Choosing a bed and mattress
Advice for residential facilities
Finding the best beds for your facility can be hard, as there’s so much choice and great marketing. Making the wrong choice can cost a lot in replacement beds, cause injury to staff or residents and loss of independence for your residents.
Here are a few tips to help you purchase the most versatile beds for your residents’ needs.
Bed height: We recommend:
a) adjustable height beds as they can accommodate:
Electrical or manual adjustable beds are available. When choosing, consider how often the beds will be adjusted up and down each shift. If frequently, we would recommend an electric bed as it reduces the likelihood of injuries to your staff.
b) ensuring enough clearance under the bed for a hoist.
c) securing the bed electric cords with loosely fitting plastic ties.
Other adjustable features
Mattress: We recommend a mattress:
a) with a firm edge for ease of getting in and out of bed
b) firm enough to support people with a soft enough surface for comfort
To help keep your residents as mobile or independent as possible and reduce the likelihood of injury to your staff, there is a range of bed accessories to help.
For more help choosing the right bed and accessories for your circumstances our friendly Physio and Occupational Therapists can help. Just contact us at Therapy Professionals.
Phone: (03) 377 5280
Vitamin D and the Winter Months
Vitamin D is important for:
The main way of obtaining vitamin D is to produce it ourselves by exposing our skin to the sun. In the winter it’s hard to get enough direct sunlight to maintain our vitamin D levels. If our vitamin D levels are low we can be at risk to a wide variety of health issues, including:
You may be more at risk to low levels of vitamin D if you:
Signs you may have low vitamin D levels include:
When exposure to sunshine is limited, especially in the winter in the South Island, we may need to find other sources of vitamin D, eg food. Foods containing vitamin D include:
You may need a vitamin D supplement if you can’t get outside regularly and your levels are low. Discuss supplements with your Doctor, they are not recommended for everyone.
For more information listen to this from the National Radio:
If you want help to improve your dietary vitamin D intake our friendly Dietitian can help.
Just contact Therapy Professionals.
Ph: 03 3775280
I don't want to be a bother
As we age our bodies don’t function with the same ease they once did. This can be a slow and insidious process or a sudden shock after an accident or illness. Over time we start finding some things aren’t as easy to do as they used to be, like:
Many of us stop doing things because it’s too hard and having to ask others to do or help with these tasks can be frustrating, inconvenient and embarrassing.
Many of us don’t want to ask for help as we ‘don’t want to be a bother’and we leave seeking help until we get into difficulty. We may struggle alone at home with little knowledge of the help available to assist our independence.
Feeling as if you are relying on family can make you feel like a burden and we want time with family to be precious and enjoyable, not a chore. You don’t have to struggle alone professional advice is available to help you maintain your freedom and avoid an unnecessary crisis.
key turner tap turner electric plug puller
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling to maintain their independence and confidence Therapy Professionals friendly therapists can help to make life easier. They will suggest adapting your home or lifestyle, recommending alternative ways of doing things or giving tips on useful gadgets and equipment.
You don’t have to struggle alone, we can help, we come to you.
Just contact us at
Therapy Professionals Ltd
PO Box 7807, Christchurch
Phone: 03 377 5280 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Building or Refurbishing your Buildings -
Advice for Residential Facilities
Keeping your clients and staff safe, keeps your business safe.
Planning for a safe, workable environment is cost effective.
Getting the design or redesign of your building wrong can cost a lot in:
It is more cost effective to get your building future proofed while under construction. Our Therapists have seen some very expensive mistakes made over the years and recommend you consider the following:
Architects, project managers and building companies are great at the big picture of a building, however they don’t understand the complexities of the work you do.
For a small cost an Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist can help refine a design to ensure the environment will work effectively and safely for your staff and residents. This small investment could save you thousands of dollars in remediation and disruption to your business.
Our friendly Physio and Occupational Therapists are available to give you advice, just contact us at Therapy Professionals.
Phone: (03) 377 5280 Email: email@example.com
Handwriting is Crucial for Development
For most of us handwriting is a task we take for granted. We don’t consider how much goes in to it, nor do we think about the implications of not mastering this skill.
Handwriting is a complex process. It involves:
Today with technology we increasingly use typing in place of handwriting. Although typing and technology are useful tools handwriting has many benefits. According to research three areas of the brain light up in a highly coordinated way when a person is handwriting and no such activity is observed with typing.
The physical act of handwriting helps improve:
Children who struggle to write by hand often avoid it or are encouraged to type instead. Unfortunately they then miss out on all the benefits derived from handwriting and from gaining help for the underlining cause of their difficulty, which may include problems with:
These functions are necessary for many other life skills and activities, eg tying shoe laces, using a knife and fork, dressing and grooming
Occupational Therapists are experts in improving handwriting and hand skills. If you know a child who is struggling with their handwriting contact us at Therapy Professionals as our friendly Occupational Therapist can help. Just contact us:
Phone: 03 377 5280
Falls and Eyesight
Currently, one in seven New Zealanders are 65 and over. Around 30% to 60% of people in this age group have a fall each year. And 10% to 20% will end up in hospital with a fracture.
