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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Communicating With Elders Who Have Special Needs
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
Do you serve older adults in your practice? Regardless of whether you see your elder clients in your office, a long-term care facility or at their home, being able to communicate effectively can increase your confidence and make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.Communication is our way of exchanging information, but more importantly, it's our way to build relationships. Making an effort to learn how to relate to our elder clients who have special needs deepens our ability to connect with them.
Whether you are serving a robust, active older adult or an elder who suffers from a debilitating disease, you need to be sensitive to the conditions that impact their ability to communicate effectively. It's common to feel uncomfortable with how to handle a situation when an elder's condition impacts their ability to communicate. There are two things you can do that will help. First, become familiar with the obstacles affecting communication and learn a few ways of getting around them. It still is possible to communicate effectively by learning some simple skills. You will save yourself and your client frustration and embarrassment, and your experience will be a much more positive one.
We live in a culture that undervalues our elders. We have all most likely been affected by the prevalent social attitudes, beliefs and assumptions about older adults. Our own belief system affects our understanding of the elder's perspective. For example, our society seems to believe elders are no longer productive and no longer contribute to society. Based on this belief, we might assume the elder's goals or sense of purpose in life are somewhere in the past and we might overlook an inherent part of who this person is as a human being.
How to help:
Hearing loss: There are several reasons for hearing loss, including genetic factors, repeated exposure to loud noise, viruses or brain damage from a stroke or tumors. Many older adults gradually lose their hearing.
How to help:
Effects of Disease or Disability
Many elders suffer from chronic or debilitating conditions that impact communication in unique ways.
Lung disease: Emphysema, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) all decrease lung capacity, resulting in shortness of breath. People with severe lung disease might avoid conversation and become withdrawn when the effort to speak makes them "winded."
How to help:
Brain injury and disease: Stroke, Parkinson's disease and traumatic injury can all affect the ability to communicate because of impaired motor skills associated with speech, as well as impaired function of the speech and language centers in the brain.
Dysarthria is the term used to refer to slurred speech resulting from the inability to coordinate the muscles used in speaking. This makes speech hard to understand.
How to help:
Aphasia is a complex communication disorder that affects the person's ability to process language. The most common cause of aphasia is stroke. There are two kinds of aphasia: expressive and receptive. The person with expressive aphasia has difficulty finding the right words or forming thoughts into speech. Receptive aphasia is the inability to understand spoken language.
How to help:
Oral health: Elders sometimes have a difficult time maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Some issues that can arise include poor-fitting dentures (which might not be used at all); failure to be vigilant about daily cleaning; periodontal disease; or dry mouth from medication side-effects. Clearly, there is a link between any condition of the mouth that causes discomfort and verbal communication. I once knew a woman in a skilled-nursing facility whose speech was very slurred and extremely hard to understand because she had no teeth. After seeing her several times to give her a massage, I discovered she had dentures she kept in a drawer. She just needed a reminder to put them in.
How to help:
When you feel more confident with your ability to handle communication challenges, you will be more at ease to shift your focus away from the physical condition to what is even more important - the well-being of the elder you are serving at the moment. You will be freer to simply allow yourself to be present and connect with the elder as a human being - a form of communication that speaks louder than words ever can.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia
Click here for previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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