Glaucoma & the value of Occupational Therapy

Glaucoma is a common eye disorder and there are more than 3 million cases per year in the United States alone. What is it? Pressure build up in the eye that can result in a functional visual impairment, impacting a person’s daily life.

Occupational therapists are in the business of function and purpose. They support people in most everything involved in a person’s day: bathing, driving, toileting, paying bills, working, home safety….the list goes on. The overall goal is to keep people involved and engaged in their environment, at home or in the community.

For people living with glaucoma, occupational therapy can offer modifications (i.e. equipment, lighting) for their home environment to make them safe, new techniques like visual scanning and tracking and training on low vision tools. But most off all OT’s look at things in a holistic approach to ensure people are able to participate in the things they want and need to do.

To learn more about occupational therapy and low vision support contact Covell Care at (970) 204-4331. We would love to share how we are impacting our clients’ lives.

Massage Therapy and Anxiety

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Young and old, people are living with anxiety due to stress, illness or aging.

The art of physical touch, massage therapy has been around for years and known to help decrease the symptoms of various physical and mental illnesses. Below are some of the ways massage can positively impact a person’s life.

  • Increase a sense of calm/reduce anxiety after surgery.
  • Reduce anxiety pre-surgery.
  • Reduce trait anxiety with a course of treatment providing benefits similar to psychotherapy.
  • Reduce the psychological and physiological anxiety levels in patients having cataract surgery.
  • Increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety.
  • Decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.

There are many different massage techniques today and may be covered by insurance. Make sure to always ask questions of your massage therapist and ask about techniques. you know your body best and what you are comfortable with.

Contact Covell Care with any questions about our massage therapy program. We would love to share what we are doing in the community and how we have helped clients through massage. (970) 204-4331 or https://www.covellcare.com/massage-therapy/

In Home Fall Prevention Exercises and Strategies

Blog written by Galen Friesen, past Covell Care Intern and CSU Graduate.

In 2014, 28.7% of community-dwelling adults 65 years or older reported falling, resulting in 29 million falls [1]. Luckily, exercise is one of the most effective interventions for falls, and there are many modalities of exercise to pick from. The minimum requirement for exercise in elderly populations is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to see benefit [2]. Many individuals who have suffered a fall find themselves worried that if they engage in exercise they will fall again, however, it is more beneficial to begin a supervised exercise program than to completely avoid activity altogether.

First and foremost, always consult your primary care provider before starting a new exercise program; see if they have any recommendations as to what exercises would be most beneficial. Simple exercises that can be done at home include (use a chair or wall for extra stability if needed): single leg balancing, sit-squats, floor bridges, step-ups, bird-dogs, and planks. Explanations and pictures for these exercises can be found here: https://blog.nasm.org/fitness/exercise-tips-fall-prevention%E2%80%8E/. Another great resource would be your physical or occupational therapist, and they might even know a personal trainer or fitness class that they could refer you to.

Along with exercise, a great way to reduce the risk of falls in the home is to
reduce the number of obstacles in your environment – removing decorative rugs, keeping a clear floor, and providing space around corners and in walkways reduces the likelihood of environment induced falls. Take your time while transitioning from seated to standing and while entering rooms or turning corners to make sure you have a constant mindfulness about your center of balance.

[1 Grossman, D. C. (2018, April/May). Interventions to Prevent Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.
[2] Exercise – the Miracle Cure. (2016, June 16). Retrieved from http://www.aomrc.org.uk/reports-guidance/exercise-the-miracle-cure-0215/

Diet vs. Healthy Eating

Our stomach drives our decision on when to eat but it is often our emotions, available time and ease that may drive the decision of what we eat. We are living in a fast-pace society where demands can be high in our career and how we manage our family structures. This makes it hard to take the time to think about eating healthy…or at least that is what we tell ourselves.

There are many diets out there today that give us a guide on what we should eat, taking some of the decisions out of our day. But are those diets sustainable over time? Should we trash the diets and just focus on making healthy decisions?

Healthy eating, along with understanding your health is the answer for long-term success. If you are living with a chronic health condition (including depression, incontinence) keep in mind what food options help manage your condition’s symptoms and implement those options into your meal planning. This shouldn’t add any additional stress or time, and in the long run will potentially save on healthcare dollars and have a positive impact on your overall health.

So what to do next…know your needs. What health conditions are you living with? Are there certain foods that help or hinder your condition? What are you currently eating? And how to you need after? Are you at a healthy weight for your height and age? What areas do you struggle with when it comes to eating? What can you substitute that would be a healthier option?

This is gives you a good starting point. If you need more support please contact our office to work with our Registered Dietitian. She can help make this process simple and achieve your goals. Call us at (970) 204-4331.

Vacuum Cupping as a therapy intervention

Vacuum Cupping, also know as Myofascial Decompression can be useful in the treatment of chronic overuse injuries such as bursitis, tendinitis, tendinosis, and myofascial pain syndromes. It can also be effective with post-op scarring and related pain.

So how does vacuum cupping work? Good question. This technique uses negative pressure to decompress adhesions, where the connective tissue is stuck and allow better flow for the exchange of nutrients. The pressure will increase blood flow to the area to help with healing process.

When it comes to massage therapy, cupping can most often allow for an area to release quicker then traditional manual massage. So results can happen fast! Great news.

Vacuum Cupping can help with the following:

  • Break down scar tissue
  • Break down trigger points and adhesions
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve performance
  • Decrease post-op/post-injury healing time

If you are interested in learning more or trying a session with cupping contact our office at (970) 204-4331.