Diabetic Neuropathy – Its Cause and Symptoms

Diabetes causes a lot of health issues and complications, and if not managed, can degrade one’s quality of life tremendously. However, there is nothing more disconcerting than what is called Diabetic Neuropathy. This condition is a type of nerve damage that is brought on by diabetes. The affliction affects both ends of the spectrum, which means that a person can have his senses dulled or be extremely sensitive to the slightest touch.

Sufferers usually have the condition on extremities, affecting the feet, the hands, legs, and arms. Because of the duality of its effect, a person may experience dulled or numbness in the extremities or be extremely sensitive, thereby amplifying even the slightest of touch into extreme pain. Both effects can be dangerous, and complications may arise because of the imbalance. As of right now, there is no known cure for nerves that are already damaged, but healthy food choices and lifestyle will stop its progression.

The main cause

Neuropathy affects both type one and types two diabetes sufferers, and as many thirty (30 percent) develop nerve damage because of the condition. High glucose levels and high levels of fat can damage your nerves, especially if one does not change lifestyle habits to alleviate them. Experts are pointing out the high blood sugar, and fat content does not directly damage the nerves, but the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. It is likely for a person with diabetes to develop nerve damage if they also have the following along with their pre-existing condition.

  • Being overweight
  • High cholesterol count
  • Heavy smoker
  • Heavy drinker
  • Has high blood pressure
  • Genetics

The symptoms

The symptoms are grouped according to the areas where the nerve damage occur, and these are Peripheral, Autonomic, Proximal, and Focal Neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy

This is where the nerve damage is mostly on the feet and legs, although rare, this type of neuropathy also manifests itself into the arms and the abdomen. The effects include pain and a burning sensation. Tingling sensations also usually manifest itself to the extremities. More concerning is when numbness also occurs, as it can become permanent.

Autonomic Neuropathy

In this instance, nerve damage clustered around the urinary system and the digestive system. The effects are prominently felt in the area of the stomach itself and manifests in the form of heartburn, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. The nerve damage in these areas will also make you feel full despite eating very little. Nausea and vomiting also accompany other symptoms.

Proximal Neuropathy

This kind of nerve damage is usually focused on one side of the body primarily on the thighs, hips or buttocks. The symptom is mainly the feeling of pain on either the left or right side of these parts and can lead to weakness in the legs.

Focal Neuropathy

Damage to these nerve cluster causes muscle weakness and pain, centered around the head area, legs, and the torso. Similarly, it also causes muscle weakness in these areas. The troubling symptoms include having double vision accompanied by pain around the eyes. Sometimes because of the locality of the pain, it can lead to misdiagnosis, especially in the belly or chest area.

While all the symptoms are alarming, they are manageable and progression can be stopped in its tracks with simple but effective lifestyle changes. These changes are focused mainly on healthy activities and watching food and alcohol consumption.

 

Sources:

 

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245310.php
  • https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-neuropathy#2
  • https://www.endocrineweb.com/guides/diabetic-neuropathy/diabetic-neuropathy-causes
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/nerve-damage-diabetic-neuropathies/what-is-diabetic-neuropathy

Short-Term Memory Loss vs Long-Term Memory Loss

Have you ever wondered why some people easily remember the name of their first grade best friend from 30 years ago – yet when they walk into a room, they will suddenly forget why they’re there? Or have you experienced it yourself? It may seem odd how people remember information so mundane yet forget those that are actually worthy at this point in life.

Short-term and long-term memory loss have the same effect yet different characteristics that may affect the individual’s way of dealing with other people or situations happening around.

The differences between short-term memory loss and long-term memory loss

Short-term memory is the capacity to hold small amounts of information in the brain.  Long-term memory is a different type of memory in which you hold information in your brain from the past.

Each of these types of memories is very important to us and a person can lose each type of memory for different reasons.

It is common for the aging brain to begin to lose short-term memory.  This short-term memory loss can cause issues such as forgetting where you set your car keys to forgetting that you had a medication to take.

Long-term memory loss can be caused by issues like injury, infection or trauma.  A person with long-term memory loss will commonly forget their past such as old friends names or important vacations that they went on with their family.

Causes of memory loss

Lack of good night’s rest

Lack of sleep has a great impact on your mind’s capacity to think and retain information. A minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep is suggested for adults.

