Friday, 23 March 2018

Entering and Exiting a Car after Knee Replacement Surgery


Joint replacement surgery is becoming increasingly common, not only among the elderly but with younger people too. The causes range from medical conditions like osteoarthritis to injuries. Among all joint replacements, those of the knee are the ones most frequently performed. Prior to the surgery patients suffer from pain and limited mobility. Once the replacement has been done, and the recovery completed, they can expect to resume a normal life free from pain and with full mobility. A common mistake that many people make which could cause injury is doing things the wrong way during the recovery time. Getting in and out of a car in an incorrect manner is one of them.

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Traveling by Road Is Fine, But…..

After years of pain and movement limitations, patients are eager to live their lives in comfort. Being able to travel without hinderance is something most look forward to. But car journeys can be a problem. It is not the trip itself that is an issue; it is getting in and out of the vehicle without stressing the knee which is still recovering from the surgery. If too much stress is applied the new joint could be damaged. On the other hand, the frustration of being cooped up at home can be depressing and have a negative impact on the pace of the recovery. Here are guidelines on the proper way to enter and exit a car after knee replacement. If your doctor has given you different advice, follow that as your case may require special consideration.

      ·        Sit in the front passenger seat.
       
      ·        Ensure that the seat is fully pushed back.
      
      ·        Have the driver park the car on a hard flat surface so you can get to it easily.
      
      ·        Move towards the car using your wheelchair or support device.
      
      ·        When you are near to the car, turn and begin backing up towards the seat.
       
      ·        If you are in a wheel chair stand up and have the wheelchair pulled away.
      
      ·        Use your right hand to hold the door frame and place the left hand on the dashboard or the car seat.

      ·        Using your arms to support you, gently lower yourself on to the seat.

      ·        Slide into the seat.

      ·        If the seat fabric is sticky, placing a plastic sheet on it can make sliding in easier.
      
      ·        Swing one leg at a time into the car, using your arms to lift the leg if needed.
  
      ·        Never cross your legs while in the car.

   That’s it – you are safely in the vehicle. Reverse this process to exit the car.

  The Safest Way to Travel

While traveling by car is fine if the doctor approves, the safest way to travel by road when you are in the wheelchair or crutches stages of the recovery is in special vehicles designed to carry those with your condition. These are known as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Vehicles and have ramps and other design features that make entry, exit and travel in them comfortable and safe. If you have had a joint replacement or other surgical procedure done and are tired of sitting at home while recovering, contact an NEMT company that serves your area and become mobile again.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Make the most out of your visits to the Doctor

Visiting the doctor can be a pain at the best of times. However, it is something that you cannot avoid. When you are recovering from injury, major illness or surgery, regular visits are a vital part of getting well again. These visits allow the doctor to review how the recovery is going and, if needed, make any changes to medication, therapy etc. to ensure that the progress continues as it should. The problem is that when you are in the recovery stage, you are far from your best, both mentally and physically and that could lead to situations where you are unable to give the doctor the inputs he needs to monitor your progress. Additionally, the strain of the trip to the clinic could leave you feeling worse than you should. Here are a few simple strategies to overcome these problems.

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List out Medically Relevant Information

Keep a daily diary of how you feel during the day and how you sleep at night. Any changes in the pattern are important – it could mean that you are improving or that your recovery plan needs a little modification. Make a note of all the relevant facts so you don’t forget anything when you meet the doctor. Rehearse what you are going to say with a friend – that will help you to be as clear and concise as possible in conveying the important information.

Email In Advance

If you can, email your questions and any concerns you have to your doctor before your visit. This will enable him to be ready to give you the answers you need.

Take a Friend with You

If you are nervous or feel insecure about going to the doctor, take a friend with you. Having someone who cares accompany you will make you feel better and boost your confidence levels.

Do Your Own Research

If possible, use the internet to do your own research on your health issues. Keep in mind that a lot of the information available online is biased or inaccurate. Use what you learn to form questions to ask your doctor, but remember that he is the expert. So follow his instructions, not what an unknown person says on the net.

