Posts Tagged ‘stroke’

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

The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Long-term Care Setting

Speech Language PathologyghtsA Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), sometimes called a speech therapist, specializes in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing, cognition/thinking skills and communication disorders. SLPs often collaborate with physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers and dieticians to provide care to our patients.

SLP services aim to improve a person’s quality of life through regaining the ability to eat and swallow, improving cognitive skills for increased independence, and helping to regain communication skills to express wants, needs, and ideas.

Dysphagia (Swallowing Disorders)

Swallowing disorders (“dysphagia”) affect approximately 15 million Americans, and nearly all dementia patients eventually develop dysphagia. Dysphagia is associated with a number of other conditions including stroke, progressive neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s, etc), respiratory conditions (COPD, Etc), brain injury, spinal cord injury. Patients with dysphagia are at risk of having food, liquids, or medication enter their lungs (this is called “aspiration”) which can cause pneumonia or choking.

SLPs address dysphagia via instruction of strengthening exercises that target the swallowing muscles, as well as teaching patients strategies for compensating for muscle weakness.

Cognitive Impairments and Dementia

Speech Language PathologyFor our patients and families affected by dementia and other cognitive impairments, SLPs help bridge some of the cognitive and communication gaps that may develop. SLPs may help patients with early-stage cognitive disorders develop compensation techniques to keep up with daily tasks and maximize their independence (such as keeping a daily journal). In the late stages, swallowing disorders may emerge and the SLP can assist in techniques for safe feeding.

SLPs also have an important role in implementing communication strategies for both the patient and the family, because problematic behaviors from dementia patients may stem from their inability to express their wants, needs or pains.

Speech, Language and Voice

After a brain injury or stroke, it is common for patients to have difficulty with both the physical and mental functions of communicating. SLPs work with patients to increase their ability to speak and communicate. Additionally, SLPs will implement a number of treatment techniques to treat deficits in a patient’s voice.

At MediLodge of Sterling Heights we combine the skills of our highly qualified physical, occupational and speech therapists with the amenities of our unique Wellness Lodge, creating an ideal place for recovery. Our knowledge and experience make it possible for us to provide maximum Lodger potential in regards to rehabilitation while providing a comfortable and compassionate environment for healing.

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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 Sterling Heights

MediLodge of Sterling Heights

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