Goodbye, Barbara Jean…Seeing Her through to the End. ~ It’s the permanence that’s getting to me. The knowing that now, the phone will never say her name on caller ID again. It’s knowing that soon, my phone won’t be ringing with things related to her,
Winter Safety 2014 Midwest Edition
Seriously. If you’re living in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin, chances are you’re pretty much up to your eyeballs in snow. Better yet? I’m awaiting another foot of snow predicted to fall this afternoon and through the night tonight. So, I thought it a perfect time to remind you of the importance of checking on the elderly and seniors in the winter!!
First and foremost, make sure that they have enough food to get them through the WEEK of predicted bad weather. You don’t want to get a call a Monday, after your store trip the past weekend, declaring that she’s ran out of toilet paper. Better yet, make them a weather care package, and fill it with all the essentials. Paper products, water, medicines, flashlights, radios, hand warmers, and anything else your loved one may need.
Second, make sure to call and check on them, or communicate via social media or email, if that is an option. Many times in high snow totals, and ice, the elderly will stay indoors for weeks upon end, fearing the possible slip or accident if they travel outdoors. Making sure that they have an outlet to the outside world is more important than ever at this time of year. The winter blues come upon even the strongest adults, so it’s only natural that it hits those trapped indoors faster, and harder than others.
Thirdly, ensure that they have some of the proper items to ensure they’ll stay warm, and be as safe as they can being on their own in this horrendous winter weather! The links on the items below will take you to Amazon, which a very safe, and secure site!
This kit ensures that your loved one has what they need in case of a roadside emergency. This compact kit contains the following items: 1 AAA car care guide, 1 AAA membership brochure, 1 8-gauge booster cable, 1 flashlight, 2 AA batteries, 1 emergency poncho, 1 safety vest, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 2-in-1 screw driver, 6 assorted sizes of fuses, 1 shop cloth, 4 cable ties, 1 reusable zip lock bag, 19 pieces of first aid, 1 AAA storage bag, and information. Definitely worth the cost, if your elderly loved one is still driving the town!
These are fabulous inventions that work well for the elderly, as well as those suffering from autoimmune issues. I use these regularly to be able to go out in temperatures below 45 degrees. They last for over 8 hours, which is plenty of time for most outings. They work well in pockets, shoes, pants pockets, shirt pockets, hats, and more!
This is detrimental for making sure that we don’t have falls on the front porch, or by the back door where they let the pets outside. This brand is wonderful, because it is pet safe, taking away of their worry about hurting Fido’s paws.
Many of our elderly relatives that are still living on their own, are in older houses, and electrics and things sometimes go haywire after years. Arming your relative with a chance to save the kitchen, or a bedroom with a fire extinguisher, may save their life! And possibly the residence! However, not just seniors should have these! Every household should have at least one fire extinguisher!
Be safe the rest of this winter, Midwest!
Interstitial Lung Disease Information
For many patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases, COPD, breathing issues, and lung cancer, simply breathing can be this biggest challenge of their every day. Interstitial lung disease describes a group of lung scarring disorders, that affect one’s ability to breath, thusly making it impossible for the patient to get enough oxygen into their blood. For the most part, ILD’s causes are unknown. There have been documented cases of ILD flaring after long term exposure to hazardous chemicals, and in many rheumatoid diseases. Once lung scarring occurs, there is no way to erase the damages. Certain medicines may help slow the damage, but these patients never regain the full use of their lungs.
Below you’ll find some facts and important information about ILD.
Symptoms & Causes
There are two main symptoms of serious lung issues, and those are a persistent dry cough, and shortness of breath, especially during times of exertion. If at any time you’re experiencing these symptoms, it may be best to consult with your doctor.
ILD seems to occur more when the lungs are injured, or damaged in some way. Instead of the body healing them normally, the body overreacts, and goes off the grid. The tissue around the alveoli becomes thickened and scarred, making it difficult or impossible for oxygen to transport through your body.
