HOME CARE NEWS

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Occupational Therapy Physcial Therapy

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY...BUT, I DON'T NEED A JOB

One common misconception of Occupational Therapy (OT) is that occupational therapy helps people find jobs. Although occupational therapy can assist with increasing job performance, there is much more to occupational therapy.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a dynamic therapy service that does not focus on what’s the matter with you, instead looks at what matters to you. Occupational therapy can look at ability to complete basic self care tasks, home maintenance, driving, sexuality, sleep, work, and leisure activities. Through the use of activities that are important to the client, occupational therapists can increase performance in any activity one needs to complete.

I Don’t Need Occupational Therapy. I Just Need Physical Therapy

Many people are not as familiar with occupational therapy as they are with Physical Therapy (PT) and are unfamiliar with the relationship between the two disciplines. Physical therapy focuses more on the desired movement and mobility while occupational therapy focuses on the desired task. PT and OT work hand-in-hand to increase a patient’s performance through looking at the patient with different lenses. While OT looks at functional movement, they can also look at fine motor coordination (ability to use hands) as well as cognition (orientation, attention, perception, problem solving, memory, judgment, language, reasoning, and planning).

Occupational Therapy’s Role in Cognition

Cognitive deficits are often caused by strokes, traumatic brain injuries, infections, congenital conditions and dementia. Having a cognitive impairment can cause disturbances in ability to complete day-to-day activities, routines, and even social interactions. The brain is a dynamic organ that can relearn and redirect pathways through neuroplasticity. Occupational therapists have in depth understanding of how changes in the anatomy of the brain can affect ability to process information and other accompanying deficits that affect ability to functional normally. The OT can provide appropriate assessments that will determine the extent of loss and specific deficits that can be improved through modifying the environment and using motivating tasks.

Occupational Therapy in Leisure Activities

Beautiful mountains, sunny days, and many reasons to be outside and active surround Colorado Springs. Hiking, biking, golfing and tennis are some of Coloradans favorite pastimes and reasons to escape from the bores of day-to-day life. Want to increase your golf or tennis swing, maximize your biking and hiking capabilities or even your swimming stroke, occupational therapy has answers for any reason your performance isn’t what you would like it to be. Occupational therapists can assess performance and movements in desired leisure activities to increase safety and functioning to keep you going and even helping you accelerate in the activities you love.

MANAGING STRESS FOR HEART HEALTH

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WOMEN AND HEART DISEASE

Stress isn’t a bad thing. In healthy, motivating ways, stress can lead one to be focused, energetic, engaged and present in meaningful and joyful activities of life. Stress can have a positive influence on each of us leading us to be great role models for our kids, churches, communities and country. However, stress can be harmful when not managed in healthy ways. Chronic stress, stress related to anger and hostility, or stress mismanaged can lead to risk factors associated with heart disease. In this article, we will explore ways to manage stress in heart healthy ways.

Stress can be thought of as the response a person has to everyday life events. This response has two components. First, a person’s thoughts and emotions build the foundation for how much stress will be experienced. The body responds to stress by releasing a hormone, adrenaline, which causes breathing, heart rate and blood pressure to increase. When stress is chronic (prolonged) the body remains in a geared-up state on and off for days, even weeks. Chronic stress that increases heart rate and blood pressure can damage artery walls. Stress related to anger and hostility, can cause increased heart rate, irregular heart rhythms, higher cholesterol levels and the development and progression of coronary artery disease. Stress mismanaged or unhealthy coping behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption, overeating, or cigarette smoking can increase key heart disease risk factors of high blood pressure, obesity, and increased cholesterol levels.

If stress is a part of everyday life, how can we properly manage it in heart healthy ways? Here are some stress management tips you can use, now:

1. Crave Control Less

One of the most effective stress management tools in existence is straightforward and simple; crave control less. Accept the fact that there are some things that are completely out of your control and no amount of talking, planning, seed-planting, worrying, strategizing, scheming, manipulation or any other action on your part will bring it under your control. Simply stated, just let go of the desire to want to be in control.

2. Find Your Center of Relaxation

If we interviewed 5 people and asked what relaxation means to them, invariably, at least 1 person would ask who has time to relax. This is a fair question. We are constantly inundated with instant message alerts, text message alerts, email alerts, alarms set for events demanding our attention and time, calls reaching us during the drive home, while helping our kids with homework or during family time or at dinner. Take some time away from your electronics. Unplug from everything 5 to 7 minutes per day. Take a walk; Colorado is beautiful, take a little time to enjoy it.

Below are links to other activities that may help you find your center of relaxation:

Free Tai Chi Lessons for Beginners

Explore Colorado Springs

4. Color Something Fantastic

Adult coloring books, not to be confused with art therapy, are all the rage right now. Researchers from many countries, including the US and Spain agree that the act of coloring helps center participants by forcing them to turn off other thoughts and focus completely on the task at hand. Coloring provides relaxation by lowering the activity in the amygdala, a basic part of the brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.

