Maplewood of Sauk Prairie Encourages You to Laugh out Loud
Is laughter really the best medicine? Many medical experts report that laughing produces significant health benefits.
Easy exercise: Think about what happens when you get the giggles: Your heart rate increases, you can’t catch your breath and your facial muscles are sore. That’s right – laughing is like a mild workout, burning up to 50 calories in just 10 minutes.
A happy heart: In addition to aerobic benefits, laughing heartily can improve circulation and help balance blood pressure levels, boosting cardiovascular health.
A stress-free smile: While some stress is good, too much can cause both mental and physical health problems. Laughter relieves stress by reducing stress hormones and releasing endorphins (feel-good chemicals) in the body. People usually feel more relaxed and happier after laughing, even during trying situations.
Rest and Relief: Laughter is considered a natural pain reliever, both by releasing endorphins and by serving as a temporary distraction from either physical or emotional pain. Watching a comedy before bedtime can ease painful symptoms and relax your muscles so sleep comes easier.
Fun Friendships: People love having someone to laugh with. Connect with friends by sharing a joke or two. The result is an active social life – a crucial component of good health and happiness.
“In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can.” Linda Ellerbee
“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” August Wilson
“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“There is little success where there is little laughter.” Andrew Carnegie
“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.” Stephen King
“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Mark Twain

Maplewood, Sauk City WI Offers Foot Health Tips.
Due to medical advances and general health awareness, the life expectancy for Americans has increased by 30%. Older people have become a significant segment in our overall population and that number is steadily growing. In the year 2000, for the first time in American history, the older population outnumbered children.
Being able to move around freely helps older people to lead satisfying and useful lives and contributes to independence. If older people have foot problems, it makes it difficult for them to work or participate in social activities.
According to the US National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS, the leading cause of limiting a person’s mobility is the impairment of the lower extremities. Besides foot problems, other factors that lead to immobility are lower back, knee or hip pain. The NCHS reports that ¼ of all nursing home residents cannot walk and 1/6 can only walk with assistance.
The foot has been referred to as the “mirror of health”. Signs of health problems such as dry skin, brittle nails, burning and tingling feelings of cold, numbness and discoloration bring people to see a foot doctor. Podiatric doctors often become the first one to see systemic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and circulatory disease in the foot.
Foot problems can be prevented. Yet, people of all ages tend to believe that it is normal for fee to hurt and do not seek medical attention.
There are over 300 different types of foot problems. For most people, these ailments are a result of neglect or abuse. The good news is that many foot problems can be successfully treated – even for the population facing retirement years.
Normal wear & tear on your feet cause changes. As a person ages, the fatty pads on the bottom of feet is lost and the feet tend to spread. Over the years, additional weight gain can affect the structure of bones and ligaments making measuring your feet prior to purchasing shoes important. Wearing poorly fitting shoes often leads to foot problems as does wearing high heeled shoes. Women, both young and old, have four times as many feet problems as men.
When a person takes preventative foot problem measures, they increase comfort, limit the amount of additional medical problems, reduce the possibility of hospitalization due to infection and reduce medical problems that could require hospitalization or institutional care.
Keep walking even if you don’t feel like it! The cost to care for a bedridden patient is a lot more than an ambulatory one. With this in mind, many podiatric physicians are providing services in hospitals and nursing homes because they want to keep older people on their feet.
Early diagnosis and treatment by physicians can help reduce amputations, infections of the feet and other problems brought on by diabetes.
Health Tips for Your Feet:
• Walking is the best exercise for your feet.
• Trim or file your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
• Proper fitting shoes are the key to preventing serious foot problems.
• Check your feet daily for redness, swelling, sores or cracks.
• Never cut calluses with a razor or any sharp instrument. Use over the counter items if prescribed by your doctor.
• Bathe or soak feet in warm water rather than hot, then moisturize.
• Don’t wear socks with rubber bands or things that constrict blood flow to your feet.
• Shop for shoes in the afternoon because your feet tend to swell during the day.
• Pick a shoe with a firm sole and softer upper
• Have your feet examined by a podiatrist 1-2 times a year.

