Visual and Vestibular Balance Issues Affecting Older Adults: What You Can Do to Stay On Your Feet

Visual and Vestibular Balance Issues Affecting Older Adults: What You Can Do to Stay On Your Feet

Health content
Simply standing up is harder than it looks! When you add in shifting your weight, stepping, navigating hazards and more, it’s no wonder that so many older adults struggle with balance. Because balance issues can lead to falls, it’s important to understand why you might be struggling with balance. With that knowledge, you can notice potential problems and resolve them before you stumble or tumble. Your vision and your balance How well you see influences your balance. If you can’t see well, you may miss potential hazards or spend so much energy trying to see better that you trip and fall. How you see, referred to as "visual processing," also is important. This has to do with how your brain takes in and organizes the information that comes in through your…
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How to Improve Your Hand Arthritis Without Surgery

How to Improve Your Hand Arthritis Without Surgery

Arthritis, Health content, Pain
It seems the older we get, the harder it is to perform precision movements like buttoning shirts or grip tasks like picking up a fork or opening a jar. Hand arthritis can cause joint damage and is one of the health conditions that can accelerate the hand’s aging. Hand arthritis can make it hard to complete mundane tasks with our fingers. But with physical therapy, you can stop and sometimes even reverse the effects of hand arthritis.  Hand osteoarthritis vs. hand rheumatoid arthritis We hear a lot about arthritis in the hands, hips and knees. Two primary types of arthritis can cause pain in the hands. Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the more common of the two, with 32.5 million adults suffering from it. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects a much smaller percentage…
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Engaging Mind and Body to Fight the Ugly Truth of Ageism

Engaging Mind and Body to Fight the Ugly Truth of Ageism

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Fighting ageism keeps you busy! We receive humorous birthday card with the words “over the hill” displayed on the front. We excuse an ordinary error by saying we had a “senior moment.” Well-meaning friends compliment us with, “Wow! You look good—for your age.” We accept these everyday occurrences, but they are hurdles when it comes to fighting ageism. Ageism is a form of discrimination or prejudice as a result of your age. Ageism occurs in the workplace as well as in personal relationships. While younger people experience a different sort of ageism, seniors can find ageism detrimental to their wellbeing. Research shows this to be especially true when seniors believe the negative stereotypes associated with getting older. These stereotypes include memory issues, loss of independence, and developing new symptoms and…
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Seniors: Bike Saddle Pain Have You on the Hot Seat?

Seniors: Bike Saddle Pain Have You on the Hot Seat?

Health content, Pain
Riding a bike is great exercise for older adults—until that first twinge of bike saddle pain! During the pandemic, biking has provided a welcomed way for people of all ages to stay active. When seasonal changes like flowers or leaves offer a beautiful backdrop for your ride, your bicycle can glide you along a pathway of paradise and help you deal with stress. Riding a bike takes you outdoors, works your entire lower body and gets your heart pumping when you go uphill or put on a little speed. It’s a good mode of transportation as well, adding to neither your carbon footprint nor your city’s traffic gridlock. But then your butt starts to hurt with bike saddle pain. Don’t let saddle soreness keep you off your bike or force…
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Medicare Coverage for Physical Therapy, Part 3

Medicare Coverage for Physical Therapy, Part 3

Health content
This is the third and final installment of our series on Medicare coverage for physical therapy. Previously, our Medicare Part 1 provided an overview of Medicare. Medicare Part 2 explained how to obtain physical therapy coverage through Medicare Parts A and B, also called "original Medicare." To follow up, this installment explores opportunities to obtain Medicare coverage outside of those provided through original Medicare. The use of additional parts of Medicare is growing. As of 2019, 22 million Medicare members had a Medicare Advantage plan. A 2017 report found that 13.5 million Medicare members had a Medigap plan. Medicare Advantage and physical therapy Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, is an option that takes the place of original Medicare. All Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything that…
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Medicare Coverage for Physical Therapy: Part 2