Medical Conditions known to have high rates of ILD:
Most Common Pollutant Causes:
Bird and Animal Droppings
Most Common Medications Listed as Triggering Further Lung Damage:
Cytoxan and Trexall, and other Chemotherapy drugs
Heart Medications like Cordarone or Innopran
Some Antibiotics like Macrobid and Azulfidine
Complications from ILD
-High Blood Pressure in the Lungs (Pulmonary Hypertension)
-Right Sided Heart Failure (cor pulmonale)
Tests & Answers.
Getting a straight diagnosis on this can be very complicated, as they have multi-levels of issues, and underlying issues. However, there are certain tests that can rule out other issues, and prove somethings are happening.
-Chest Xray. Xrays can show damage done to the lungs, but not always. Many times the scar tissue is not picked up, or shown to be in less areas in the lungs than it truly is.
-CT Scan. These cross sectional images done by a large machine, can put together your body in layered pictures. This allows doctors to see how deep infections are, and how much tissue in your lungs and heart are being affected by the ILD.
-Echocardiogram. A sonogram on the heart, to check on it’s function and status. This test can check pressure, as well as arterial function.
Pulmonary Function Tests
-Spirometry. A breathing test, requiring one to exhale quickly and forcefully through a tube to measure how much air your lungs can hold, and how quickly the air leaves your lung.
-Oximetry. The finger probe gently squeezed on the tip of your finger that monitors the oxygen levels in your blood. This test has been proven more effective than the standard chest xray.
-Stress Test. By exercising a proscribed amount of time, and with proscribed tasks, one’s heart rate and body function is measured during said exercise.
Lung Tissue Analysis
-Bronchoscopy. During a scoping event, the doctor uses the tubs to pull a small tissue sample from your body. This sample is no larger than the head of an eraser. Sometimes these samples end up not proviing enough tissue to sample to get the correct, definitive answers.
-Bronchoalveolar Lavage. Here, your doctor flows salt water through a bronchoscope into a section of your lung, and then turns immediately to remove it. The solution that’s withdrawn contains cells from the pateints’ internal air sacs. In some cases, this works, but often is not enough information to diagnose pulmonary fibrosis.
-Surgical Biopsy. The most invasive, with the most risk. This way does ensure enough tissue is collected for study, and results. Entering with cameras and instruments between the ribs, the camera allows the doctor to visually see your lungs, as well as safely take a sample.
Treatments, Drugs, Home Changes, and More.
There are no specific drugs to combat the effects of ILD, but there are some given to help curb the further damage. Prednisone is often given first, and if that does not help, Immunosupressors are given to allow the body to relax, and stop attacking itself.
Oxygen therapy, and a gradual increase of exercise can help the body as a whole be able to handle the effects from the lack of oxygen. Exercising my help the body be able to absorb more oxygen, as well.
Lung transplants are the last resort move for young people suffering from this terrible disease.
Three ways to Improve your Health Today.
Sometimes, the hardest parts about having ILD and other autoimmune issues is the feeling of being alone. Many times family and friends just do not understand, unless they too have some incurable disease. They may tire of hearing the truth as to how you’re feeling, leaving you even more angry than before you tried to talk about it. Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling, or a support group in your area. The internet and Facebook have made such groups easy to find, and now they come with a certain amount of anonymity, too.
Please remember, I am no doctor, and if you’re having any of these issues, PLEASE GO TO YOUR DOCTOR THIS MINUTE!
Personal, Home & Phone Safety in 2014
Although we have touched on the topics of safety in previous years, we must revisit this topic frequently with our elderly relatives and seniors we may know. Why must we do this? Because our world is constantly changing, and it is no longer the 1950s, where leaving your front door unlocked was the norm. Because thieves thrive on technology, and via phone calls, more than mail scams. Because neighbors are no longer always friendly, trust worthy individuals. Regardless of the reasoning, it just has to be done.