Physical Therapy in Sauk Prairie

Experiencing pain or dealing with a painful condition can be very difficult.  Some may go through long term pain from a chronic problem while others may be trying to live with pain that started with a recent injury.


Either way, there are times when your pain can be improved or resolved with the help of a physical therapist.  Often, physical therapy and rehabilitation is utilized in conjunction with treatment from your medical provider.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help With Pain

Pain is often caused when joint, tissues, or nerves have been irritated in some fashion.  New injuries, like a sprained ankle, can cause swelling and irritation in the area leading to pain.  Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, can cause inflammation in the area of a joint also causing discomfort.

Physical therapists can help with painful conditions by evaluating a patient, getting an understanding of what is causing the pain, and providing customized rehabilitation services to improve or resolve the problem.

Physical therapy involves providing specialized treatment such as improving flexibility, reducing spasm, decreasing inflammation, or educating the patient in proper movement and prevention techniques.

In addition to manual therapy provided by the physical therapist, you may also receive passive therapies such as ice, heat, ultrasound, or muscle stimulation.

Conditions Often Treated With Physical Therapy

There are many pain conditions that are treated with physical therapy.  Here are some of the common conditions that are treated, but certainly this is not a complete list.

Conditions treated include:

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Hip tendinitis
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle sprains/strains
  • Post surgical pain

Where to Find Physical Therapy in Sauk Prairie

If you have any of the conditions that were listed above or you have another painful condition that you’d like to have treated, call Maplewood of Sauk Prairie to speak with our Physical Therapy department.  You can also speak with your health provider and ask that they refer you to us for treatment.

We will set up a treatment plan for you and will work with your health provider every step of the way.  Call us at 608-643-3383 today.

Maplewood, Sauk City, WI, Offers Tips Concerning Communicating with Aging Relatives

It seems our lives are so busy, the holidays are not the only time to check on your elderly relatives but it gives us the opportunity to check on parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We need to observe how they take medications, eating habits, their cleanliness, behaviors what types of groceries they are buying, their mobility and their driving skills.

During the holidays everyone has an opportunity to talk about concerns that your elderly relative may have. Compare your notes with other relatives who may have concerns or have noticed issues that need to be addressed. By diagnosing a situation you can explore options to find a solution to discuss with them without telling them they have to do it.

As an adult child, it can be difficult with our aging parents about many sensitive subjects. You may need to assure them that you don’t want to take over their affairs; you just want to give them options to help ease any worries they may have. By letting them know you are concerned about an issue such as their driving or eating habits, you can provide a solution or offer other arrangements. You need to be prepared for them to disagree with you, but that is okay too.

Things to remember:
• Don’t judge
• Start with most concerning issues
• Just getting it out there lets them think about it.
• Be patient
• Let them give their opinion
• Let them know there are many options

It is a natural reaction for anyone to fear losing independence and become a burden. By talking about these concerns it may reduce the uncomfortable feelings or worries about not being able to live at home. Reassure them there are agencies to help with in-home care, enabling people to stay in their own homes longer.

• Educate yourself with the types of services available in your relative’s hometown and community.
• Try to meet these agencies face to face without your relatives. Discuss with the caregiver life style preferences, needs concerning transportation and any other needs. After you’ve narrow down the choices, visit them with your relatives or schedule a home visit.
• Word of mouth referrals are the best. Ask friends, physicians, ministers, religious organization or go on social media. They are a great source of information and you can discuss the pro and cons.

During the holidays, family get-togethers are a great time to talk about aging relative’s wishes. It gives family members the opportunity to be involved with choices and decisions. For more information, contact a Maplewood social services representative for more information or (608) 643-3383.

