Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints caused by the breakdown of cartilage, the spongy tissue that covers the ends of bones. There are different types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis— it occurs most often in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, or joints of the fingers, thumb and big toe.
Life is a continual balancing act. When we’re young, it may seem as though we’re able to take on everyday activities with ease. But, as we grow older, our senses and ability to efficiently perform multiple tasks at the same time start to slowly deteriorate. Even the simplest of simultaneous activities, such as walking and talking, can disrupt our balance and put us at risk for a serious fall-related injury.
April is Occupational Therapy Month and what better time to build an understanding about what an OT (occupational therapist) does and how vital the service is that we provide to older adults. The role of an OT is often confused with that of a PT (physical therapist). Although our functions sometime overlap, and OTs and PTs often work together as a team, there are important differences between the two disciplines.
In early 2014 the Outpatient Therapies Department at Hebrew SeniorLife recently launched a service we call Therapy House Calls (THC), which delivers outpatient therapy services to patients in their own homes. Launching an innovative service is exciting enough on its own, but what really had me and my team thrilled, is the opportunity we discovered in HSL’s senior living communities to work collaboratively with specialists across disciplines to benefit our patients through a continuum of care. By doing so, I believe we are able to deliver the best care in the right place at the right time. Let me explain.
The number of programs my team provides for our patients in long-term chronic care is truly amazing. And while the number itself is impressive, it’s the quality and uniqueness of the programs that put us over the top.
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center prides itself on redefining the experience of aging. All programs are designed to allow patients to remain active and be part of a larger community.
At HRC we’re giving our patients choices when it comes to the senior fitness programs that help them stay healthy, active and engaged.
Imagine this scenario: your 75-year-old mother falls and can no longer walk independently. You take her to the hospital emergency room. Although she doesn’t need hospitalization, she does need rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility to regain her ability to walk.
The catch--she must be admitted to the hospital for three nights in order for Medicare to pay for rehabilitation. Without that stay, you or she must either pay for her care in a nursing facility or nursing home (about $300-$430 per day) or hire caregivers to support her at home ($20-$30 per hour).
Picture this – a husband and wife who can no longer communicate due to dementia begin individually swaying to music, unaware of each other’s presence. Within minutes, the gentleman is leading his wife in a dance and they joyfully move together in a sweet reunion of sorts. It’s a beautiful and true moment – one that captures the ability of expressive therapies to connect with our patients on levels not always possible.
Following emergency surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to remove blood clots in his legs, Alvin Nigrosh came to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center to regain his strength and get back on his feet again with physical rehabilitation. He worked closely with our doctors and physical therapists to get moving. Before his surgery, Alvin was very physically active so getting up and moving again was a goal he took seriously! With the encouragement of our specialists, Alvin was able to recover from his surgery and walk blood-clot (and pain) free.
As an expert on arthritis, I’m often asked for the best tips on how seniors can stay flexible even while struggling with the pain and stiffness this disease often brings. While there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of steps you can take to care for your joints to either prevent or control the disease.
Arthritis strikes both old and young, but can be particularly debilitating in older adults. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis which occurs when the joint’s cartilage, the part that cushions the ends of bones, begins to breakdown. It is the most common of more than 100 forms of arthritis.