Medicare Coverage for Physical Therapy: Part 2

Health content
In the first part of our Medicare series, we reviewed the parts of Medicare and talked briefly about Medicare coverage for physical therapy. Now let's dive into some of the details of Medicare coverage for physical therapy—exactly what’s covered and how much you’ll pay additionally. You'll remember that Medicare Parts A and B are referred to as "original Medicare," which is the most commonly used type of Medicare coverage. As of 2018, 66% of Medicare beneficiaries used original Medicare. Medicare Part A coverage of physical therapy services Medicare Part A covers the care you receive while you’re in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility as well as any home health care you receive. This often includes physical therapy. For example, when you have a procedure like a total knee…
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Clear Up Your Confusion about Medicare Benefits: The Complete Guide, Part 1

Clear Up Your Confusion about Medicare Benefits: The Complete Guide, Part 1

Health content, knowledge
Are you one of the nearly 60 million Americans currently enrolled in Medicare? Despite Medicare's broad use, many people are unsure of what all Medicare covers and how to use that coverage. Even after enrollment, Medicare's rules, deadlines and costs can be overwhelming. Parts A through D, hospital stays and home health care, supplements and prescribed medication—so much is involved! For example, you might know that you can use Medicare if you're admitted to the hospital or need to see a doctor, but you may be unsure how Medicare works when you need ancillary services such as physical therapy. To help our Heather Lane Physical Therapy community understand what to expect if you're enrolled in Medicare and need physical therapy, we've put together a 3-part series. This is Part 1,…
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What’s the Big Deal About Balance, and How Can it Affect You as You Age?

What’s the Big Deal About Balance, and How Can it Affect You as You Age?

Health content
At least 1 out of every 4 Americans aged 65 and older experience a fall each year. That’s more than 29 million falls with 7 million injuries in just a year’s time! It’s easy to think that you are safe from falling—until the day where you take your own tumble. Fortunately, it’s easy to get your balance assessed and do some simple exercises to keep yourself upright as long as possible. Balance problems can stem from a number of factors. Vision problems can affect balance As we age, our eyesight tends to get worse. This can affect balance in major ways. If you can’t see, you won’t be able to accurately assess your environment for hazards such as uneven flooring and slippery surfaces. Eye problems not necessarily associated with aging…
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Why Sleep Changes When You Get Older (And How to Get Better Rest)

Why Sleep Changes When You Get Older (And How to Get Better Rest)

Health content, knowledge
Seniors and sleep often have a complicated relationship, leading older adults to question whether sleep is a friend or foe. Insomnia plagues nearly 50% of adults 65 and older, and millions more toss and turn every night because of other sleep-disrupting factors. Some seniors give up on eight hours of sleep altogether, rationalizing that they need less sleep now that they’re older. But our time needed in slumberland doesn’t change as we age. What does change are our sleep patterns—or our sleep "architecture." Even with the sleep changes we experience, we have ways to make sure we’re getting better, more restful sleep. Normal sleep vs. aging sleep Normally, people go through multiple sleep cycles at night. Each cycle lasts 90-110 minutes and consists of two states. The non-rapid eye movement…
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Physical Therapy is Helping Both Patients and Non-patients During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Physical Therapy is Helping Both Patients and Non-patients During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Health content, knowledge
Recovering from Covid-19 has proven to be unpredictable. As we now know, some people diagnosed with the virus experience no symptoms at all, others can feel as if they’ve had a mild flu with a timely recovery, and some people experience severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Although most of them recover, unfortunately there’s a growing number of patients who, months after diagnosis, still are reporting trouble getting back to feeling 100% like their “old selves.” As doctors study these mysteriously persistent symptoms, they do know how to relieve one troublesome aspect: the effects of long periods of being sedentary. Patients who have been on ventilators or for other reasons confined to hospital beds for days or weeks face challenges in getting back to their previous levels of activity. The cost…
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