Side effects of medication

Some medications for depression, heartburn, blood pressure, and overactive bladder can affect the memory of both short and long term. Consulting with your physician to see if adjustments can be made could alleviate some memory-related issues.

Stress and anxiety

Both stress and anxiety are known to affect human functions.  Stress and anxiety is the result of excessive production of the stress hormone, cortisol which is proven to interfere with the ability of the hippocampus to make and recall memories. Implementing a stress reduction program can help with memory function and improve the overall quality of life. Aside from that, managing stress and anxiety properly is a great way to improve your health condition.

Depression

Just like anxiety and stress, depression is linked to short-term memory loss. Thus, proper depression management and treatment is highly recommended to help alleviate memory-loss issues.

Drug abuse, alcohol, and tobacco consumption

Excessive consumption of alcohol affects short-term memory and can continue to interfere with memory afterward. Thus, doctors advise to track alcohol consumption and avoid high dosage that may affect the capacity of the brain to retain memory.

Dementia

Dementia is the term used for the condition of progressive loss of memory and other aspects of the brain’s capacity to think. Dementia can be severe enough that it already interferes with the person’s ability to interact with others and do his daily tasks.

Stroke

It is one of the common causes of short-term memory loss which happens when the blood supply to the brain stopped due to the blockage in the vessel. For patients who experience a stroke, it’s easier for them to recall a past memory than what they had for breakfast. Memory loss caused by stroke usually diminishes in effect once the patient has fully recovered.

Occasional forgetfulness is a common phenomenon. But, if it starts to affect how you deal with other people or accomplish your daily tasks, consult your doctor for proper assessment and possible treatment.

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/42891-short-term-memory-loss.html

https://www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss

About an average of 50 million individuals worldwide suffer from dementia or the deterioration of thinking skills that renders one’s ability to perform daily activities. And with no adequate or precise treatment on how to address such disease, it’s hard to delay or face the unknown head-on.

U.K. Dementia Research Institute Program professor, and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Brain Discovery Sciences’ Lead and Deputy Director, Tara Spires-Jones, have told the Science Media Center that although some are unlucky enough to inherit the genes that increase their odds of developing dementia, many have the opportunity to lessen their chances by living a healthy lifestyle.

Dementia Statistics

According to WHO, 10 million cases of dementia are reported yearly, and this statistic is expected to increase threefold by the year 2050. The organization has also said that not only the dementia is the primary cause of why the older generation is disabled, all of which devastates affected individuals’ lives, their caretakers, and families, this disease also hugely affects the economy, and the estimated expenses of caring for dementia patients are expected to increase by $2 trillion yearly by the year 2030.

Reducing the Risk of Dementia

World Health Organization (WHO) says that delaying or stalling the progression of dementia is possible. University of Nottingham’s director of the Centre for Old Age and Dementia Institute Department of Mental Health professor Tom Denning, and a board-certified family physician and internationally renowned nutrition and natural healing expert in preventing and reversing diseases through nutritional methods, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., gave out some tips on how to extend lifespan and reduce heart diseases, and dementia risks.

  1. Maintain a normal blood pressure, healthy blood glucose and cholesterol level without any medications or supplements such as vitamins B, E, gingko, omega-3, and other antioxidants in hopes of avoiding any cognitive decline unless clinically-recommended.
  2. Avoid tobacco and less alcohol consumption.
  3. Commit to eating a well-balanced plant-based diet or a Mediterranean one.
  4. Consistently do a daily physical activity or exercise before any symptoms of cognitive problems shows.
  5. Sustain proper weight management for optimal health to reduce risks of heart problems, diabetes, and other degenerative sicknesses.

With substantial research confirming the plant-based diet and Mediterranean diet from various health doctors to be beneficial for cognitive function, reports have shown that following the said diet decreases one’s risk of mild cognitive deterioration as well as Alzheimer’s Disease, but infrequent compliance will not.

And as Dr. Joel Fuhrman has said in his Longevity Now Conference, eating the right kind of food is a scientifically proven tip to extend one’s lifespan because it is food which controls our life — it slows aging, prevents cancer and other diseases.