If you’ve ever thought about how you cannot be around your loved ones as much as you’d like, or worried that the distance between you may be a problem in the event of an illness, or medical issue, you should consider having extra care for these individuals in place. Checking out the Senior Care Solutions at Care.com may be what you’re looking for.
Find Quality In-home Care for Seniors
Nowadays, it’s easy to have a phone with caller ID. They even make telephone now that will speak to you who is calling, so there is no guessing as to who it is. Scam artists are still calling the elderly, and posing as grandchildren, lost in another country needing funds to return home. They’re preying on the emotion of one of the most giving, and trusting age groups in America. This is exactly why they do it. Most of the time their calls come through as “unavailable” or “unknown.”
We always encouraged our elderly relatives to NOT ANSWER at all if they do not know the number on caller ID, or the name showing on the phone. They may protest, and say it could be important. It is this point that I would implore that you get them an answering machine, so that they can be reassured that anyone important will leave a message, and they can call right back.
This is important because people are still getting swindled out of thousands of dollars each year, and with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, and the trouble with Social Security—elderly folks and seniors need to hold tight to their money plans, and not veer off course.
Home safety is an important thing that many families do for their relatives, but sometimes forget about the total picture. OF course, you’re probably readying the house for your loved one. Grab bars, slip resistant rugs and pads, life-saving alarms and buttons, emergency phone lists, and more. However, you also need to check the structure’s safety, too. Ensuring that locks are working on all exterior doors, and batteries in fire alarms are working. Make sure that outdoor lighting is working, and think about motion lights that come on automatically with movement outside.
Things like this are necessary in making your loved one feel more secure, and also for your own peace of mind. You’ll know that Aunt Betty is safer with working locks, and that she can see outside in her front and back yard if there is movement or motion. You know she’ll have her list of numbers, and know who to call if there is an emergency.
It’s often the simple things that we may forget, or just not think of, that can cause unneeded stress and strife for both your elderly relative, and yourself. Making sure there are extra batteries for flashlights, a plan for emergencies if the power goes out, and what you’re going to do to reassure your relative they are okay after turmoil.
2014: Safety, Health, and Living!
2014 will bring much more to Elderly Care Resources! We’ll have more reviews of products geared towards giving seniors and the elderly more freedom to continue living fully. We’ll cover more medicine related news and controversy, and of course, cover more on the new developments on Obamacare. We’ll soon be linking to our new Facebook page, too! We’ll also cover more on living…having fun…getting our there, and experiencing life as long as you can. Happiness. Light. Love.
This year, instead of taking care of my Grandma, who left us in 2013, we’re expanding our circle of helping the elderly in our community! I know there’s no way I’ll ever be able NOT to help, after going through so many struggles with my own Grandma over the years, and I was pleasantly surprised by my children’s instant love for my ideas. To start, we’ll be volunteering monthly at our local food bank, and making lunches for the elderly in their lunch program. We’ll be making regular visits to our own elderly family members, and making sure they have what they need, and getting them out of the house more. We’ll be relocating sometime this year, and will be closer to a new nursing home, and plan to invade it with our kid-made goodies, and love.
We can’t wait for 2014, and to see just what this year will hold! Almost anything is an improvement from last year!!
Thanks & Peace!
*All for you, always. My Angel. BJC 07-21-1930/10-31-013*
2013 Helpful Product Reviews #1
While there are many products on the market geared towards seniors and the elderly, man of those are just plain silly, or ineffective. Some have even found to be completely unsafe. Below you’ll find some products reviewed by our local “panels” on their effectiveness and worth. Hopefully these will be helpful to you, too!
Conveniently toasts 4 pieces of toast, and poaches two eggs simultaneously, on the counter top. There are a multitude of settings for toast, muffins, or bagels, and you always have the option of only cooking toast, or eggs. Retails from $50-60 dollars, and is available from many places. Click on the link above to find out the specs from Amazon.com.