Travel In Comfort

After a major illness, injury or surgery, traveling by car may not be permitted. Even if your doctor okays it, the strain could still be a lot and take a toll on you. Arriving at the doctor’s office in a tired and tense state is not the best way to have a checkup done. You could forget some important information (even if you have taken the precautions mentioned here) or the stress of the trip could cause the doctor to think you are not as well as you should be. That is why using a safe and comfortable means to travel that allows you to arrive at the doctor’s relaxed and stress-free is so important. The best way to do this is by using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). These companies have special vehicles to enable the sick and injured to travel in comfort and drivers trained in taking care of their passengers.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Returning Home after Surgery

Surgery is never a pleasant experience, but one that has to be endured. Recovering from the procedure may take a long time and if that is the case, a large part of the healing process will be done at home. How you get home from the hospital, how you manage at home and how you travel when you need to during the recovery phase all contribute to how fast you return to your normal lifestyle.

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Going Home

How you travel home depends on the type of surgery you have undergone. Even if you are mobile, doctors often advise against travel by car as the stress of getting in and out and sitting upright during the journey could at the least, leave you overly tired and at the worst, cause complications to your condition. The best way to travel home, if car travel is not advised, is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) service. Their special vans are designed to carry those in wheelchairs or stretchers in safety and comfort. You will be picked up at the hospital entrance and dropped at your front door.

Setting Up Your House

      ·        If you know you can’t climb stairs after the operations, rearrange the house before you go to the hospital. Make sure that everything you need is on the lower floor – sleeping area, bathroom, food preparation space, entertainment, communications, etc.


     ·        If you know you can’t climb stairs after the operations, rearrange the house before you go to the hospital. Make sure that everything you need is on the lower floor – sleeping area, bathroom, food preparation space, entertainment, communications, etc.


     ·        If special equipment like oxygen tanks, shower seats and so on will have to be used when you return home, have all these in place before you go in for the surgery.


     ·        Remove all carpets, rugs and other items that may cause you to trip and fall or obstruct the movement of your wheelchair.


     ·        Remove all carpets, rugs and other items that may cause you to trip and fall or obstruct the movement of your wheelchair.


Traveling

There will be times during your recovery that you may have to travel to go for checkups, tests, or other things that you must be present for. Travel by car or public transport such as taxis may not be advisable. This is another instance where you should use NEMT. They will pick you up from your home, take you where you need to go, be on standby till you are done and then take you home. In case you are traveling alone, the specially trained drivers will be able to provide you with the assistance and support you need during your journey.

NEMT is not as expensive as many people presume so there is no need to hesitate about using it. And anyway, your health, in the form of your recovery, is your first priority. Finding the right NEMT can make your recovery a lot easier for you and your caregivers. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Holiday Activities for Those with Mobility Limitations

The festive season is around the corner and families all over the country are planning outings, shopping trips and all the other activities that the season demands and offers. It is a time for togetherness and letting go of solo pleasure in favor of activities with others. But not everyone can participate in them. Spare a thought for those who are dear to you who find it difficult to leave the home to be part of the fun. The reason may be old age, physical infirmities and disabilities, recovery from a major illness or surgery and so on. It is depressing for them to be stuck at home while others are out having fun.


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The Season for Companionship

If you have family members or friends who are stuck in the house, you probably make it a point to go and see them at this time of the year. While that is thoughtful and considerate and helps to fill the void that mobility limitation cause, is it really enough? They know all the fun they are missing by remaining at home while others are going out. Why not take them with you? It will really make a difference to them.


It Helps Them in So Many Ways

Those with permanent mobility problems may appear to have adjusted to their lives. But accepting limitations is not the same as being happy. Being left out can be depressing. The same is true of those who are recovering from medical problems that cause them to be temporarily immobile. There is light at the end of the tunnel – full recovery will allow them to resume their normal lives. But a long recovery can cause psychological problems that may slow down the return to health or even result in other medical problems. Being able to go out, even if only for a few occasions, can make a world of difference to the well being of all of these people.

