Choosing a Comfy Armchair
Ageing bodies change shape and our favourite seats may not be suitable anymore. Believe it or not, having the right armchair may make the difference between staying independent or not!
If you find it hard to get out of a chair once in it, you're less inclined to get out of it, until you have to. Getting in and out of chairs helps keep our legs strong, assists us to keep our sense of balance and encourages exercise, which is good for most of our bodily functions.
When choosing an armchair consider these things:
For comfort and ease of getting out of the chair:
There needs to be a space of 2-3 fingers either side of the body to allow wriggle room and to keep the armrests are comfortable.
The depth needs to ensure a good upright posture and for ease of getting out of. The:
d) Backrest: Needs to:
e) Armrests: Need to:
f) The chair surface: Needs to:
It’s important to have the main user sit in the chairs for some time and get out of it a number of times before deciding which to purchase.
If you need any advice on purchasing a suitable chair our friendly physios and occupational therapists can help, contact us as follows:
Ph: 03 377 5280
Hearing Loss Causes Communication Breakdown
At any age hearing loss negatively effects communication. During early childhood hearing loss, if not picked up, can delay children’s speech and language development significantly. Often poor speech clarity or language development is the first thing parents will notice. However if parents and others around young children can watch for the following milestones they may pick up a hearing problem early and be able to act quickly.
Expected Milestones for babies
If you notice any of these milestones are not being met see your doctor and get your child’s ears tested.
In older children it is more difficult to identify hearing loss because their speech skills are already developed.
Nevertheless, these guidelines may help detect a possible hearing loss. The child:
You just have a feeling, but you can't put your finger on what your concern is. Don't let that stop you. Ask your doctor for a referral to ease your mind.
Hearing loss can occur throughout adulthood with one in two adults over 65 years experiencing hearing loss, particularly with higher pitched sounds. Hearing loss causes frustration and communication problems regardless of age.
If you think someone is deaf around you ensure they get their hearing checked regularly, there is likely to be a solution to either solve or reduce the impact of their hearing loss.
Some guidelines on speaking to someone who’s deaf
Therapy Professionals Ltd
Phone No: (03) 377 5280
Do you have a Dry or Burning Mouth?
A dry mouth happens because you’re not producing enough saliva and it can cause bad breath, a dry throat and cracked lips.
Saliva is important for your digestion, protecting your mouth and teeth from decay and gum disease.
In itself, it’s not a serious condition, however can be a symptom of another health condition, so tell your doctor. What causes dry mouth?
If you have a dry or burning mouth, firstly make sure you are drinking enough fluids -
6-8 cups a day is recommended. If you are drinking enough try the following:
If, after trying these things, you still have a dry mouth ask your Doctor or Dentist.
Oil emulsion recipe
Make up your own with grape seed or coconut oil. Use one tablespoon of oil to one tablespoon of water and swish around in your mouth.
Baking soda mouthwash recipe
This mouthwash can be used for up to 24 hours, then discard.
Swish the mixture around your mouth for about 30 seconds, then rinse your mouth with water.
This is also a good mouthwash to use if you have sore gums, or other mouth injuries, since baking soda and salt have both been proven to speed healing.
For more advice our friendly Dietitian can help.
Just contact us at Therapy Professionals Ltd
Phone: 03 3775280
To Exercise or Not to Exercise?
That is the question
Here are a few tips to help you decide.
You have got a fever:
You’ve got a cold
You’ve got the flu
You’ve had a recent asthma flare up or chest infection
You’ve had a bad night and feel too tired
Your muscles are sore
You’ve had a rough week
Don’t rush your comeback
If you need any advice on what’s the best sort of exercise for you we can help.
Just contact us on
Ph: (03) 377 5280 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Young at heart, slightly older in other places’– eating and drinking problems and ageing.
Swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia) are a common consequence of many health conditions, and head and neck surgeries, however swallowing difficulties can also be associated with ageing. Estimates suggest up to 20% of all adults over 50 may be affected.
Changes might include such things as reduction in muscle strength for chewing, taste and smell, dental issues, dry mouth or throat, or recurrent illness such as pneumonia.
These changes may result in poor nutrition/hydration, unintended weight loss, avoidance of eating in public, loss of enjoyment in previously enjoyed food, and/or a risk of food/fluid entering the lungs (aspiration) leading to pneumonia and chronic lung disease.
What might you notice?
Who can you talk to?
Phone (03) 3775280,
Our Dietitian or Speech Language Therapist will be happy to help.
The Magic Power of Diaphragmatic Breathing
Breathing happens automatically like other bodily functions, such as:
These functions are controlled by our autonomic nervous system, which has two parts. The sympathetic system, which usually gets these functions going and the parasympathetic system, which stops them from happening. The sympathetic controls our fight-or-flight response, while the parasympathetic is in charge of everyday processes.
Even though these functions are automatic, we can help regulate our automatic nervous system, with diaphragmatic breathing. This has many benefits — your heart rate and blood pressure can be reduced, helping you to relax. This all helps decrease the amount of stress hormone, cortisol, released into your body.
Diaphragmatic or tummy breathing also helps:
Many of us breathe only using our upper chest cavity and when we are asked to breathe deeply we pull our shoulders up and expand the upper part of our chests. Breathing in this way does not make use of the lower capacity of the lungs.
Diaphragmatic or deep tummy breathing is named after the diaphragm muscle. This muscle pulls air down into the lungs (like bellows) and as it relaxes, it rises up and forces air out of the lungs.