With the features on the cell phone, and the ease of dialing and hearing capabilities, this has rested many worried minds of the family and friends of seniors and the elderly! Customer service also has high ratings, and the monthly plans are very affordable! Phones are available in different colors. Retails from $40-100, depending on style, and service plan. To get all the details, click on the link above to visit Amazon.com!
The Hamilton Beach Automatic Jar Opener is simple to use, and makes getting those tough lids off a snap!! Works especially well for those with arthritis, and unable to fully squeeze the top like normal to untwist the seal. Retails for $10-20, depending on where you get it from. Click the link above to visit Amazon.com for the latest info on this fabulous product!
There’s going to come a time where you just don’t trust your knees. Or maybe for you, it’s your hips. Or possibly both! Rather than being unsure of your next steps, this walker will be there for support, and the time out to sit down for awhile, whenever you need it! It’s more than convenient being that it is foldable, too. The basket is removable, if at times you may not need it. While you can use these to push someone in, it is not always recommended. Cracks in the pavement and sudden inclines, or inclement weather, can cause the Rollator to tip over when being used as a chair or seat. This is NOT something that should deter you from this quality walker/seat, however. This is just something to remember so you don’t make the same mistakes that we did!! These retail from $40-300, depending on the style and brand you purchase. Click the link above to read the rave comments on Amazon.com!
To check out more great products, visit Amazon.com!!
Goodbye, Barbara Jean…Seeing Her through to the End.
It’s the permanence that’s getting to me. The knowing that now, the phone will never say her name on caller ID again. It’s knowing that soon, my phone won’t be ringing with things related to her, and my mailbox won’t be overflowing with her mail. It’s wondering what I’ll do with my visiting time… How the kids will react to her absence. If the lump in my throat is ever going to go away….
Except, that if I get really quiet…I swear I hear her calming me back down. “Hey, my angel… I’m right here.” I can hear her laughing at my sudden, and uncontrollable crying…even though I can laugh right through it with her. I can see her face, while she shakes her head and hides her giggle while I scold one of my kids. She’s helping me control that “throat lump,” and I’m pretty happy about that.
**Author Note: I needed to write this, as this blog started because of our relationship, and the things that we came across in our journey. Because of our trips, and because she supported the venture. I will warn you that it’s a little ramble-y, but so was she. And I think she would love it. I wanted everyone who stops by this blog to know how much she meant to me, and will always mean to me. I hope you enjoy reading more about my GG.**
I held strong through her passing. Of course, I had my moments, and the day of the funeral…well, my body is still paying for my breakdown days later. Scleroderma doesn’t do mucous. Carrying out her final wishes was difficult, and really emotional. Collecting pictures, as many as I could, to make “something they can look at” to remember her by. She also had a playlist. A laminated, index card, with stickers with more songs she had added in more recent years, with her wishes taped, so they were sure to be there for me when the time came. Making the CDs for people was a challenge, but listening to the songs was even harder. (Except for the one.. “Jump on It”… which I will never quite understand.) A few of them she taught me years before on the organ, and a few others she whistled for years in my childhood.
If I close my eyes, I can still hear her now… It’s Edelweiss, and it’s beautiful. I had to really push through the long weekend, and some hurt feelings, to make these things for people. But I did it, and fabulously, just as she would’ve. It wasn’t about me…only her. And her relationships with everyone. I feel so.. loved.. knowing that she trusted me to carry these things out for her. And I’m so happy I was able to. I added in the song we always listened to together…You Got It. I added my touches in here and there, down to making she wore the bracelet I made her while she was still “here,” and had a very special angel figurine in with her, for the journey. We even made sure she had her smokes, AND lighter…just in case she needed to ease her nerves. (Ok, that whole last sentence made me giggle out loud…lord, if you only knew the relationship she had with her smokes.)