How Can They Travel?

For those in good health; going out is a matter of jumping into a car and driving off. For those with health issues, car travel may not be possible. It may be unsafe or too uncomfortable for them. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) offers a safe and convenient way for them to move out of the home and be a part of what is happening in the outside world. NEMT should not be confused with ambulance services. Those are meant for transporting people with serious health issues for medical treatment. NEMT is a service that offers specially equipped vehicles that are designed to carry those who cannot travel by normal means of transport to places they want or need to go. The drivers are specially trained to transport those with special needs.

What an NEMT Offers

You can book an NEMT vehicle to come to the mobility impaired person’s home at a given date and time. The driver will be able to provide the help the person may need to get in and out of the vehicle. The van will them carry the person to the destination and if required, stand by to carry them back home.

You can book an NEMT vehicle to come to the mobility impaired person’s home at a given date and time. The driver will be able to provide the help the person may need to get in and out of the vehicle. The van will them carry the person to the destination and if required, stand by to carry them back home.


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Traveling With a Spinal Cord Injury

Recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be long and tedious. There will be pain and discomfort, worry and frustration about the lack of mobility and fear about the long term recovery prospects. On top of that there are the side effects of the medication that may be prescribed and the physiotherapy that has to be done. All in all, recovering from SCI is not a good time in a person’s life. A positive attitude and finding ways to relieve the stress can relieve the tension and worry and even help to facilitate the recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to travel. That does not mean hopping on a plane and flying off to distant places. All you need to do is move out of the home to get away for a day or two. It is not as difficult as you may think.



Check with Your Doctor

Being spontaneous is fine when you are well, but with an SCI, you need to be sure of what you can and cannot do. The first step is to consult your doctor and get clearance to travel. Tell him about how you are feeling, physically and mentally, and why you want a break. Give full details about your travel plans. If you get the go ahead to travel, follow all the instruction you receive to the letter, including the means of travel. If you are told not to travel, there is nothing that can be done about it – you don’t want to slow down your recovery or cause complications. Do not presume to know more than the doctor.

Find the Right Destination

Make a list of possible destinations and then check to see if the facilities in each place are what you need. Choose the destination that best fits your needs. These include:

 ·         Wheelchair accessibility

 ·         Disabled friendly bathrooms 

 ·         Whether any special foods that you may need are available

 ·         Activities that you will be able to participate in.

 ·         Anything else your doctor may have advised.

 ·         Things you want and can do. Remember that this is a getaway for you and not a temporary change to another care facility. Within the bounds of your medical limitations, looks for activities that will be a change from the regular routine and which you enjoy doing.


Plan for Contingencies

Check to see if the place you are visiting has:

  ·         A hospital you can go to in an emergency.

  ·         Medicines available nearby.

  ·         A wheelchair repair facility in the area.

  ·         Anything else that you can think of that you have needed as part of your recovery.

  ·         Any special services that you doctor had advised should be available if you need them.


The Right Transportation Is Critical

The right vehicle is essential to a safe and comfortable trip. Car travel may not only be uncomfortable, it may be dangerous. The best option is to use a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Service (NEMT). This service will have special vehicles that are both safe and comfortable to travel in and drivers who are specially trained in transporting people with health and mobility issues.

With the right planning, a few days away from home can be a rejuvenating experience that will help in working through your recovery.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Overcoming Mobility Problems in the Sick and Disabled

Advances in medicine have resulted in the sick and injured having to spend less time in the hospital than in the past. This coupled with the increasing cost of in-hospital care means that patients and their families have 2 reasons to be happy about an early return home – the patient can continue his recovery in comfortable familiar surroundings and the burden on the wallet is reduced. However, the change from being an in-patient to an out-patient presents some problems of its own. One of the biggest of these is the issue of transporting the patient to the hospital or clinic for checkups to monitor the pace of recovery and follow up treatment.