The evidence that social support and participation are well-connected to good health and one’s well-being is proven. Dr. Hans A Diehl, Director of Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Loma Linda, conducted the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP), a 30-day community-based program. While residential programs are a costly and artificial living environment that made sustaining learned behaviors more difficult when patients return to their home setting, he developed CHIP as an affordable intervention in a community setting which helped many patients with degenerative diseases.

University College London’s Old Age Psychiatry professor, Robert Howard, has told the Science Media Center that while the evidence mentioned reducing risk of dementia is not strong, it is essential to continue doing things that are beneficial for overall physical and mental health.

Sources:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/14/health/who-guidelines-dementia-intl/index.html
https://www.thelongevitynowconference.com/?fbclid=IwAR0jtzOPzoM5Z4gIoRo9e90DfT-VKuOu35UAV1awrcrIClf5OU2XX1k2DrQ

Neck pain is considered as one of the most common medical conditions that can be experienced by young adults to seniors. The pain brought can start mild to severe, depending on the root cause.

Neck pains can be due to various conditions such as:

  • Neck strain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Poor posture
  • Muscular tightness
  • Neck injury such as in whiplash
  • Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine
  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy)

Among these medical conditions, the most common that causes neck pain are muscular tightness, osteoarthritis of the cervical spine, and disc herniation.

Before tackling the common causes of neck pain, let’s discuss the actual symptoms that reveal that you’re experiencing neck pain. Neck pain may start as a dull aching sensation that worsens when moving the neck.

Muscular Tightness

Muscular tightness, commonly referred to as stiff neck, is the condition characterized by soreness of the neck muscles causing difficulty in the movement. Aside from the pain in the muscles itself, patients may also feel headache depending on the severity of the tightening in the muscles.

Most are familiar even in the slightest symptoms of a stiff neck, may it occur upon waking up in the morning or may occur at any time of the day. Most often, the pain will resist within a day or week without the needs of medical intervention. However, for cases that are more severe or last for weeks, it is highly advised to visit a physician. In addition to that, if the pain comes and go

Osteoarthritis of the Cervical Spine

The osteoarthritis of the cervical spine or cervical spondylosis is the medical condition which involves changes in the bones, discs, and joints in the neck area.

Just like other variations or types of osteoporosis, cervical spondylosis is the result of normal wear and tear in the spine. As we grow older, the discs of the cervical spine age as well causing a gradual break down as it becomes stiffer than usual. The symptoms of cervical spondylosis may occur to middle age to senior people.

Disc Herniation

Disc herniation is a medical condition that deals with issues on one of the rubbery cushions located between the individual bones or vertebrae that stack up to make the spine.

The spinal disc has a jelly-like appearance that is encased in a durable cover. The disc herniation is also called as the ruptured disc or slipped disc.

Disc herniation happens when the jelly-like part of the disc pushes out of the cover. This medical condition can irritate nearby nerves that cause weakness, numbness, and pain. In some cases, people don’t experience any of the symptoms of disc herniation if the situation is not severe.

Even though neck pain is a common condition, it is still best to consult a trusted doctor in case you’re experiencing symptoms that affect your day-to-day activities. Also, keep in mind that prevention and keeping your body healthy are still the key to avoiding the condition from taking place.

Sources:

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/stiff-neck-causes-symptoms-and-treatment
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095
https://www.medicinenet.com/neck_pain/article.htm
https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/cervical-osteoarthritis-cervical-spondylosis#1

As a person becomes older, they may begin to have problems with painful joints due to inflammation. Osteoarthritis causes pain in these joints due to wear and tear. An older individual with osteoarthritis in his or her ankles and toes may have such symptoms as:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Joint deformities
  • Stiffness
  • Damage to soft tissues
  • Loss of cartilage and flexibility in affected areas

How is osteoarthritis in the foot and ankle diagnosed?

A physical examination with a complete medical history begins the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Testing to confirm the diagnosis of foot and ankle osteoarthritis may also include X-rays or MRI scans.

How is ankle and foot osteoarthritis treated?

