Monday, 17 February 2020

Using Crutches After Surgery or Injury

Medical conditions of the leg are among the most common. They range from sprained ankles to damaged ligaments and tendons, joint replacement and fractures. Whatever be the cause, in most cases doctors tell patients to start walking as soon as possible after surgery/treatment. This will help to strengthen the injured leg and speed up the recovery. Walking support is usually required for a few weeks after any major leg surgery or injury. The most convenient way to get this and maximize mobility is for the patient to use crutches.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation

Walking

Walking with crutches takes a little getting used to. These tips will make the process easier:

• Adjust the crutches to your height. The handles should be alongside your hips and the top should be about an inch below your armpit.

• Let your forearms and hands carry your weight, not your armpits.

• Keep your elbows bent so there is no excess pressure on the elbow joint.

• Except on stairs or uneven surfaces, keep your eyes focused ahead of you and don’t look down at your feet.

• Keep the tip (bottom) of the crutches around 3 inches away from your feet at all times so you do not trip over them.

• Place the crutches about 1 foot ahead of you, lean on the handles and move your body forward. Let the crutches take your weight. 

• Move your strong leg forward and then bring up your injured leg.

• Do not step forward with the injured leg first as this will place a strain on it.

• Repeat this motion to continue moving ahead.


Driving

Walking with crutches becomes easier with practice. However, when it comes to traveling long distances, the crutches can only get you to your car door. They cannot help you to drive. Even if you can clamber into the driver’s seat and are able to use your right leg for the pedals, any sudden movement or jerk could cause pain in the injured leg which could make you lose concentration. This could, in the worst case, result in an accident. The bottom line is that it is safer to avoid driving until you can discard the crutches.

So how do you travel? Taxis may not always be available when you need them. Using public transport can be unsafe because of the problems in entering and exiting buses and trains while on crutches. But you may need to travel to see your doctor, for work, for social occasions, or even just to go to the movies. The right way to move around town is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT is a special service for those who have medical conditions that affect heir mobility and do not permit them to drive themselves. This is not an ambulance service which is only for an emergency. NEMT provides specially equipped vans and drivers to transport those with medical conditions where they want to go. Getting in and out of the vehicles is easy and the drivers are trained in transporting those with mobility issues. You can call for an NEMT vehicle when you need it or schedule a trip in advance. The availability of doorstep pickup, event standby and other conveniences make this the best way to remain mobile until you can safely drive again.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Has Age Affected Your Driving?

For almost everyone, driving is an essential part of life. The ability to go where you want, when you want to, is important, but perhaps even more so is the feeling of independence that it creates. As long as we feel we can function independently, we are strong and confident. Take away this feeling of independence, and we feel weakened and insecure because we are dependent on others to take us where we want or need to go. Buses, taxis, and subways may not be workable alternatives because of mobility or other age-related problems, and the passenger does not feel he’s in control he when he’s not driving. This is something that many seniors feel when they stop driving.

Medical Transportation


While there is no defined age at which a person must stop driving, there is no denying that increasing years and health issues affect a person’s ability to drive. The eyesight, strength, and reflexes of an 80 years old are not the same as when he/she was 18. Going to the DMV and getting a driving license renewed does not automatically mean that an elderly person is able to drive safely. Medical tests and checkups are not 100% accurate and often there are health issues that they do not detect that could make driving dangerous.

Warning Signs

In addition to a normal checkup, if you notice any of these signs of driving issues, you should discuss them with a health care professional who will be able to advise you if you should continue to drive:
  • Increased frequency of close calls, fender benders and scrapes against other cars or stationary objects.
  • An increased volume of traffic tickets or citations
  • Difficulty maintaining focus on traffic
  • Difficulty in accelerating or braking smoothly
  • Difficulty in viewing distant objects which was not an issue earlier
  • Problems in hearing sirens, car horns, etc.
  • Problems in remembering frequently traveled routes
  • Increasing anger and irritation when driving in traffic
  • Confusion in using the various controls – not just brakes and accelerator but turn signals, lights and so on.
Independence With Driving

If you, or a loved one, are no longer able to drive, the world does not come to an end. For those with health or age-related issues, there is another way to remain mobile and independent. Even if health does permit the comfortable use of public transport, it may not be available when you want it to take you to where you need to go. A far more convenient, safe and comfortable option is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT is not an ambulance service so there are none of the negative connotations of ambulance travel. NEMT companies provide specially equipped vans to transport people with health, mobility problems or physical conditions caused by advancing years thus providing them a way of maintaining their mobility independence. A professional NEMT company will have specially trained drivers and offer doorstep pick up and drop, event standby and other services that will replace the need to drive. Whether it is to meet all local travel requirements or only on those days when a person does not feel physically or mentally up to driving, NEMT is the right way for those who are physically unable to drive to maintain their mobility independence.