Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Life after Losing a Leg

The thought of amputation is one that the mind does not want to dwell on. However, it does happen and it is done when a limb is damaged beyond repair or when not removing it could lead to other medical complications. Of all amputations,those of the leg are most common. Losing one or both legs is a hugely traumatic experience, both physically as well as mentally and spiritually. That is why physiotherapy and counseling are essential components of any amputation procedure.

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Be Prepared For Change

Change is not limited to the way your body is now different. It is in the way you interact with the world and the world interacts with you. You should be prepared for:
  • Getting used to the prosthetic. It will never be the same as a real leg, but it is, literally, the next best thing.
  • People treating you differently. People you don’t know and even those you do, will not be sure how to treat and respond to you. It is not that they feel sorry for you or have pity. It is usually because the situation is unfamiliar to them as it is to you and they are not sure of what to say or do. Give it time, once everyone is used to the changed situation, relationships will develop naturally.
  •  New opportunities. Keep an open mind and opportunities that did not exist earlier will appear. From helping those in similar situations to participating in special sporting events and working on developing devices, systems and policies/processes for those who have lost a limb, the opportunities to make a positive impact will present themselves.
  •  Frustration. There will be challenges that did not exist before. Overcoming them will often take time and patience. Getting frustrated because things are not as they were will do you no good. Being told that “these things take time” or that “it will all work out” can often just add to the frustration. The fact is that both statements, however trite, are true. Do not be in a rush for your first success – it will come in its own time. After that, the rest will fall into place sooner than you hope.

Get Back To Normal Soon

Getting back to normal when you have lost a limb may sound absurd. However, it is surprising how soon the human body and spirit can adapt to the change. Making a positive effort to return to the pre-amputation life is critical. A large part of this is leaving the home and going back to the outside world to once again and do the things you did in the past. Yes, there may be special precautions you have to take and some limitations on what you can do, but by and large, you will be able to return to your life as it used to be. One important factor in that is travel. This will be difficult at first because getting back in the driver’s seat will take time and practice. Relying on friends and family to take you around will rob you of your independence. This is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) comes in.This is like a taxi service for those with mobility limitations. The service will provide specially equipped vehicles for taking you where you want to go. With doorstep service, event standby and specially trained drivers, NEMT is the way to regain your mobility and get your life back on track.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Adjusting To Life in a Wheelchair

If you have a friend or loved one who has become a wheelchair user, either permanently or for a short time, you will have seen how difficult the transition from legs to wheels can be. The physical limitations surface immediately and continue to arise during the initial stages of getting used to the wheelchair. Besides the physical issues, depression at the loss of the use of one’s legs is another major area of concern. Once the initial problems are overcome, the depression will decrease, and life can once again be active and fulfilling. The key is to find solutions to the problems that the user faces.

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Problems and Solutions
  • Invest in a good wheelchair. Not all of them are the same and a comfortable one that fits the user well will make a big difference. Ensuring that the chair has the customizations that the user needs will increase the comfort levels and make getting used to life in it much easier.
  • Make modifications to the home. Removing carpets and rugs and rearranging furniture to enable free movement in the house is essential. Climbing stairs is out of the questions so if the house is on more than one level, the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and other areas of daily use must be relocated to the ground floor. These rooms must be modified to make them wheelchair friendly. There are online resources that will offer advice on what needs to be done and provide information on contractors that can make the required changes. Being comfortable and independent at home will be a big confidence booster.
  • Even though the house has been modified, do not allow the user to remain housebound. In the initial stages, users often feel self-conscious about being in the chair and also think that they are a burden to others who may have to help them in some activities. Getting out of the home may meet with some resistance, but the user must be encouraged to leave the house and return to the world that is outside. In most cases, regaining of interest in going out and participating in the wide range of activities that a wheelchair user can undertake happens in a surprisingly short time.
  • One of the most difficult aspects of going out can be transportation. While specially equipped vehicles for wheelchair users are available, not all of them will be able to drive and there are some places where driving may not be practical. Depending on friends for transport will only increase the feelings of loss of independence. This is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) plays a major role. NEMT is not an ambulance service. It offers specially equipped vehicles for wheelchair users and can be used for any road travel requirement. This includes, but is not limited to, such things as social visits, going to cultural events, shopping, traveling for medical checkups and so on. The best NEMT services have trained drivers who understand the needs of wheelchair users and can provide them with any assistance they may need. With doorstep pickup and standby services, NEMT will enable the wheelchair user to once again regain the mobility and freedom that is such an essential part of enjoying life.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Traveling With a Bad Back