Those over the age of 85 are 15 times more likely to fracture their hip in a fall than a 65-year-old. Hip fractures can have a huge impact, with 30% of those over 85 who suffer one requiring placement in aged residential care.
Research shows there is a link between poor eyesight and falls in older people.
As we age most of us will become long sighted (presbyopia), making it hard to focus on things close up and we’re slower to adjust to light. This is because the muscles of the eye lens harden. Eventually we will all need glasses.
Other age related eye conditions that contribute to falls are cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Some tips to prevent falls associated with eyesight issues:
Follow this advice and you will help to reduce the chances of falling.
For other tips on falls prevention check out these links:
For more information and advice on preventing falls our friendly Physiotherapists can help,
just contact Therapy Professionals :
Phone: 3877 5280 Fax: 03 377 5281
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.therapyprofessionals.co.nz
Do you need a walking stick?
You may benefit from using a walking stick If you feel:
or when you want to walk further than usual.
Using a walking stick is not a sign of ‘giving in’ and can often be used as a temporary measure to keep you safe and relieve the pain of sore joints.
Choosing a walking stick:
Using a walking stick correctly:
- Going down, the stick goes first, and then the sore leg and the good leg last
Compiled for you by our physiotherapists
If you need more advice on how to choose the correct walking stick, just contact us at Therapy Professionals our friendly physiotherapists can help.
Phone: 3877 5280 Fax: 03 377 5281
Leaky water works - Incontinence
There are many myths about incontinence, which are not necessarily true. For instance many people believe incontinence is an inevitable consequence of ageing or if you drink less it will improve the problem. Neither of these beliefs is helpful.
Some facts about our Water Works:
There are two types of incontinence – Stress and Urgency.
With stress incontinence there may be leaking when coughing, sneezing, jumping, lifting, pushing, laughing and pulling. This is caused by weak pelvic floor and urethra sphincter muscles. The trick is to strengthen your pelvic floor and urethral sphincter muscles and tighten your pelvic floor muscles before stressful activity occurs.
Urgency incontinence is the sudden need to go, for example, when opening the front door you generally get the urge. It’s caused by an overactive bladder, which has been trained to empty before it’s full. Typically small amounts of urine are passed more frequently -10 plus times a day.
Preventing or fixing incontinence
For both types of incontinence strengthening your pelvic floor and urethra sphincter are important. To do this:
Once you’ve mastered the pelvic floor exercises, practice regularly eg every time you stop at red lights.
Tips for managing and training urgency incontinence
When you experience the sudden urgency to pass urine, it is often associated with a feeling of panic. The following may help:
If you are still struggling there is help:
You don’t have to suffer alone - contact us we can help
Ph: 03 3775280
Reference: Women’s Waterworks – Curing Incontinence by Pauline E Chiarelli
Teaching Shaving Skills
Shaving is a major part of growing up and for a boy, it signals the transition from childhood into manhood. Shaving is a complex task, which requires consideration of safety and sensory challenges.
How can you make this easier?
Get him used to the idea he will be shaving his face one day by:
We would recommend using an electric razor to start with, as they can be easier and safer to use. However, for some, the noise or vibration may be too much and a razor blade may more successful.
Like all skills, there are a large number of smaller skills or activities used when shaving eg with an electric razor.
To assist teaching, take photos of each of these steps:
If it is not possible, try and locate pictures from the internet showing the shaving steps.
Put the photos or simple pictures in the correct sequence with simple words describing the activity. Use this schedule as a prompt while teaching. Initially you may have to use verbal and physical prompts along with the schedule.
If you are experiencing any problems with the development of these skills our Occupational Therapist may be able to help.
Just contact us at Therapy Professionals
Phone: 03 3775280
Dietitians help you to improve your health, wellbeing and prevent illness through good nutrition. They can translate scientific information about nutrition into practical dietary advice and tailor an eating plan based on your individual factors (age, medical history etc).
Dietitians can help with a range of health problems and chronic diseases such as:
They will recommend practical solutions for:
Dietitians are able to prescribe:
What's the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
Dietitians are health professionals registered under theHealth Practitioners Competence Assurance act 2003 and meet standards required by the NZ Dietitians Board.
Dietitianshave a science degree in human nutrition as well as a postgraduate Diploma or Masters in Dietetics. By law, a Dietitian must hold a NZ current practicing certificate, participate in a continuing competency programme and adhere to a code of ethics.
Nutritionists: The term nutritionist is not protected and can therefore be used by anyone regardless of qualifications. Nutritionists who meet set criteria are able to become registered Nutritionists with the Nutrition Society of New Zealand.
Therapy Professionals has a Dietetic service, so if you need help you just call us we come to you.
Therapy Professionals Ltd
Phone No: (03) 377 5280