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The Problem of Transport

Traveling by car for checkups may be all right for those with minor injuries or sickness, but it can be a major problem for those who are not mobile or unable to get in and out of a car. The issue is not just one of discomfort. The act of getting in or out of the vehicle, even with assistance, could make the problem worse. In addition, if the journey is anything more than a few minutes, the stress of travel could have an adverse effect on the patient. Often, the deterioration may become apparent only after the patient returns home, necessitating another stressful trip to see the doctor. A patient may try to put a brave face on and not show the pain or discomfort he feels both out of embarrassment and a feeling of guilt at being a burden on caregivers. This will only exacerbate the problem.

For this reason, it is essential that only an appropriate means of transport be used – something that is specifically designed to meet the special needs of the sick and injured. What springs to mind immediately is an ambulance. However, these are typically used for emergency situations and trying to arrange for one for routine medical visits may not only be impossible, but there is also a possibility that it may be viewed as an attempt to misuse emergency services.  The solution lies in the use of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT).

Another factor to be considered is that the pain and discomfort of travel may result in psychological problems. The patient may become depressed about his condition or may develop a fear of traveling that could result in hiding a change in his condition that he feels could result in another painful journey to determine what is wrong. In addition, not knowing of the stress being felt by the patient, caregivers will continue to use normal transport presuming that the patient is comfortable with it.

What Is NEMT?

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation is exactly what the name says. It is a service that offers special vehicles for transporting the sick and injured, in non-emergency situations, in safety and comfort. The vehicles are designed to make it as easy as possible for the sick, injured and those with mobility issues to travel in them. The drivers are specially trained in the transport of patients. NEMT is not just the most comfortable way for those with mobility issues to travel, it is the safest and most convenient.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Day Trips for people with disability

If you are a caregiver for someone who has permanent or temporary mobility problems, you know how important a change of scenery is for them and how it can boost their spirits. It is also a nice change for you and gives you a break from the monotony of doing the same thing every day. An occasional day trip is a great way to stimulate the mind and body and it makes coping with the condition easier for the patient. However, these types of trips require careful planning to ensure that they go off smoothly and do not cause any physical or mental stress to the patient. Here are some key issues to check out before planning the trip.




Planning the Trip

  • Get the doctor’s approval. Obviously, you will not go on a trip if the doctor says no. At times the answer is not so clear cut. You may be told that it is okay, but with a lot of special precautions to be taken. It is up to you to decide if you, as the caregiver, can manage or not. If in doubt, arrange for additional help to travel with you.
  • Decide where to go. Involve the patient in the process and find a place that is not too far away and which excites the patient’s interest. Make a short list of possibilities.
  • Check on how disabled friendly the places on the list are. For example, are there disabled parking access, wheelchair access, disabled toilet and accessible restaurant facilities? Avoid places that do not have these facilities but say that can make special arrangements for the patient. Most people do not like being made to feel as if they are a burden and require special facilities that are not normally available.
  • Check if any advance booking or payment is required. It will be terrible for the patient to reach a place he has been looking forward to and then finding that entry is not possible.
  • Once you find the right place, complete all the formalities.
  • Before starting the trip, make sure that any special equipment (i.e. an oxygen tank) is ready and that you are carrying any medications and food supplements that may be required.
  • One of the most critical aspects of traveling with a person with disability is finding the right form of vehicle for the journey. The wrong vehicle can ruin the trip. For example, a wheelchair bound person may be able to manage sitting in a normal car for a short journey, but a longer one could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The safest way to travel is by using a specialized transport service.Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is the best option. A professional NEMT company will have specialized vans for transporting people with varying mobility limitations. The drivers will also be experienced in driving people with disabilities and will be able to provide you with any assistance you may require. An often overlooked aspect is that of using an NEMT with excellent local knowledge. This will ensure that you do not get lost, take the shortest route and, in some cases, find the smoothest roads.
Remember, a well-organized short trip, even for a few hours, is good not only for the one you are caring for but for you too.