Millions of Americans suffer from back pain. The intensity can range from discomfort to severe and immobilizing agony. Treating back pain is often a long drawnout process and, in some cases,curing it is not possible and all that medicine can do is to help the patient manage the pain. Back pain can affect a person’s ability to perform even the simplest of daily tasks and by doing this, negatively affect the quality of life. One of the biggest limitations that this condition imposes is that it often limits a person’s ability to travel, even for short distances. Being cooped up in the house because of chronic back pain is boring and depressing and this can damage the health in more ways, adding to the medical conditions that need to be treated. If you or someone you know suffers from back pain issues, knowing how to travel safely can make a huge difference to life.


Safe Travel Tips

It is not just getting in and out of a car that can exacerbate back problem; even sitting in a car seat for any period of time can be potentially dangerous. That is why the safest and most comfortable way for patients of back pain to travel by road is by using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT service offers patients of back pain and other medical conditions a way of getting out of the house and doing those things that are important to them. From going to the doctor to visiting a friend or going out for a meal, NEMT will take you where you want to go, when you want to go there. The main benefits are:
  • NEMT provides specially equipped vehicles that are professionally maintained to offer the smoothest possible ride to minimize the discomfort and pain caused by bumps and bad road surfaces.
  • The vehicles are specially designed for easy entry and exit of wheelchairs. This makes it easy for those who are not wheelchair bound to get in and out of the vehicle comfortably and safely.
  • Some people with serious back pain issues are still able to drive themselves. However, the strain of driving and the tension it causes can have an adverse effect on the pain. With NEMT, the driving is done by specially trained professionals so that you can experience a comfortable stress-free journey.
  • Those with back pain often feel the need to stop and stretch during the course of even a short road trip. With NEMT, you can always ask the driver to pull over for a few moments to enable you to get out of the vehicle to do this.
  •  A really good NEMT will offer doorstep pick up and drop and standby services so you never have to worry about getting home from the places where you go.
Regain Your Freedom

If back pain problems are affecting your ability to go out of the house, NEMT is the right option for you. With this service, you can regain the freedom the pain has taken from you and start to once again enjoy the pleasure of being able to go where you want.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Going Home Alone After Surgery


Going under the knife is never fun. The sooner a person is able to return home to complete the recovery, the faster it will be .Being in a comfortable familiar environment, surrounded by the things that make you happy is proven to offer the mental and physical benefits that speed up recovery. Recovery is a slow, measured process and care needs to be taken not to do anything that could affect how it progresses. 

If you live with your family, there will be people around you to care of you and help you get back on your feet. However, more and more people are today what are called “Solo Adults.” That is a person who lives independently and is often happier if not surrounded by people all the time. If you are one of these, or know someone like that, there is nothing wrong and you, or they, are not a hermit. You just like your privacy. It is only when you return home after surgery that problem arises.

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Home Alone

When your surgery was planned your doctor would have asked you about your home life and will take into account that you live alone when scheduling your return home. There are some things you can do that could help the doctor advance the date of your return. These include:

  • If you will need a nurse, health aide, physical therapist or other support during your recovery, make arrangements for this before you go to the hospital.
  • Rearrange the house so that you don’t have to climb stairs. Sleep in a downstairs bedroom. If there isn’t one, create a place to sleep.
  • After some procedures, special equipment may have to be used. If you will need crutches or a wheelchair, oxygen tanks, elevated toilet or shower seats and so on, have them all in place before you go to the hospital.
  • Arrange for friends and loved ones to visit you regularly. No matter how much you value your independence, being alone and stuck at home while recovering can be depressing. They will also be able to help you with the unexpected and things you have not prepared for in advance.
  • Ensure that your pantry and kitchen are well stocked so you don’t have to go shopping. Ask the doctor about post-operative diet restrictions and include this in your shopping list.
Getting Home

