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Last updated: 7-28-11

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“It is my hope that my 30 years of experience as a physical therapist in numerous settings (hospitals, nursing homes, home health and adult foster homes) will be of value to you in your caring for others.  Always be sure to consult with your client’s doctor, nurse or physical therapist to verify that the training is appropriate for them and that the timing is right.”
Tom LeBlanc PT

 

Using a Safety Belt:

Safety belts are a great idea. They enable you to maintain a firm grip on the client while you are assisting them in a transfer  or while assisting them in ambulation. In the event the client trips or stumbles or experiences a fainting spell you will be able to either prevent them from falling or at least lessen the impact of the fall.

Adjusting a Walker: 

When a walker is adjusted it will produce a slight bend in their elbows (30 degrees). This maximizes the strength of their triceps muscles -- those on the back of the upper arm that are responsible for extending or straightening the elbow.

Adjusting and Using a Cane: 

A cane is also adjusted for a 30 degree elbow angle. The cane helps the opposite lower extremity. In other words, if your client had a right total knee replacement they should use the cane in the left hand.

Stair Climbing: 

It is vitally important to walk on stairs properly. The “good” leg leads while going toward heaven and the “bad” leg leads while going down.

Preventing Pressure Sores:

Reduce or eliminate the pressure and you can prevent pressure sores. Learn how to “float the heels” to relieve pressure from a very vulnerable place.

Encouraging Your Client:

There is no need to flatter or exaggerate. Simply point out what they are doing right and they will be encouraged.

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