The non-surgical ways of relieving pain and improving motion in the foot and ankle joints include:

  • Steroid injections into the affected joints
  • Using anti-inflammatory medications to reduce joint swelling
  • Pads and braces in the shoes
  • Pain relievers
  • Braces to support the joints
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics worn in a person’s shoes
  • Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight

Exercises for the foot and ankle

If a person’s feet are strong and flexible, they’ll experience less arthritis pain. Keeping your toes moving remains a crucial part of improving the way your toes feel Some excellent exercises to keep a person’s feet strong include:

  • Achilles tendon stretch. Lean against a wall keeping your palms flat. Place one foot in the front of the person, and one behind. Next, lean forward while leaving your feet flat on the floor. This exercise feels like a gentle pull on your calf and Achilles tendon. Hold this position for 10 seconds on each side. Repeat the stretch three times.
  • Big toe stretches. Put a thick rubber band around your big toes. Pull the rubber bands so that the big toes move away from each other. Hold this stretch for about five seconds. Repeat the stretch ten times.
  • Toe curls. To perform this exercise, pick up marbles with your toes for good toe stretch.

Will surgery help osteoarthritis in the feet and ankles?

In severe cases of osteoarthritis in the feet and ankles, two types of surgery become needed to provide you with the pain you need and deserve to keep walking and moving. Two regularly recommended operations remain:

  • Fusion surgery. Arthrodesis, or fusion surgery, is when bones are fused together using pins, rods, plates or screws. Once you’ve healed from the operation, the body parts in question remain fused together.
  • Joint replacement surgery. Just like knee replacement surgery, ankle replacement surgery requires an artificial ankle joint to be surgically implanted to replace a worn out ankle joint. Ankle replacement surgery remains rarely used to assist individuals with ankle osteoarthritis.

If your loved one is in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, they need a knowledgeable staff around them who understand the treatment of people with osteoarthritis. These staff members need to follow through with any doctor’s recommendations as well as monitor and record a person’s physical therapy and progress.

Maplewood of Sauk Prairie’s staff remains such a skilled, experienced group of people who work with osteoarthritis patients in the nursing home and on an outpatient basis. So, for osteoarthritis rehab you can trust for your loved one, please consider working with Maplewood of Sauk Prairie’s inpatient and outpatient rehab facility.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/foot-ankle-osteoarthritis#1

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/arthritis-of-the-foot-and-ankle/

Assisted Living: How to Properly Care for Senior Citizens and Their Needs

As the years start to progress, one thing becomes inevitable: the ones that we love and care about will require outside care to maintain their quality of life. This is when senior care is extremely significant. Rather it’s your parents, grandparents, in-laws or a significant other, medical assistance in even the most mundane scenarios becomes a daily occurrence and renders many of us feeling incapable. If you’re in this position, or you’re preparing for the upcoming years, this article will shed light on how to provide care for aging seniors and leave them living their best life!

Customize and Friendly Help

Regardless of the facility that you choose to contact, leaving your loved one in the helping hands of those that are friendly, understanding and professional is a must. According to interesting statistics released by Senior Living, there are over 47-million seniors living within the United States alone. With numbers like this, it’s critical that families and friends use facilities that are trained to deal with your loved one’s particular ailments. Here is a brief list of questions to ponder when screening for potential services to use:

  • Does the facility encourage an interactive community?

  • Are the staff trained and ready to deal with patients that require further assistance like Dementia and immobility?

  • Does the service cost reflect the level of care and comfort the patient will receive?

  • Can couples (husband and wife) be placed together in the facility? If so, what are the limitations?

  • Do you have a personal connection with the staff and professionals located at the facility?

Although these questions may seem burdensome or not important, they’re essential for providing the best experience possible for your loved one.

Life Is Not Over!

Another topic to keep in mind when researching an assisted-living facility is that of letting your loved one live their life on their own terms. Having a purpose-driven lifestyle that is full of adventure that allows your loved one to wake up each morning with hope is essential. Visiting these facilities and understanding their workflow and how they deal with certain patients is vital in the selection process.

Although there will be certain instances where the patient will require outside help and assistance — bathing, changing clothes, moving long distances, feeding themselves, medication distribution, etc. — it should be noted that each patient journeys down their own path. Promoting a feeling of individuality and independence while still receiving the help they need is, without a doubt, the most important aspect for a senior citizen.

Is This Your Answer?