I am so happy for her, to be done suffering, and living the life that trapped her in bed, she just hated it. Her last months were not favorable, no good, and extremely hard to watch. I really lost touch with her the past few months, because I think, her spirit left over the summer. I’ve said it a few times already…it’s barely been a week, and I can feel her now more than I have been able to in months. She always promised me, teased me in fact, that she’d haunt me when she left. I can smile now knowing she’s here, and I smile even bigger now because she knows all my thoughts. And now she knows that I welcome her “haunting” me. But.. I did advise her on times she may not want to hang around. My husband appreciated that.
This loss has really taken me on an emotional ride. We didn’t just have a one-leveled relationship. First, I struggled as a granddaughter. My childhood memories are filled with her, as I spent multiple days out of the week with her as my “babysitter,” too. We did so much together, and she taught me more than she would ever admit to. Everything crafting I had done by the time I was 10. Make a quilt? Sure! By hand? Absolutely. Did we paint? Oh yes. We did paint. We gardened, we went for nature walks, she took me to her Lionness club meetings. We sat quietly together on the front porch swing, and she read me awesome books. Sometimes when it rained, we’d go sit out there, and I’d lay my head on her lap. She’d swing, whistle songs, and pet my hair. Her recipes mean more to me now than they ever did before, and I am so glad I’ve got them out of my brain and on paper. Saved. Printed. Published.
Secondly, this hit me on a caretaker level. She was like my 4th child. Being responsible for a whole other person, that’s NOT a real child, is really hard! No one really tells you just how hard, or the different ways of “hard” that you’ll come across. So much of my and my kids schedules were based on her, her needs, and when she liked to do certain things. Of course, once the nursing home hit, that did change a bit. (*And please don’t think I’m complaining! I’m simply telling this story to it’s end. And I’ll keep telling this story until I get tired of telling this story, which lets face it, is about my most favorite person ever…so, there.) Doing things for her is so routine, and natural. It’s been so many years doing it, that I find myself now sitting wondering what I’ll do instead of her things… I worry about how her passing will affect my kids. They loved her like no other, and often begged to go see her. We’d do crafts with her, they’d make things for her, and they all loved spending time with each other. In her last years, her mentality, I swear, matched my kids most of the time. I think that’s why they all got along so well. I’ll never forget the things I heard, and saw, just from sitting back watching the 4 of them interact.
Thirdly, I lost one of my best friends, and supporters. I could tell this woman anything, and she wouldn’t judge me, or have a bad word to say. She always supported my ventures, businesses, writing, and even backed some of my really stupid teenage decisions. I could call her when my illnesses flared, and just listen to her talk. She knew I needed the distraction, and I could get through it. She was there to talk me through the hatred that I was dealing with, from certain people in my life, and remind me that I can’t help what other people say, feel, or do.
I wish that you could’ve known her, and if you did know her, you know where I get my rambling from. HA! (Well, one of the places…) She was amazing. She dealt with a lot of turmoil in her life, both in her childhood, and her adult life. She always tried to find the positive aspects in them, even if that meant with the heaviest dose of sarcasm and teeth grinding there was. (Err, minus the teeth!) She was supportive, even of those who made terribly bad decisions in life. She often blamed herself for their issues, and never saw the amazingness that we saw in her every day.
She was funny, and loved singing silly songs. She was SUPER good at quilting. In fact, the last quilt she made was for a nursing home roommate’s daughter. The roommate passed away while she was making it, and she was beyond determined to finish it before her own demise. It was close, but she did it. It was beautiful, too. I’d like to think that she left me with a big ole dose of her sarcasm and tolerance, because man did she have a lot of it! Strength. Passion. Creativity. Determination. Love. Friendship. Patience. Respect. Wife. Mother. Grandma.
