Last updated 2 hours 38 minutes ago
5,684 miles. That’s how far a group of 32 Independence Plus employees walked from January 1 to April 30, 2013. What’s more impressive is that same group lost a total of 134.9 lbs.
So, how did they do it? They all pledged to live healthier in 2013 by making small changes one day at a time, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cutting soda out of our diet and replacing it with water, or practicing meditation or yoga to reduce stress. On January 1, they kicked off their wellness journey with a Commitment Day 5K run/walk.
According to Novartis Nutrition, the average American takes about 2,300 to 3,000 steps daily, which is close to 1.5 miles. Studies suggest that taking 10,000 steps a day makes a huge impact on body fat and waist and hip measurements.
To accomplish their goal of 10,000 steps per day, they purchased a pedometer to measure their steps. They started a “brief walk with co-workers” every day at noon and signed up for various run/walks in the area to support some of our favorite causes. Last week, the group participated in the Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Move for the Kids 5K run/walk to help keep up their momentum!
Our employees also helped motivate each other by sharing their personal stories. Here are a few of their tips:
Walk to the grocery store instead of driving – not only will you increase your steps, but you also get the added benefit of carrying your groceries home. Gabby
Take your dog on a longer walk than normal. If you don’t have a dog, consider taking a walk with a family member. Liz
Replace sugary breakfast foods with fruit and other high-fiber options. Debbie
What changes have you made to benefit your health and wellness this year? Share your tips with us!
Last updated 1 day 9 hours ago
Being diagnosed with ALS is a difficult experience because there is no known cure for the degenerative condition. An ALS diagnosis can also be shocking as the risk factors for this disease are not clear. This video shows what life is like for patients with ALS through the story of one woman who faced this disease with the support of her family and friends.
The patient featured in this video faced a unique challenge in her diagnosis, having limited work experience that disqualified her from disability benefits. She explains how her challenges have inspired legislation that, if passed, will change the current system of qualifying for disability benefits—particularly for ALS.
To learn more about ALS and explore the benefits of in-home care for ALS management, contact Independence Plus in Chicago at (888) 928-8295 today. We offer a number of home care services to help patients stay comfortable and promote functional independence at home without sacrificing the care they need to live well.
Last updated 8 days ago
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neuromuscular disease that affects tens of thousands of people in the United States. ALS is a degenerative condition eventually resulting in fatality as the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord slowly lose function and die. While information relating to the specific causes of ALS is limited, there is developing research on the treatment of this condition that may provide hope to patients and their families.
Early Signs and Symptoms
As the neurons of the brain and spinal cord degenerate, the brain loses control of muscle movement in the body. The muscles also lose nourishment, so they atrophy and become much smaller. At first, these muscle changes may be observed through signs such as muscle weakness, trouble moving the extremities, difficulty swallowing, and respiratory difficulties. In late stages of the disease, patients may have severe immobility or complete paralysis.
Individuals at Risk
Patients are generally diagnosed with ALS between the ages of 40 and 60, but there are no clear risk factors indicating the onset of this condition. Only a small handful of ALS cases are inherited, meaning that family members of patients are not any more likely to develop ALS. Because of the seemingly random pattern at which the disease appears and the unclear causes of it, ALS diagnoses are made primarily based on the symptoms that are present.
Management and Treatment
Research for ALS treatment has progressed significantly, but there is not yet a known cure. There are several therapies, however, including medication, physical and speech therapy, and nutritional guidance that may improve quality of life for ALS patients while slowing the progression of the disease. Treatments of this nature may be highly beneficial in a home-care setting where patients can maintain a high level of comfort and stay connected with their loved ones.
If you have a loved one who has been faced with an ALS diagnosis, you can explore the benefits of home care services with the caring clinicians and nurses at Independence Plus by calling us at (888) 928-8295. We serve patients in their homes throughout the Chicago area with specialized ALS, traumatic brain injury, and respiratory care—all with an emphasis on family-centered care.
Last updated 14 days ago
As a caregiver, there are many things you can do to help a nonverbal person build their communication skills. Many nonverbal persons have communications issues due to their medical conditions, such as a tracheotomy or ventilator dependency, a degenerative disease, stroke, changes in the oral structures (cancer or trauma), or problems with development.
To help build a functional communication system for a nonverbal person, try thinking of the process in terms of building a home:
The foundation is where the person’s prognosis for using an expressive communication mode can be determined. At this level, functional communication includes getting the attention of your communication partner, having sufficient visual and auditory input, and using a functional “yes” and “no” response.
The walls of a functional communication system support are motor and cognitive skills at various levels of independence. At this level, the person decides upon his or her expressive communication mode(s). For example, most persons use speech, body language, gesture and writing in various degrees to express themselves. Nonverbal persons may rely upon these skills, as well as eyegaze, speech attempts (vocal sounds with intent), codes (Morse), and symbolic language conveyed in written or auditory (digital or synthesized) form.
The roof of this functional communication system bears the goals for functional communication. Goals include meeting communication needs, sharing information, maintaining social closeness, and following social etiquette. At this level, the nonverbal person and his or her communication partners develop independence in their dialogue routines within the communication system.
What can you do to help a nonverbal person today?
Last updated 15 days ago
Life after a spinal cord injury can be a challenge for you and your family, but Independence Plus can help you get the ongoing care you need while you enjoy the familiar, comfortable surroundings of your own home. As you transition from the hospital back to your home, we will help reduce your stress and improve your quality of life with our services, including:
Specialized in-home care
Whether you need the highly attentive care of a private duty nurse or you have a family caregiver who requires additional support in the form of home health visits from a skilled clinician, we can offer the appropriate level of care for your case. Our nurses and clinicians have extensive experience working with patients who have suffered spinal cord injuries, and we understand the unique challenges that may be involved in performing daily activities and maintaining personal care with an injury of this nature.
While Independence Plus can provide most regular care services in your home, you may still need to schedule visits to doctors, therapists, and other providers. Our staff can help to coordinate these visits so that there are no gaps in your complete care. Care coordination can also reduce stress on your family members, allowing you to spend more quality time together rather than organizing medical services.
It is common for patients to need ventilator equipment to manage respiratory difficulties that can follow spinal cord injuries. Independence Plus will provide complete support for the use of this equipment in the home, from setup and initial use to follow-up maintenance and replacement parts.
To explore more of the services provided by Independence Plus and read about our highly skilled and specialized team, visit us on our website today. You can also contact us by calling (888) 928-8295. We will work with your whole family to ensure that you get the compassionate care you need to live at home.