The bottom line is that your loved one’s life is about to change, but it doesn’t have to put a negative burden on your shoulders. By researching various facilities and making a checklist of certain standards that must be met is the best way to move forward. No one wants to put their relatives or romantic partner in a situation where their quality of life isn’t of the highest standard — why settle? Use the information above as your road map to a destination filled with independence and peace of mind. Reach out to us today and see what the future holds in store for you! The experience of assisted living can be rewarding in more ways than you can imagine

References:

As our elder loved ones age symptoms may present themselves that point to the need for senior care. It’s important that you remain observant so any concerning signs or behaviors do not go unnoticed: You want your family to be as happy and healthy as possible and for some seniors that means additional care may be required. You have to remember though that most seniors want to live out their lives at home and the topic of moving them into a senior care facility may be a touchy one! The good news is though that mildest to moderate concerns may frequently be remedied without the need to move your loved one out of their home!

To help you provide the best quality of life for your elder family member, we’ve detailed a few signs and symptoms that may be cause for additional senior care:

Signs To Watch For

Chronic Medical Conditions

As we age, the chances of a chronic medical condition such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s developing increases. Those that suffer from such medical conditions will often need increased medical care as they age and may not be in a position to provide the appropriate care for themselves that they require. If you notice any medical condition getting out of hand, or found that they may have fallen and had issues getting themselves up then their solitary lifestyle may need to come to an end. As disheartening as this may sound to them, it is for the best.

Issues Managing Money

Many of us as we grow older end up less than capable of taking care of all the financial responsibilities that we’ve taken on over the years. Insurance renewals and bills may start to pile up due to forgetfulness, a lack of motivation to pay them, or a lack of money to do so. It’s not uncommon for seniors to fall victim of scammers and if they happened to develop a disease such as dementia then their ability to deal with the complexities of paying bills and taxes may have alluded them. If you notice any of this occurring then consider taking over the management of their finances or seeking out additional care.

Living In Isolation

Isolation isn’t good for anyone, but it is especially problematic when it comes to our elders. With more than 11 million seniors living alone, isolation is a leading factor in seniors’ health declining. Potential issues that can arise as a result of isolation include addiction, depression, and even death! If your senior family member is living alone and you find that they aren’t going out and spending any time with friends then consider stopping in for visits more frequently or if that is not an option, then it may be time to seek out additional care.

Unkempt Living Space

If you notice that your senior loved one’s lawn and house seem to be in decline, with little care taken to their preservation, then it may be a sign that they are no longer able to physically take care of these things. Depression may also cause this so don’t dismiss this if you feel they’re still able-bodied; It is still a problem. If this is the only sign you’ve noticed so far, consider options other than taking them out of their home such as hiring a landscaper, a housekeeper, or an in-home caregiver to help with the daily upkeep around the house.

Conclusion

In order to ensure our loved ones are living their lives to the fullest, as they age we must remain vigilant in order to notice any signs of decline that would illicit senior care. Getting the help you and your loved needs early will ensure that they live as comfortably and healthily as possible! If any of these signs present themselves, consider Maplewood of Sauk Prairie for your chosen senior care facility. Making the decision to utilize senior care is not something to take lightly, and you know your loved ones better than anyone else, so keep an eye on them and use your best judgment!

Sources:

https://www.seniorliving.org/where-to-start/knowing-when-its-time/

Joint Rehabilitation and You: Physical Therapy to Treat and Strengthen Your Body After Surgery

As you’re well aware, dealing with the physical limitations and struggles associated with joint replacements are, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things a patient can go through. Combine this with the trials and tribulations of life and you have a recipe for an unpleasant experience. But what if there were an alternative means of dealing with your surgery after the ordeal has taken place? Are you simply expected to deal with random variables as they’re thrown at you, or are there certain practices and techniques that can be used to speed up the recovery process? If you’ve undergone a joint replacement yourself, or know someone that is, hesitantly, about to undergo one, these techniques will ensure that the ordeal flows as easily as possible.

Knee Replacement: What to Expect and How to Approach Rehab

Here you are — fresh out of the surgery, unable to move your leg and not knowing what your next move may be. Although this may be a trying time filled with emotional fluctuations, it’s one of the most common procedures that an individual can undergo. In fact, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that total knee replacement recipients will grow over 650% by the year 2030 with millions of patients treated. So although you may feel down and out about your procedure, rest assured knowing that doctors and healthcare physicians perform these treatments on an almost daily basis.

