Archive for February, 2013

Balance Loss Affects the Eldery

Posted on February 24, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Falls and fall related injuries can have a devastating effects on the elderly. The frequency of falls increase with the aging population. The history of a fall is a predictor of future falls.

This video is about Donna, an 84 years old woman with a history of multiple falls. She has had two total knees, a total hip, previous fracture of her shoulder and opposite wrist from a fall as well as other surgeries. Donna had a fall two weeks prior to her physical therapy assessment for BalanceWear. She related she is unable to get up off the floor once she falls.

In the current video we show a timed up and go before and after Balance-Based Torso-Weighting, BBTW. This video demonstrates the change in ability and also in her confidence during the same session. Instead of the frail elderly person she was when we she walked into the clinic we see a new person emerge. Because of the dramatic effects of the testing with BBTW we ordered Donna a BalanceWear Device. She is strategically weighted with 1-3/4 pounds to control several loses of balance. The video gives us a peek into her former life and what an interesting person she is.The video is over two sessions; assessment day and the day she receives the BalanceWear device at her home. No other therapy was provided.

Donna will still need therapy to address strength, balance, range of motion, and pain. However Donna is much safer with BalanceWear, which is a consideration since she lives alone.

The CDC just released Steadi http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/Falls/steadi/index.html

I feel this is a great tool for clinicians and physicians to use with their patients in prescribing rehabilitation. There are several tests and measures that can help identify loss of leg strength, ambulation score (timed walk) and function (TUG). In addition they have cut off scores for fall risk.

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Too Weak To Sit Straight

Posted on February 11, 2013. Filed under: Balance-Based Torso-Weighting, Elderly | Tags: , , , , |

I had the opportunity to work with therapists from Life Care Centers of America last weekend. One of the patients we evaluated was a 92 year old female who was slumped over to the right and leaning forward in her chair. We couldn’t see her face just the part of her silver hair. She was very weak and frail. When we transferred her to the mat she required moderate assist. Sitting required very close supervision. We did the Balance-Based Torso-Weighting assessment and strategically weighted her posterior on the left and also forward. This allowed her to sit more neutral. When we added the rigid support of the trial lumbar sacral support she sat up and we could see her beautiful smile and blue eyes. The therapist had measured her oxygen saturation at 92 with a pulse oximeter prior to this treatment. When we transferred her back to the chair and she rested a few minutes her oxygen saturation was now vacillating between 93/94. This reading was taken after work which should produce lower oxygen saturation. She was able to produce a productive cough and clear phlegm. She also stated, “I feel straighter.” When we went to trial walking she scooted easier and stood with contact guard assist.
Why do patients sit slumped in their chairs? Are they really as demented as they may seem or do they just need balance and postural support to allow them to be upright and see the world? Think about the social isolation patients have when they cannot hold their head up to socialize. What consequences happen with the frail body that is unable to be upright for breathing and other bodily functions? Do we need to look at providing external support and balance? Was this a fluke or do you think providing the external support allowed better oxygen saturation?

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