I’m so thankful for you, Grandma. I know now that you do know how much you meant to me, because I know you’ve been listening to everything flowing out of my mouth. You were a wonderful woman, who will live on in our hearts for our lifetime. Thank you for everything you taught me about life, love, and people. Thank you for trusting me to help you when you needed it. Thank you for helping me, in your end. I love you to the moon and back, and I always will. Now our roles are reversed, you see.. You’re my angel now. And I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Have fun up there, Barbara Jean…
I’ll see you again someday.
Native American Prayer for the Grieving
I give you this one thought to keep-
I am with you still, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints of snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circles flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone-
I am with you still,
In each new dawn.
Prescription Drug and Medical Device Dangers that Seniors Should Know About
Americans spend billions of dollars on medication and medical devices every year.
There’s no denying that these drugs and devices have saved lives. However, some of them have side effects that are more dangerous than the condition they are designed to treat.
Because seniors suffer a disproportionate number of chronic illnesses, they often fall victim to these side effects. It’s important for seniors to be aware of the risks.
Cancers and Other Dangers Linked to Diabetes Drugs
Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects tens of millions of seniors. There are several type 2 diabetes drugs on the market that are used to regulate the condition.
Unfortunately, Januvia, Byetta and Actos have been linked to fatal cases of pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, bladder cancer and pancreatitis.
It’s important that seniors talk to their doctors about their medication choices when it comes to controlling diabetes.
Drugs Meant to Prevent Stroke Create Other Fears
Blood thinners (also called anticoagulants) are prescribed for heart patients at risk for a stroke. For many decades, patients relied on warfarin.
A new blood thinner called Pradaxa was approved by the FDA in October 2010 and welcomed as an alternative to warfarin that didn’t require regular monitoring.
Pradaxa, however, has been linked to deadly bleeding events. Unlike warfarin, there is no antidote for uncontrolled Pradaxa-related bleeding.
Mesh Dangers for Women
Transvaginal mesh is at the center of more than 20,000 lawsuits in the U.S. Mesh is a plastic device used to support organs in women who suffer from Stress Urinary Incontinence or Pelvic Organ Prolapse Mesh. It’s implanted through the vagina.
The implantation method was intended to be less invasive, but instead has been linked to serious complications.
Woman report the following injuries:
• Mesh Erosion: This occurs when the mesh moves through the vaginal wall and into surrounding organs. Women may develop abscesses, as well, and experience intense pain.
• Organ Perforation. This occurs when rough edges of the mesh puncture the vagina or nearby organs. In many cases, additional surgery is required.
The FDA, which once downplayed the number of complications related to transvaginal mesh, changed its stance in 2011 and warned patients of the high risks involved.
Companies Accused of Putting Profit over Safety
Many of these drugs and devices have been extremely profitable for manufacturers, bringing in billions of dollars within in a short period of time on the market.
Watchdog groups cite the lure of profits and a lack of testing as reasons why dangerous drugs and devices are sold.
It’s important for seniors and their caregivers to research the medications and devices they are using. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Julian Hills is a content writer and blogger for Drugwatch. His journalism career has taken him from newspapers to local television news stations and even a 24-hour cable network in the Southeast. Julian is a graduate of Florida State University.
Thanks to Drugwatch for sending another guest blog!!
Book Review: The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Nakazawa
Review done by: Skye Falcon, author
I always skim the shelves at the library, and often end up with the strange or unusual books. This time, I found something right up my alley. Lately, I’ve really come to question WHY people are getting so many different autoimmune diseases, including myself. The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa really brings to light the real possibility that our own world is truly making many of us very sick. Not only does the author have personal experience dealing with autoimmune issues, but she also has up close encounters with numerous others who are also riddled with illness. It’s always reassuring to sick folk, when their doctor or friend HAS what they have… then they really do know what we know, and feel what we have felt. This book is awesome!
I had favorite parts from the book, and some that were just plainly astonishing. Some selections I have inserted for you, directly from the book The Autoimmune Epidemic. I love the that book opens with the definition of “autoimmune disease” from the National Institute of Health.