The operation is over, and your home is ready for you. Now the question arises of how you get there. Doctors often advise against car travel during the recovery period. That rules out having a friend take you home or calling for a taxi. Public transport is obviously out. You can’t use an ambulance because going home after an operation is not a medical emergency. The safest and most convenient way to return home is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT companies have specially equipped vehicles and trained drivers to transport those recovering from an operation to their homes or any other place they may need to go. Once you are back home, NEMT will be available to transport you wherever you may need to travel to until such time as you are able to resume driving or using public transport. Contact an NEMT company to find out more and make your transport arrangement before you go in for your operation.


Monday, 24 September 2018

Transportation Hurdles Faced By The Elderly

Everyone slows down and develops physical frailties as they age. This does not mean that the elderly lose interest in travel, physical activities, socializing and entertainment outside the home. In fact, these activities and the mental stimulus that they provide are an important factor in helping seniors remain mentally alert and agile. The problem that many of the elderly face is that their physical limitations often affect their ability to travel. Travel, in this context, does not mean long-distance journeys; it means being able to move around town to get to places and people of interest. According to a 2011 report published by the National Caregivers Library, there are 8.4 million seniors in this country who are dependent on others for their transportation. There are a number of reasons for this:

      ·  Driving: Cars and roads are designed for use by younger fit drivers. Slowing reflexes, diminished eyesight and loss of energy/stamina all make it not just difficult but also unsafe for seniors to drive themselves.

      · Taxis: Getting a taxi when it is needed is often a problem. Add to this the difficulty that some seniors have in entering and exiting cars means taxis are often not a viable form of transport. Add to this is the discomfort that the physically impaired may feel when sitting in a regular car seat and the problems increase manifold.

      ·  Buses and Subways: Climbing on to a bus can be impossible for the elderly and if they do get on board, moving down the aisle to find a seat and then sitting on a hard bench can be next to impossible. The same problem arises with subways with the added issue of getting in and out of the station.

      · Steps and Ramps: Walking, even for short distances, can be dangerous because of the existence of steps and ramps that seniors may have trouble negotiating. A fall could have very serious consequences.

Transportation for the Elderly and Infirm

The elderly often do not talk about the problems they face because they do not want to be a burden to others and because they feel there is no solution and they have to live with it. A loved one may be suffering in silence. The dangers that these issues pose is often overlooked – the loss of mobility and freedom may cause physical, mental and emotional degeneration that can have a serious impact on the quality of life of the elderly. If you have an elderly loved one who is unable to travel because of the issues outlined here, there is a solution. It is called Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). Companies that offer this service have specially designed vehicles to cater for the needs of the elderly and infirm and drivers trained in the transportation and care of these passengers. From doorstep pickup to a safe trip and, if required, standby service for the return home, the elderly can once again have the freedom that is such an important part of life and happiness.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Seniors Should Not Be Prisoners in Their Homes

One of the truest of all old adages is that “No man is an island.” We think of youth as a time when friendships are formed and “best friends” are created. In adult life relationships become deeper and often stronger – both personally and professionally. When it comes to old age, we tend to think of the elderly as being those who have had their fill of social life and who want to relax at home, read, watch TV or play board games, with the occasional solitary walk thrown in. The fact is that the need for company, support and love is not something that decreases as we age. The truth is that an active social life is important for seniors, perhaps more than those who are younger.