The first commercially successful adult coloring books were sold in 2012 and 2013. Today, some of Amazon’s best sellers are adult coloring books!

CARDIAC REHABILITATION

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WOMEN AND HEART DISEASE

Many people believe that the procedures performed on them at the hospital are the quick fix to their cardiac issues; however the procedures are just the beginning of the recovery process. After having a heart attack or cardiac procedure it is important to begin cardiac rehabilitation in order to regain strength and endurance and to decrease the risk of having another cardiac event.

When beginning an exercise regimen, one needs to be monitored by a therapist to tailor the program to the individual’s current physical limitations and to ensure that any precautions that have been given by the physician are maintained. Monitoring blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation are vital throughout this process in order to ensure the exercise is not putting to much stress on the heart. The therapist will tailor a specialized program to the individual to work on increasing endurance and strength through various exercises and aerobic activities to increase safety and independence while staying in the comfort of home. Cardiac rehab can last anywhere from 6 weeks up to 6 months or more depending on how each individual progresses.

Although exercise will be the majority of therapy sessions, proper breathing techniques and managing stress will also be discussed. Proper breathing techniques are vital when completing cardiac rehab in order to ensure that enough oxygen is taken in and to make breathing easier during exercise. Managing your stress is also important in order to decrease the strain put on the heart and preserve optimal blood pressure.


WOMEN AND HEART DISEASE

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WOMEN AND HEART DISEASE

Heart disease affects many people in the United States. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heart disease and educating oneself on the risk factors can reduce the chances of experiencing a cardiac event. Yes, both men and women are at risk for heart disease, however, the signs and symptoms of this disease vary for each. In this article, we will focus on the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of heart disease as it affects women.

Education on the signs, symptoms, and risk factors are very important steps in decreasing the chances of or recognizing a cardiac event. Many of us can recall images of man grasping his chest, hunched over with a contorted facial expression as being a symbol of a heart attack. What does a heart attack look like in women? Would you believe a symptom as subtle as chest pressure or a little acid reflex attributable to the last meal? Or, how about no chest pressure nor pain nor any discomfort of any type? For women, a heart attack can range from the subtle symptoms just mentioned to sharp pains in other areas of the body such as a sharp pain radiating to the shoulder, neck, or jaw. Many women also experience shortness of breath, have nausea or vomiting, or experience dizziness or extreme fatigue. While these are signs and symptoms of heart disease in women they are sometimes mistaken for and attributed to other ailments and disregarded. If you have loved-ones, who are your sisters, daughters, wives, aunts, or mothers, please don’t let them disregard these symptoms.

Knowing the risk factors and reducing the ones within your control by lifestyle modification, are important stepping stones to preventing a cardiac event. Is heart disease in your family’s history? What are your blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes numbers? Don’t slip into a sedentary lifestyle, get moving! If you have found yourself behind a desk for more hours a day than you like, simple start standing a few minutes each hour, then add a 10 minute walk in every morning, at lunch and in the afternoon. Remember exercise is cumulative. Substitute the side of fries for a nice apple or steamed veggies. No, smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke are still not heart healthy ideas.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for women in the United States claiming 1 in every 4 female deaths. Knowing the risk factors, changing the ones within your control via lifestyle modification, along with recognizing the signs and symptom of heart disease as presented in women can greatly reduce the changes of a cardiac event.


National Family Caregivers Month


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National Family Caregivers Month

Long after the brief spotlight has faded on the month of November being recognized as National Family Caregiver Month, family caregivers will still be tirelessly working caring for their loved-ones.  Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren will be helping with medication set ups, helping with exercises as instructed by​ therapists, monitoring blood glucose levels and preparing meals appropriately.  With over 20 years of home health experience, the founders of First Class Home Care fully respect, appreciate and admire family caregivers.


Family caregivers tend to forget that caring first for themselves enables them to better care for others.  Some even feel ashamed to say they are tired.  Many feel an enormous amount of guilt in simply asking others for help or seeking respite care so they can recharge.  It’s okay to ask for help.  You are not a failure.  You are not weak.  Asking for help is a characteristic of wise human beings.


First Class Home Care welcomes the opportunity to help family caregivers.  If respite care is needed for your loved-one, so you can relax and recharge, we can help.  If caregivers are needed regularly, so you can pursue another aspiration, we can help.  If you simply want to put a backup plan in place so your loved-one will continuously receive the best care possible even in your absence, we can help.  Please give us a call; We are committed to supporting the family caregiver, the foundation and the support structure for the entire family. 

First Class Home Care is Home Health, Reinvented.