“Autoimmune Disease: Normally the Immune system’s army of white blood cells helps protect the body from harmful substances called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, and toxins… but in patients with autoimmune disorder, the immune system can’t tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens. The result is an immune response that destroys all healthy tissues” (NIH).
Another part of the book I found educational was the in-depth discussion on PBDE’s, or poly-brominated di-phenyl ethers. What are PBDE’s? These are the chemicals used by every manufacturer, on almost every surface and item in your home, car, office, etc. I knew that things were chemical treated, but the way the author writes the example really walks you through your everyday life. Also sort of helps to realize that some of the PBDE intake is unavoidable.
In another section of the book, she points out how certain areas with past toxic dumps, and chemical spills, had the highest ratios of patients with lupus, scleroderma, and other life altering autoimmune diseases. She gives honest websites, and information, and I checked each link! In the book, Nakazawa writes, “..the next time you spare a minute…go to the web address http://www.epa.gov/enviro/emef and then type in zip code 14211 in the space provided. Now watch the green and black squares pop up” (Nakazawa, 79).
This was very interesting to see, and you can put in ANY zip code, too. It made me stop and wonder if the people living in some of these chemical spill “hot zones” know that they even live in a danger zone to begin with.
If you’ve ever been more curious about autoimmune disease, and just where they may spawn from, pick up this quick read today! Many time we’ll know someone, or maybe a family member is stricken with a new, odd illness. The author even puts a list of autoimmune diseases in the appendix for one to scroll through. Some of the diseases I had heard of, but not correlated with autoimmune issues. After reading the list, and contemplating my own autoimmune struggles… I am sort of jealous and upset that I don’t have something like narcolepsy. I’m very sure that it is terrible….but I’d give about anything to sleep these days!!
Thanks to Skye for contributing to our ECR blog!
National Institute of Health
Nakazawa, Donna Jackson. The autoimmune epidemic. new York: touchstone: A division of Simon and Schuster Inc, 2008. Print.
How Seniors Can Ease Their Recovery After Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery is a major event. Choosing to replace a joint is often a last resort, and you may be worried about the road to recovery after surgery. How long will it take? How much pain will there be? How much work will it take to get back to normal? It’s important to do as much research as possible beforehand so that you have a solid plan when you start your recovery.
The good news about hip replacement surgery is that you’re almost certainly better off once you’ve had it. The debilitating pain, inflammation and lack of mobility that went along with your worn-out joint will be taken care of, so you should start feeling better very soon.
Before your surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about which implant will be used. This is important because some artificial hips are more dangerous than others. For example, the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stem systems have been linked to very serious complications and were actually recalled in 2012. Other metal-on-metal hips are still on the market, however, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the safety record of your implant.
Therapy and Recovery
After your surgery, you’re hopefully on your way to a better quality of life. After a few days of rest and limited mobility, you should be ready to start physical therapy. Small exercises are the first step. You should work with a professional physical therapist three to four times per week. He or she will give you additional advice and exercises.
To make your recovery easier, you’re going to need help around the house. Hip surgery means no driving for at least 3-6 weeks, so someone will have to help you with errands. You will also be limited in mobility overall; shopping, cleaning, cooking and other everyday activities can get a lot harder when you can’t move around very well. If you have family members who are willing to pitch in, that’s fantastic. Otherwise, you may need a few weeks of helpful home care.
It’s important to increase your level of physical activity and exercise as you gain more mobility and heal from your surgery. Within six weeks, you should be able to return to a full level of activity, which is vital to the recovery process. Push yourself, but not too hard, as falling or straining could damage your hip all over again.
Recovering from surgery is never easy. But if you arm yourself with a plan and prepare in advance, you can make it a little easier on yourself.
Jennifer Mesko is the managing editor of Drugwatch.com, a website that keeps consumers informed about dangerous prescription drugs and defective medical devices. Join the Drugwatch community on our facebook page to find out more.
Thanks to our newest guest bloggers from Drugwatch.com!!