someone with diabetes or have it ourselves. And for older adults, the likelihood of developing diabetes is even greater, affecting more than one out of every four adults over age 65.

Managing diabetes itself can be tricky, with ongoing monitoring, testing, dietary restrictions, and more. Additionally, there are a variety of complications and conditions that can arise in conjunction with diabetes, making proper diabetes care instrumental in preventing issues like hypoglycemia, hypertension, kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, and more.

THE MEDICAL TEAM suggests the following to help those with diabetes reduce the risk for complications:

Quit smoking. It goes without saying that it’s healthier to avoid smoking tobacco products, but for diabetics, it can also reduce the risk for nerve damage, eye disease and blindness, heart and kidney issues, just to name a few.

Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol. The best way to keep blood pressure and cholesterol at appropriate levels is through maintaining a healthy, low-fat diet, exercising regularly, and taking any medications recommended by the doctor exactly as prescribed.

Watch for infections. Those with diabetes are at a greater risk for infection, literally from head to toe. Practice a healthy mouth care routine, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and bi-annual checkups, to prevent gum infections; and keep a close eye on the feet, which can develop serious infections and nerve damage.

Stay balanced. Ongoing stress can take a toll on diabetics, resulting in hormonal and insulin imbalances. Allow plenty of time to relax with enjoyable activities, talk through any worries you have with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor, and strive for 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. Talk with the physician if help with reducing stress is needed.

Take control. Ultimately, the person with diabetes is responsible for his or her management of the disease. Arm yourself with education about the disease, proper care management techniques, and a reliable system of support to help keep diabetes effects under control.

THE MEDICAL TEAM can help diabetics in a variety of ways to remain as healthy as possible at all times. Our care team encompasses registered nurses, therapists, home health caregivers, even behavioral health specialists and social workers when needed. Each individual receives exactly the level of help needed, by professional, compassionate staff members whose goal is to ensure older adults are not just surviving with diabetes, but thriving. For other senior health tips from THE MEDICAL TEAM, click here or contact us to learn more!

Create a Safe Haven for Seniors with These Home Safety Tips

By THE MEDICAL TEAM

Home is where we should feel the safest and most comfortable, but for many older adults, the home may not be as safe as it should be. THE MEDICAL TEAM wants to help seniors remain safe at home, and recommends a room-by-room safety assessment to determine what modifications need to be made. These home safety tips are a great place to start:

Entryways:

  • Place a firmly secured mat or non-slip material just inside the door to prevent slips from wet shoes.
  • Create areas inside and outside of the door for placing items, to avoid juggling packages while trying to unlock the door and maintain balance.
  • Consider an intercom system and/or remote keyless entry for additional safety.

Kitchen:

  • Make sure there’s plenty of lighting around all work areas – stove, countertops, and sink.
  • Store commonly used items in easy-to-reach locations.
  • Consider installing a lowered countertop where the senior can work from a seated position or a wheelchair.

Living Room:

  • Ensure that there are wide, uncluttered pathways that can accommodate a wheelchair or walker.
  • Remove all area rugs, or ensure that they’re firmly secured to the floor.
  • Keep all electrical cords against the wall and away from walking areas.

Bathroom:

  • Set water heater temperature to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use grab bars in and around the tub, and beside the toilet and sink.
  • Install non-slip strips and mats and keep floors dry at all times.

Laundry Room:

  • The safest location for a laundry room is on the main floor of the home. If the washer and dryer are located upstairs or downstairs, consider relocating them to a more accessible area of the home.
  • Ensure there’s sufficient space to maneuver baskets of clothes, a walker and/or wheelchair around the washer and dryer.
  • Install a fold-down ironing board, with plenty of shelving space nearby to provide easy access to the iron and other laundry supplies.

Throughout each room of the home, ensure there’s adequate and easy-to-operate lighting – particularly at the top and bottom of stairways, in and between the bedroom and bathroom when nighttime trips may occur, and in hallways. It’s also crucial to make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are located on each floor of the home, and are audible in each room.

For additional help, THE MEDICALTEAM’S professional in-home care services can help keep seniors safe and thriving. Whether a senior requires just a little companionship a few hours a week, help with housework and personal care tasks such as bathing and dressing, or a more skilled level of medical care, our caregivers are on hand to improve quality of life for older adults. Serving areas of New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and metro DC, we invite you to contact us with any questions or to learn more about our expert home health and homemaker services.