Posts Tagged ‘independent’

Finding Your Balance

MediLodge of Rochester Hills TherapyFrom the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Therapy Department

Have you ever felt dizzy, lightheaded, or as if the room is spinning around you? These can be very troublesome sensations. If the feeling happens often, it could be a sign of a balance problem. Balance problems are among the most common reasons that older adults seek help from a doctor. Having good balance means being able to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving are remaining still. An intact sense of balance helps you walk without staggering, get up from a chair without falling, climb stairs without tripping, bend over without falling, to name just a few important examples. Good balance is important to help you get around, stay independent, and carry out daily activities.

People are more likely to have problems with balance as they get older. But age is not the only reason these problems occur; there are other causes, too. In some cases, you can help reduce your risk for certain balance problems.

Some balance disorders are caused by problems in the inner ear. The part of the inner ear that is responsible for balance is the labyrinth. When the labyrinth becomes infected or swollen, this condition is called labyrinthitis. It is typically accompanied by vertigo and imbalance. (Vertigo is the feeling that you or the things around you are spinning.) Upper respiratory infections and other viral infections (and less commonly, bacterial infections), can lead to labyrinthitis.

Diseases of the circulatory system, such as stroke, can cause dizziness and other balance problems. Smoking and diabetes can increase the risk of stroke. Low blood pressure can also cause dizziness.

MediLodge Physical TherapyBalance problems can also result from taking certain medications. For example, some medications, such as those that help lower blood pressure, can make a person feel dizzy. Ototoxic drugs are medicines that damage the inner ear. Sometimes the damage lasts only as long as you take the drug; other times it is permanent. Some antibiotics are ototoxic. If your medicine is ototoxic, you may feel off balance. Check with your doctor if you notice a problem while taking a medication.

Your diet and lifestyle can help you manage certain balance-related problems. For example, Meniere’s disease, which causes vertigo and other balance and hearing problems, is linked to a change in the volume of fluid in the inner ear. By eating low-sodium or salt-free foods, you can make Meniere’s disease symptoms less severe. Balance problems due to high blood pressure can be managed by eating less salt, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising.

The ear infection called otitis media is common in children, but adults can get it too. You can help prevent otitis media by washing your hands frequently. Also, talk to your doctor about getting a yearly flu shot to stave off flu-related ear infections. If you still get an ear infection, see a doctor immediately before it becomes more serious.

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

MediLodge of Rochester Hills

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Energy Conservation Tips To Beat Fatigue

fatigueFrom the Therapy Department

We all get worn out sometimes. But fatigue, secondary to disability or aging, can really interfere with the ability to function independently. If you find that fatigue is keeping you from doing things you want to do in your life, some of these energy conservation techniques from MediLodge of Southfield may help you. Energy conservation means looking at your daily routines to find ways to reduce the amount of effort needed to perform certain tasks, eliminating other tasks, and building more rest throughout the day. Keep in mind that not every technique will work for you. These are suggestions you can use and adapt to find the right fit for you. Remember: Energy is like money—you’ve only got so much, so think about what you’re spending it on!

Rearrange Your Environment

  • Keep frequently used items in easily accessible places.
  • Replace existing heavy items with lighter ones; for example, use plastic plates and cups rather than china and glass.
  • Install long handles on faucets and doorknobs.
  • Adjust work spaces, such as raising a tabletop, to eliminate awkward positions; bad posture drains energy.
  • Install pull-out of swing-out shelving in cabinets.
  • Wear an apron with pockets to carry around cooking utensils or cleaning tools.
  • Consider moving your bed to the first floor to eliminate stair climbing.

Eliminate Unnecessary Effort

  • Sit rather than stand whenever possible: while preparing meals, washing dishes, ironing, etc.
  • Use adaptive equipment to make tasks easier; try a jar opener, a reacher, a shower chair to allow you sit while bathing, or a hands-free headset for your phone.
  • Soak your dishes before washing, then let them air dry; or use paper plates and napkins.
  • Use prepared foods when possible.
  • Get a rolling cart to transport things around the house, rather than carry them.
  • See if your grocery store will deliver your groceries.
  • Use store-provided wheelchairs or scooters when you shop.

Plan Ahead

  • Gather all the supplies you need for a task or project before starting, so everything is in one place.
  • Call ahead to stores to make sure the items you need are available.
  • Cook in larger quantities and refrigerate or freeze extra portions for later.
  • Work rest breaks into activities as often as possible. Take a break before you get tired.
  • Schedule enough time for activities—rushing takes more energy.
  • Try keeping a daily activity journal for a few weeks to identify times of day or certain tasks that result in more fatigue.

Prioritize

  • Eliminate or reduce tasks that aren’t that important to you.
  • Delegate tasks to friends or family members who offer help.
  • Consider hiring professionals, such as a cleaning or lawn care service, to cut down your workload.

From Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

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For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Southfield

MediLodge of Southfield

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