Learning to do diaphragmatic or tummy breathing takes time and conscious effort. Here are some instructions:
Disability - A Family Burden
We hear stories of families who never get a day off, elderly parents who are still looking after their disabled adult children, and children with less obvious disabilities not receiving any support.
Often families with disabled members feel isolated, alone and are unaware of the help they can receive. This is especially true for those with the least obvious disabilities. Compounding the problem health professionals are often unaware of the range of help available or assume families are linked into the services they require.
The trouble is the system for receiving government-funded supports is across a number of government ministries – Health, Education, and Welfare. These systems are hard to navigate, especially for stressed families and they don’t dovetail together easily. Also in the past 30 years government funded disability support services have focused on providing for a small group with the highest needs.
No one would deny this group needs support, however this has left a large group who have been forgotten, many of whom would have benefited greatly from some assistance early in life, making them more independent and improving the quality of family life.
There is help. If your child has not been in contact with the CDHB services, the best place to start is the Needs Assessment and Coordination service (NASC), a Ministry of Health (MOH) funded service. You can refer yourself or a family member without having to go to a doctor. This will give you access to a number of MOH funded and community services.
The Ministry of Social Development has a range of benefits you may be able to access for yourself or a disabled family member. The Ministry of Education Special Education Services can be accessed for those at school.
For your school aged child with special needs, it’s important to investigate the Ongoing Resources Scheme (ORS) and High Medical Needs Ministry of Education Funds as early as possible in their schooling. The sooner your child gets help the better.
On the link below there are some handy links to government agencies, which may help relieve the burden of disability. There are many more organisations that can help, most of which are government funded.
All the best navigating through this maze.
Having Trouble Sleeping as you Age
Many of us experience changes in our sleeping as we age. We may find it hard getting to and staying asleep, or waking early unrefreshed, making us feel sleepy and sluggish during the day. Research suggests most of the sleep problems among the elderly are because of physical and psychological health problems and the medications used to treat them. Lack of sleep contributes to falls, car accidents, sensitivity to pain and a poor quality of life.
The amount of sleep required by each person varies from 7-9 hours. It’s not the time sleeping that matters, it’s how you feel when you wake that’s important. There are a number of stages to sleep, dreamless periods of light sleep and deep active dreaming sleep (REM sleep). This cycle is repeated several times during the night and although total sleep time tends to remain constant, as we age we spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep, which is more refreshing. This contributes to wakefulness during the night. Generally as we age we go to bed earlier and wake earlier.
Here are a few tips to improve your sleep
Still not sleeping
If after trying these tips for some weeks you’re still not sleeping well talk to your Doctor as you may:
Happy sleeping from the team at Therapy Professionals Ltd.
Lecture by Dr Alex Bartle “Sleep Disorders In the Elderly”
Why free play is good?
In today’s western world we have been encouraged to think success in life is all about academic achievement and the only way to achieve this success is through providing our children with ‘academic enrichment’ games and services. These enrichment activities can start well before school age and tend to gain momentum as the child ages. This, the “stranger danger” phenomenon and our busy lifestyles have led to a decline in children and youngsters play time especially unstructured free play.
Play is very important in the growth and development of all youngsters. It helps with their physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. In general terms, play come in two categories: unstructured (free play) or structured play. Both forms are important.
Structured play is directed by an adult with a goal in mind. It helps children learn to follow rules and routines, and give opportunity for development of physical and social skills.
Unstructured free play is not led by an adult and has no goal. It may move from activity to activity, and may involve other children and possibly adults. This type of play allows children to explore and develop the skills needed for negotiating life without feeling pressured or fearful of making mistakes.
Most play involves some physical activity, either hand skills or larger body movements. Play allows the child to gain strength, coordination and control over their movements, as well as physical fitness.
Free unstructured play helps children learn about society and their emotions, especially through imaginative role play, where they pretend to be an adult. This helps then understand the society they live in and how to relate to others. They gain skills such as turn taking, sharing, negotiating and managing conflict.
Youngsters learn from their peers and they enjoy playing together. This is a great learning ground for acquiring communication skills. The better children can express and make themselves understood, the less anxious and frustrated they will be, and the more relaxed they will be about new experiences and challenges.
The practice they gain from role playing helps them conquer their fears and develop the confidence to independently deal with new situations.
Free play helps youngsters gain a sense of who they are, their likes and dislikes, strengths and abilities, and to respect the differences, thoughts and feelings of others.
They build on what they know and explore different experiences in imaginative ways, enhancing their thinking and problem solving skills and their ability to entertain themselves.
Why is the lack of free play a problem?
Over the past 20 to 30 years, in an attempt to ensure their children’s success, parents have filled their children’s weeks with organised activities so there is little time for creative imaginative free play. This may account for the rise in anxiety, depression and suicide experienced by a growing number of our young adults. Studies have linked feelings of anxiety and depression to perfectionism.
Perfectionism often comes from highly critical parents who expect excellence, which may produce overly self-critical children. Some may have learned success must happen at any cost and become anxious to get the perfect marks at the expense of values such as honesty and integrity. This is believed to have contributed to the increase in cheating in our high schools and universities. Perfectionism reduces creativity and is not good for society.
If we wish to reverse the trend of depression, anxiety and perfectionism among our youngsters, society and parents need to revisit their ideas on what success looks like, slow our pace of life down and let our children engage in a balance of structured enrichment activities and unstructured free play.
Helping someone to get out of a chair
Get their attention and tell them you want them to get up from the chair.
Ask them to:
With assistance - If they need more than just a prompt to get up
Get their attention and tell them you want them to get up from the chair. Ask them to:
You can walk holding them in this position, ensuring you keep them close.
If they need more support two people can do the move.