In the wheelchair era of Multiple Sclerosis changes occur in the surrounding muscle, tendons and ligaments of the knees which make the legs stiffer to bend and straighten. Knee contractures impair transferring because legs essentially tuck up under a person rather than extending.
From a caregiver’s perspective the safer and easier transfer of Patti from her wheelchair to bed, scooter, non-accessible seating, or whatever by simply helping her to stand and pivot equals outings and involvement.
When dead lifting her is necessitated because of knee contractures not only are both of us are at risk but her world shrinks.
Patti can be a genuine b*tch (“and proud of it” in her own words) about physical therapy.
A saint of a new therapist persists with Patti and changed the modalities of therapy:
In my opinion the results have been phenomenal, seemingly setting the clock back several years when it comes to transferring.
While PT cannot last forever, the nap with ortho braces is to be written into the nursing plan. ANY nap that is written into a care plan is a plus with Multiple Sclerosis care.
Additionally occupational therapy will next evaluate Patti for modifications to her wheelchair and/or a new wheelchair to focus on improving leg extension and posture.
A plus to the care facility era is that medical care surrounds you from aides for attended activities of daily living to nursing staff to doctors visiting you to ‘down the hall’ therapy.
Please always remember that the pluses are in large part driven by YOU. You must insure that a specific Multiple Sclerosis oriented care plan is in effect. Most important of all YOU, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS must remain involved and supporting.
previous related entries:
10/21/08 Multiple Sclerosis knee contractures
08/12/08 memory loss and knee contracture
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/
musings: Patrick Ponders ...