One More Step – Three Key Words in Temporary Care
When a person has had an injury, serious illness, or minor stroke, rehabilitation exercises can be hard–mentally and physically. Exercise can be boring for anyone, but especially tedious when the smallest movements are difficult or painful. Too often the effort reminds you of what you can not do, and with that there is the attending anxiety of wondering if you will ever be able to do it again. Seniors have lived a long time, and while they want to continue living, they may feel too “tired” to make themselves work for a recovery that seems out of reach. Temporary care may help to inspire action but it’s still not easy.
Temporary Care May Not Feel Temporary
However, failing to work at the recovery plan– particularly doing the recommended exercises– can cause a setback in physical ability, further depressing your loved one’s mood and fulfilling the belief that recovery may be impossible. Physical movement is very important to overall health and functionality, and progress is possible with the right approach. You can’t make someone work, but you can coax them down the path of recovery with loving patience and praise for each positive effort.
Enabling Temporary Care To Be Successful
Focusing on the day at hand and rejoicing in each small bit of progress is the key to recovery. At the time of discharge, doctors may have provided a list of daily exercises. Your loved one, however, may see the exercises as being too much for them. Trying to force the full exercise regimen can set up a negative emotional and physical feedback loop, but starting off slowly and adding one extra movement repetition per day can build positive results.
Start with something like this: “Okay, your doctor wants you to do eight foot lifts twice a day. Lets see how many you can do without it hurting. Two…three…four…how’s it feel?….Okay, four is good. Let it rest and tomorrow we’ll try five.” The next day when they accomplish five, cheer them: “That’s great. Five is one more than yesterday. You’re getting better! You do one more each day, and you’ll continue to get stronger!” With this approach, your loved one’s attention is on the progress being made that doesn’t require great effort or pain. In a few days or weeks, he or she will be doing what at first seemed impossible.
A True Story Of Recovery – Two Squares At A Time
A convalescing senior needed assistance to walk, and was supposed to try twice a day. Through the urging of his temporary caregiver, he took a few steps down the sidewalk outside his family’s home, turned around and stepped back. The sidewalk was made of sections of cement, and each day the man walked two sections farther down the sidewalk before turning around. Within a month, the man was walking a couple of blocks, and in three months he could walk a mile.
Different people have different kinds of injuries and they have varying degrees of health and aging, so your loved one may never have the ability to walk a mile, but the principle here applies to everyone. Just an incremental increase each day can take you far and make you happier. Rejoicing at each day’s accomplishment provides momentum and positive energy for the day that follows.
Effective temporary care can assist you with rehabilitation and help you regain your health.