First and foremost, you need to gain strength back into the limb itself. This process, although daunting and somewhat uncomfortable, will ensure that the entire range of motion of the lower limb will return once the healing process is over. Patients that fail to perform their therapy, or simply neglect the muscles located in the leg, are prone to becoming immobile after the wounds from the surgery have healed. Health sources report that the duration in which a patient stays in the hospital after their surgery is, usually, less than 72 hours.

Once you’ve arrived back home, your physician and therapist will map out a plan in which to begin training of the lower extremities. For patients that have undergone a slightly less invasive surgery, home rehabilitation may be all that is required. However, for individuals that are older or obese, clinical rehab is prescribed as a means of tackling the issues under the watchful eyes of a professional.

Exercises That Speed up the Healing Process

The most overlooked component to a speedy recovery, despite what most may think, comes from the dietary choices that you make. Our body needs nutritious fuel and minerals that it can absorb and use as a means of healing the damage our body has undergone. A brief list of foods that have been shown to improve bone and joint health are as follows:

  • Calcium-dense foods, such as milk, cream, and cheese, for bone and joint improvement.
  • Protein-packed lean meats like fish and chicken that can assist in repairing swollen, damaged and inflamed tissue.
  • Orange juice, fresh berries, and mango to improve collagen production.

The next thing a patient will undergo is a workout regimen that is designed to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles located in the knee. It’s important to realize that the first week after surgery will be used as a means of testing your pre-existing strength limits. For most patients, this duration will be used as a period of walking with the assistance of a walker or stroller. This will allow the individual to become active while still having assistance during the walking motion.

Once the individual begins to showcase strength, the therapist will begin incorporating the means of a stationary bike for ten, fifteen and twenty-minute time frames. Using the assistance of a bike provides a low-impact environment in which to stress and fatigue the calves and quadriceps which, in turn, assists with knee mobility.

You Hold the Power of Change

Most patients, yourself included, don’t realize the power that they wield once they leave the hospital. The results you experience and the lifestyle you lead after the surgery is completely reliant on your ability to remain consistent with your therapy. Your body will reap the benefits of the effort you showcase in your home, as well as the clinic during your training regimen. Don’t let surgery control your life, or impact the beautiful experiences you have with your family and friends. Ready yet? Reach out to us at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/knee-replacement-18/knee-surgery-physical-therapy
https://www.anationinmotion.org/value/total-knee-replacement-surgery-numbers/

If you have a need to utilize the services of an occupational therapist then there are a lot of things you should know. First and foremost, occupational therapists are dedicated to helping you get your life back. They desire to work with you to help you get the skills to help you do as many of your prior activities as possible.

In order to fully understand the role of an occupational therapist, it is important to understand the nature of their work and how they become qualified for their roles. These are truly some very dedicated professionals. Here are some facts regarding an experienced occupational therapist:

Occupational therapists have a lot of training and work in a variety of settings.

Occupational therapists are professional men and women who must have at least a master’s degree and many of them might even possess a doctorate. They have the option of attending 324 different colleges in the United States. Once they are out in the working field, they could work in a number of different areas, including hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, assisted living organizations and even mental health clinics. This just goes to show you that occupational therapy is a field that is truly in demand.

Occupational therapy is an important component of the recovery process.

When people think of occupational therapy, they generally think of an individual that is working with someone to get them ready for working or something of that nature. However, the “occupational” part of an OT’s job simply means they are working with the patient to help them go back to doing the things they enjoy or the things they want to do.

Occupational therapy is also concerned with helping you with “activities of daily living.”

Although “activities of daily living” can seem like a very fancy term, it actually just means the things you do each day. The activity of typing this article on a keyboard could be classified as such. However, it gets more specific than that. Activities of daily living also include such things as driving, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, paying your bills, walking your dog and a number of other things. The best way to sum it is that these activities of daily living are pretty much everything you do on a daily basis. If you are having difficulty doing all of these daily activities, then chances are you would benefit from the dedication of an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists will generally try to help you with these “activities of daily living” after you have suffered what is called a “medical event.”

One of the reasons occupational therapists work in assisted living organizations, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers is because of the fact that a lot of them have suffered what is called a “medical event.” An event of type can be anything that causes you to not be able to do all of the things you used to be able to do. In some cases, a “medical event” can be truly life-altering, and can even force you to have to relearn how to read, how to tie your shoes, how to do household chores or even how to talk, among other things. This is one of the main reasons why an occupational therapy will often work with individuals who have been in a devastating car accident, those who have had a stroke or heart attack, or those who have had other types of accidents.