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Why Remaining Socially Engaged Is Important

Healthy relationships play an important part in making us who we are and molding the way our lives turn out. Although their physically active years may be behind them, the importance of social activities remains for seniors. Social interaction keeps them fit – mentally, emotionally and physically. Interaction with social groups helps to prevent cognitive decline in the form of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The interaction with others also helps to promote physical and mental alertness that plays an important part in enhancing the quality of life. The more they socialize, the happier the elderly are and the better their all-round wellbeing. The list of problems that even a partial lack of socialization can cause is large. Among the most common are:

  •   Real or perceived mental decline
  •   Emotional distress in the form of temper tantrums, destructive tendencies and so on.
  •   Depression and loss of interest in activities
  •   Gradual loss of interest in interaction with others

One of the biggest problems that the elderly face in their social activities is that of transport. Driving can be difficult, if not impossible, for many seniors. The use of public transport like taxis and buses can also be a problem even if they are physically fit. Transportation can be a major hassle, even if accompanied by a caregiver. Being taken around by family members or other loved ones may work in some cases, but over time the logistical problems grow and become overwhelming. Additionally, many elderly people do not like the idea of being dependent on any for travel or being beholden to them. The younger folk have other demands on their time and being able to drive the elderly around can have a major negative impact on their lives.

The Ideal Transport Solution

That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) comes into the picture. These services provide transportation specifically for the sick and elderly. They have special vehicles that are easy to enter and exit, even if in a wheelchair. The drivers are trained in the special requirements of transporting those who are unable to travel on their own. The best of them offer doorstep pickup and drop off as well as event standby, so there is no risk of being stranded on the way home after going for a social or entertainment event. If you have an elderly loved one who is confined to home because of transportation difficulties, start them on NEMT and reopen the world for them.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Transportation Safety for Wheelchair Users

Having access to vehicular transportation is not a luxury – it is a necessity. From work to social events, education, shopping and all the other activities that are a part of normal life, transportation plays a key role in providing access. Transport can often be a problem for those with disabilities. It is a major and persistent issue for those who are wheelchair users. This is not a random subjective statement. The Bureau of Transpiration statistics has stated this in its 2002 report and the findings have been confirmed by the National Council of Disability in its 2005 study.

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Some wheelchair users may be able to transition from the chairs to a vehicle seat, but the process is often difficult and painful. If the transition is not possible, then the wheelchair must also become a motor vehicle seat so that the person may be transported to where he or she wishes to go. While there are vans and other vehicles that can be modified to carry people in wheelchairs, there are often serious safety issues. As numerous accident studies have shown over the years, the motor vehicles seat is a critical component in protecting occupants of a vehicle when an accident occurs. It is for this reason that wheelchairs that double as motor vehicle seats must be designed to ensure safety while the user is traveling in a motor vehicle.

Wheelchairs Used As Vehicle Seats

The design imperatives include:
               
                  ·   The capability to be securely positioned in the vehicle so as to provide the user with the same           degree of protection available to the occupant of a normal seat if an accident should occur.
                  
\              ·    The facility for correctly anchored belt restrains to ensure the occupant is not thrown from the wheelchair.
                 
                 ·     Possessing design features that reduce the possibility of errors while securing the wheelchair in the vehicle.

                 ·     Provision for the use of additional safety equipment, either from the wheelchair manufacturer or from another source, which does not interfere with the safety design of the wheelchair itself.


Practical Problems

Such wheelchairs are expensive and often difficult to locate. There could be other issues also such as the special needs of the user coming in the way of the safety features. Those who may be wheelchair users only for a limited time, those recovering from injury or surgery for example, may opt to limit their investment in the wheelchair and go in for a low-cost model that does not meet all the vehicle transport safety requirements. For all wheelchair users, irrespective of the reason, the safest and most convenient transport option is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). A professional NEMT service will have specially equipped vehicle to transport wheelchair users, along with attendants, if required, to wherever they want to go. With easy ingress and egress and numerous safety features, these vehicles offer a safe and convenient mobility option. The drivers too have been specially trained in transporting people with mobility issues and will be able to provide the support that they need.

 Using an NEMT can open up access to essential medical and other services to wheelchair users and also provide a means of transportation for recreational and other travel needs. From doorstep service to event standby, a good NEMT will offer wheelchair users a great deal of safe freedom and mobility.