For people with arthritis, everyday actions such as opening a door or writing a list can be a painful struggle. Several simple exercises done a few times a week can soothe artritis symptoms. Check with your health care provider to see if the following exercises are right for you.
Thumb touch: Keeping your movements slow and smooth, touch each fingertip to your thumb, starting with the index finger and moving toward the pinkie. This movement helps to increase the range of motion in thumbs, making it easier to pick up small objects such as a toothbrush or spoon.
Wrist workout: Stretch your arm in front of you. Bend your wrist backward, then forward. Next, stretch your wrist the other direction by turning your palm to the ceiling, then back to face the floor.
Strength squeeze: Improve your grip by squeezing a soft ball in your palm as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds, then release. For stronger pinching power, grip the ball between your thumb and your fingertips and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Do both of these exercises two or three times a week, resting your hands for 48 hours between sessions.
Information comes from

Tidbits of Knowledge

Friends from share December tips.

Make Time for Friends: Take a cue from the song “Auld Lang Syne,” and make time to catch up with an old friend. It will not only boost your mood, but also your health. Having regular contact with a wide circle of friends has been proven to help people live longer, happier lives.

Read for Relief: If holiday happenings bring on anxiety, get some relief by reading. A British study found that spending just six minutes with a good book can lower stress by 68 percent.

Gift of Praise: One of the best gifts you can give takes little time and costs no money: a sincere compliment. Praising someone will make them feel great and give you a lift, as well.

Peppermint Pick-me-up: Whether in candy canes, lotion or tea, peppermint is popular this time of year. Use it to give yourself an instant pick-me-up. The scent stimulates blood flow to the brain, which increases alertness.

A snack for sleep: Having trouble sleeping and tired of counting sheep? Try a banana for a nighttime snack. The fruit contains tryptophan, which can make you drowsy. Bananas are also rich in the minerals magnesium and potassium, which help relax
your muscles.

Do something new: As a new year approaches, vow to try something out of the ordinary every week. Whether it’s a new activity, friend, food or simply learning a new word, bringing something different into your world can enhance brain health and enrich your life.


ID theft prevention tips offered by Maplewood Sauk Prairie comes from Secura Insurance Companies September 2014 article called 8 tips for preventing ID theft in a social world.  Maplewood Health & Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to promote safe independent living.


8 tips for preventing ID theft in a social world


Immediate access to cell phones and GPS devices may provide a sense of security, but these technologies also feed identity thieves’ morsels of information they are eager to devour.  With a few precautions, you can rely on electronic devices without being a victim of identity theft.  Here is how:


  1. Do not respond to suspicious texts.  Text messages that ask for personal information, like your social security number, debit card, PIN, or bank account number are virtually NEVER legitimate.  Contact the sender by phone to verify the identity.
  2. Store contacts by first names.  By listing contacts as Mom, Hubby, or Home, you are inviting a thief to contact them for personal information.  Thieves can quickly text Hubby to find out, “What’s our bank PIN number again?” before he knows your phone was stolen.
  3. Delete sensitive data.  If you plan to sell your phone, delete your personal data.  If you are unsure how to delete your pictures, passwords or contacts, bring your phone to your network provider’s retail store and ask for assistance.
  4. Download ringtones from reputable sites.  In order to capture personal data, identity thieves create phony sites that claim to offer ringtones and other downloads.
  5. Do not store your home address on your GPS.  An identity thief – or burglar – who steals a GPS can find your home and feel comfortable knowing you won’t return if you store your schedule on the same device.
  6. Carry electronic devices separately.  A cell phone, GPS and wallet make a great combination.  If you carry all of them together – in a purse for example – you leave a thief with the needed information to steal your identity.
  7. Lock your phone.  If your cell phone has a passcode or other type of security lock, use it – at least when you’re in a public place.  Then if you do lose it, you’ll feel a little more secure.
  8. Do not share too much on social networking sites.  A message on a social networking site stating that you will be on vacation for the next two weeks is an invitation to burglarize your unattended home and rummage through your mail and other personal information.  Never list a full birth date.  This is key information for an identity thief to use to set up false accounts.

Maplewood of Sauk City Advocates Conscientious Cell Phone Use While Driving.  We are sharing Secura Insurance Companies published September 2014 article about how cell phones distract drivers.