Occupational therapists are much different than physical therapists.

There are some individuals who think that occupational therapists are not that much different than physical therapists, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, physical therapists are generally concerned with utilizing exercise just to help those who want to have better health and more mobility. On the other hand, an occupational therapist will utilize exercise and range of motion to help their patients achieve functional goals. In a nutshell, the main difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist is that an OT is trying to help a patient restore their lifestyle.

Conclusion

At Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, there is one thing you can count on when it comes to our occupational therapists: they will work with you by taking a holistic approach. They will seek to give you an individualized patient evaluation, a customized treatment program, and recommendations of various adaptive tools that you can use for a better quality of life. If you have a need for the services of an occupational therapist, you can trust the dedicated professionals affiliated with Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

 

When you think of speech therapy, you may think of small children receiving help on how to form difficult sounds. While this is a large part of speech therapy, speech therapy is actually used to help people of all ages who struggle with speech and language.

In addition to working with children, speech-language pathologists spend a lot of time working with senior citizens. Working with senior citizens may consist of working in the clinic, conducting home visits, or working in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Today we’ll discuss what speech therapy is for senior citizens and how it can help them live their daily lives.

Why is Speech Therapy Important for Seniors?

Speech therapy is important for people of any age because communication is a vital part of life. Communication is especially important for seniors because they may need to communicate the timing and location of pain and any basic needs that they may need to be fulfilled. This becomes increasingly important as a person ages because pain can quickly turn into an emergency situation that requires immediate attention.

In addition to the functional reasons that communication is important for seniors, it is also important for their social well-being. Regardless of if the individual lives with a spouse, by themselves, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, social well-being is important for their overall health. If the individual feels like they can’t connect with others, this can have a negative impact on their outlook on life and their health.

How Do I Know if Speech Therapy is Needed?

The question to ask yourself if you are trying to determine if your loved one could benefit from speech therapy is “Are they having trouble communicating?” Since you are familiar with their daily routines, you should be able to answer this question. This is the first step in determining if speech therapy is needed.

A few other things to think about when considering if your loved one would benefit from speech therapy include how they respond when you ask them questions. Do they seem to have difficulty understanding the question or forming an answer? Additionally, are they still able to take care of their own medical and money records? If they used to do this on their own and have recently lost the ability to do so, it could reveal an underlying language issue. Lastly, is the person constantly in dangerous situations? This could include putting themselves at risk for injury or just in danger in general.

If you answered yes to these questions, it does not mean that your loved one will be thrown into speech therapy automatically. The first step is for the speech-language pathologist to conduct an evaluation to determine the root of the communication problems. Once the root of the problem is identified, the speech-language pathologist will collaborate with you to provide the best plan of treatment possible.

What will Therapy Consist of?

The answer to this question will be different for each patient because a large part of speech therapy is providing an individualized treatment plan that takes into account the patient and family’s goals. However, we have included frequent therapy plans below so that you can get a general feel of what the therapy may entail for your loved one.

A frequent therapy plan for seniors is aimed at the general aging process. This therapy plan includes working to strengthen the muscles of the larynx (a key part in forming speech) which tend to weaken with age. This therapy will consist of vocal exercises that will make it easier for them to use their voice to communicate.

Another type of therapy is often provided after a senior suffers a stroke. The speech and language problems following a stroke are known as aphasia and the speech-language pathologist is trained to provide therapy especially for aphasia.

The strategies that your loved one is exposed to will vary depending on the speech-language pathologist. Some general strategies include group therapy to gain confidence speaking, visual speech perception (linking words to pictures), and melodic intonation therapy which consists of singing words that can’t be produced using normal speech.

Overall, speech therapy is a great solution if your loved one has suffered a stroke or is having difficulty with speech and language associated with the natural aging process. Speech therapy is provided at a variety of care facilities including Maplewood of Sauk Prairie. Speech therapy can improve your loved one’s quality of life by giving them back the ability to communicate and form connections with others.

Sources:

https://www.seniorliving.org/healthcare/speech-therapy/
https://www.asccare.com/importance-speech-therapy-seniors/