Written by: Yaffa Liebermann, PT,GCS,CEO
We are happy to announce that as of June 1st 2021 Mobile Therapy Services is providing Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology at Lester Senior Living facility in Whippany, NJ. This beautiful complex consists of Independent Living, Assisted Leaving and Memory Care units. The facility administration goal is to provide the residents with programs that will enable them to get stronger, function better, swallow correctly and express their need clearly, and Mobile Therapy Services is happy to provide all that, and more!
We started our program by connecting with the Administrator and the Wellness Manager. They welcomed us with open arms and introduced us to the team. To present Mobile Therapy Services to the residents, we organized an exercise activity called “Benefits of Exercise to Your Wellness”, which received a lot of attention from the residents. The hour that we shared was a great success: we joked, we performed exercises together while learning how each exercise benefits our bodies, and we all got energetic and looking forward to improving function and reducing pain. We practiced correct posture, better breathing and performed light exercises while sitting.
People in general might think that getting older goes hand in hand with getting weak. They do not realize that continuing to perform activities, movement and regular exercises can help the muscles to stay in good shape and supply them the strength they need to function. Therapy goal is to teach and practice these exercises, to increase abilities, and make participants proud and happy of their achievements.
Below you will find some points from our talk:
The Importance of Correct Posture in Our Lives:
Posture reflects the way you feel about yourself. When your head is forward and down, you present yourself as an unhappy person. But when you maintain an upright posture, you look attractive and show assertiveness. We do not inherit good posture, it is adopted by us through understanding and practice.
“Stand up straight. Do not slouch!” How many times did you hear those scolding words while growing up? Maybe more times than you would like to remember. Behind those long and forgotten words lie a very valuable and surprising message: Good posture is important because it helps your body function at top speed. It promotes movement efficiency and endurance and contributes to an overall feeling of well being.
Good posture is also good prevention. If you have poor posture, your bones are not properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments, take more strain than nature intended. Faulty posture may cause you fatigue, muscular strain and, in later stages, pain. Many individuals with chronic back pain can trace back problems years of faulty postural habits. In addition, poor posture can affect the position and function of vital organs particularly those in the abdominal region.
Good Posture in Standing
- Head up and chin tucked in above the notch between the collarbone.
- Tongue on the palate (L pronunciation).
- Shoulders pulled back but not tight.
- Upper back is straight, pulled up from the chest bone.
- Abdominal wall is tight.
- Low back is curved, slightly forward.
- Hips are level, with the weight of the body distributed equally amongst both legs.
- Knees are straight, “easy” but not bent, pushed back or stiff.
- Feet are pointed straight forward with toes outward slightly.
Stand in front of a mirror and check your posture. Make a habit of standing correctly.
You might suffer from shortness of breath when walking, climbing upstairs, or running. You can increase your ability to handle stressful situations by teaching yourself how to breath properly. Long exhalation versus short inhalation, breath out twice as long as breath intake. The ratio of breathing should be (4:2, 6:3, 8:4). Count to yourself while walking or going up the stairs. Breath out through pursed lips and breath in through your nose. This will avoid over oxygenation and prevent dizziness. The best way to improve your breathing is to use this pattern of diaphragmatic breathing. You should practice when you are not stressed so that when you do get short of breath, your body is already familiar with the exercise.
Improve Muscle Strength
As we get older, the muscles become weaker. Regular activities of daily living do not demand too much from the muscles. During the day, we sometimes perform activities which require more muscle strength, for example, going up and down stairs, or moving quickly from a sitting position to a standing position. In order to simplify daily tasks, we need to exercise our muscles and to prepare them for any difficult activities we may encounter.
some guide line are listed here:
- Listen to your body and make sure you do not experience any pain or discomfort while performing the exercises. When you feel uncomfortable then stop!
- Do not hold your breathe. Breathe out when a heave task is being performed.
- If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, stop!
- Stretch the muscles before performing strengthening exercises.
- Do each exercise once a day or more, repeat three times each.
- Perform the exercises with each joint. Start from the upper to lower or reverse. Make sure each movement is being performed to full range.
The residents of the Independent Living and the Assisted Living loved the exercises and reported to us a day later that they already felt better.
What a great way to start a program!