Ditch the Phone:  Distracted driving a killer


Three big myths surround the topic of distracted driving:

1.            I am able to safely text and drive.

2.            Only younger drivers have texting-and-driving accidents.

3.            It’s safe for me to drive while talking on the phone, as long as it’s a hands-free device.


These statements couldn’t be further from the truth based on numerous studies, but countless drivers still turn to their phones when they’re on the road.  If you’re one of them, we urge you to join us in our efforts to curb distracted driving.  Maybe these points will help change your habits:

  • Using hands-free phone slows your reaction time so much that you’re more likely to crash than if you were operating a vehicle with a .08 blood alcohol content.
  • You are four times more likely to be involved in an auto accident if you’re on the phone.
  • We offer discounts to our safest drivers.  Call your agent to learn more.


What you can do to help.

  • Change your voicemail to let people know you are driving.
  • Silence your phone or place it in airplane mode while you’re driving – and put it some place you’re not tempted to pick it up.
  • Pull over to use your phone if making a call is necessary.

Maplewood Health & Rehab Center of Sauk Prairie Encourages Safe Steering Wheel Hand Placement.

Maplewood partners with AARP and hosts 4 driving classes a year to help seniors lower their insurance and retain or become better drivers.  There is no way your license will be revoked by taking these classes.  Rather, the goal is to keep you driving longer.

September 11th from 8:00-noon, “CarFit” is offered.  This event has you bring your car to Maplewood and adjustments are made to individualize the fit of your car to your body.  It essentially makes it easier and more comfortable for you to see and drive.

November 11th from 8:00 – noon, a classroom instruction called Driver’s Safety is offered.  It reviews driving changes such as steering wheel hand placement of “9 and 3” vs. “8 and 2” – which is what was taught prior to the late 80’s.

Progressive Insurance had a very helpful article about position grip on the steering wheel.

“Drive Safe Today Day” to highlight practical, sometimes counter-intuitive, safe driving strategies

In the deep recesses of my brain, I have just a few vague memories of taking driver’s ed back in the late 80s. Yet, certain things have always stuck with me—like the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” rule for hands on the steering wheel. I think that little gem and its helpful mnemonic are habitual for many of us.

But, as with many things in life, it’s a good idea to periodically reflect on what you’re doing, ask if there’s a better way, and commit to it. Times and technology do change, even if habits are hard to break.

Join us for Drive Safe Today Day

On September 3, Drive Safe Today Day will help us all break out of some of our bad driving habits. Together, we (Progressive and you … if you’re up to it) will pledge to drive a little safer. We’ll offer up some tips—easy things you can do to break out of some of the less-than-ideal driving habits that (let’s face it) we all have. And, we’ll work together to make driving a little safer … at least for a day.

Some of those habits will be obvious (like, put down the phone); others, less so.

And, that brings us to our first tip: “9 and 3” is the new “10 and 2.”

An engineering marvel

Most of us probably take airbags for granted, but it was only in 1998 that the federal government made them mandatory in passenger cars. According to a fact sheet published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, frontal airbags have saved an average of 2,336 lives annually between 2008 and 2012. They’re an engineering marvel that have made a real difference in safety on the road.

But, driving a car with a steering-wheel airbag does require updating an old-school habit. If you’re still using the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” position, it’s time to change.

Slide those hands down the wheel a bit

NHTSA now recommends moving the hands down the wheel to the “9 o’clock and 3 o’clock” position. Here’s why.

When your airbag is triggered, super-hot nitrogen gas fills the bag, forcing open the plastic cover on your steering wheel. The bag then expands toward you at 150-250 mph. The higher your hands are on the wheel, the more likely they are to be over that plastic cover—and the more likely they are to be injured when it blows open.

A driver otherwise protected by the airbag can suffer a broken nose or concussion caused by the hand being blasted into the face, finger or hand amputation, fracture, or a rather gruesome and very graphically-named injury called “de-gloving.”

9 and 3 strikes a reasonable balance between driving safety (hands in a good position to control the car), and injury avoidance if the airbag goes off (hands out of the way of the cover).

So, 9 and 3 it is.

(And, needless to say, one arm on the steering wheel & other leaning on an arm also referred to “Detroit Leaning” is out as well.)