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TESTIMONIALS


Here’s What Our Clients and Families Are Saying About Us

“When you’re a caregiver, there are so many balls to keep in the air, so many additional responsibilities and activities besides your own, that you can’t possibly cover everything. Sometimes you even lose the energy to just spend quality time with the ones you’re caring for. The services we’ve valued the most from Shelly and her team are those we didn’t even think we were signing up for. They give our parents purpose, brighten their days, and allow them (and us) to enjoy each other.

It may be hard to believe, but I never thought about the name of the company until I wrote this testimonial. Above & Beyond…to our family, that’s just Shelly.” ~ Bill M

“Our family hired Above & Beyond and Shelly to work on physical therapy with our 88-year-old Dad who resides in a memory care facility. He had a couple of falls and we wanted to prevent him from any additional incidents. Shelly designed a 3 times a week program which includes walking, balance and some cognitive exercises. Our Dad enjoys the interaction and has not had any more falls. His physician reports that some lower extremity edema has disappeared from all the walking and exercises with Shelly.” ~ Nancy B

“Carolyn cares and gives me confidence that I can do things”. ~ Blanche B

“The therapists! It has been an amazing journey the past 6-7 years we have used Above & Beyond Senior Services. We have had the good fortune to have worked with Paula, Carolyn, Janna and others who have filled in over the years. They are all special. We do OT 1x/week and PT 2x/week, and through that consistent therapy we have developed an amazing relationship with these wonderful people. This has made my mom’s therapy much more effective because they know her so well. As her Alzheimer’s has progressed they have had the ability to dial in to her needs because of the established caring relationship they offer.

The differences the therapists have made in my mom’s everyday life is profound. I hate to think of what this journey would look like without the amazing services we continue to receive. The other residents at my mom’s building marvel at her ability to move, and walk with assistance from her therapists. My mom’s physical abilities and strength is amazing for an 84-year-old, let alone 84 and battling Alzheimer’s for going on 18 years. We have had a few trips to the hospital over the years and every time she is released and comes home I tell Carolyn, “this is exactly what she had “trained” for”. A smooth recovery after a crisis. I know that, if we had not been consistently receiving therapies all along, those amazing recoveries would be much more difficult, if they would have happened at all. I am forever grateful for Above & Beyond and the love and care we receive from their incredible therapists.” ~Joy H

“I have had a lot of people help me over the years. My therapists now make all facets of my life less complicated. We work hard, but we also laugh and have fun. I look forward to my therapy days. I can tell Lori what I am having trouble with and we get to work to make it better.” ~ John D

“The sessions are very relevant. I have had so much improvement in my daily life. I love the kind of relationship we have. The therapists are all very professional, personal, and comforting.” – Mary D

Seniors and Exercise


Exercise should no longer be a dirty word for seniors. At one time, exercise was judged to be too dangerous, too vigorous for older adults due to frailty and/or fear of being injured by exercise. However, a number of well-conducted studies over the last several years have shown that a variety of exercises are not only safe for older adults but have enormous advantages. In fact, staying active can help you:

Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent.

Have more energy to do the things you want to do.

Improve your balance.

Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Perk up your mood and help reduce depression.

To get all of the benefits of physical activity, try the four types of exercise:

  1. Endurance: Be sure to get at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe hard on most or all days of the week. That’s called an endurance activity because it builds your energy or “staying power.” You don’t have to be active for 30 minutes all at once. Ten minutes at a time is fine. Just make sure you are active for a total of 30 minutes most days. How hard do you need to push yourself? If you can talk without any trouble at all, you are not working hard enough. If you can’t talk at all, it’s too hard.
  2. Strength: Strength exercises build muscles. When you have strong muscles, you can get up from a chair by yourself, you can lift your grandchildren, and you can walk through the park. You are less likely to fall when your leg and hip muscles are strong. Strengthening exercises involve providing resistance to your muscles. This can be done with weights or using your body weight, such as push-ups, squats, and sit-ups.
  3. Balance: Balance training allows us to prevent or delay the use of assistive devices for walking and to prevent falls. Balance activities can be incorporated into your strength exercises. Squats and lunges can be progressed from hanging on to a counter or bar to not hanging on to anything.
  4. Flexibility: Stretching can help you be more flexible. Moving more freely will make it easier for you to reach down to tie your shoes or look over your shoulder when you back the car out of your driveway. Stretch when your muscles are warmed up. Don’t stretch so far that it hurts.

You are more likely to keep up an exercise program if you are doing activities that you enjoy. So, no more excuses find an activity or activities that interests you and start working them into your schedule! Remember, your physical and occupational therapists are great resources for starting an exercise program.

Preventing Falls


For people age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related fatality.  At least a fifth of those that fall have moderate to severe effects, including head trauma, spinal cord injury, and fractures.  All falls are maddeningly unpredictable and usually occur in familiar surroundings.  The single greatest prediction of a future fall is a past one.  The chances of recovery are complicated by the fact that an elderly person who has had a fall may restrict daily tasks in order to avoid another one.

Recent studies have revealed that Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a recognized risk factor for falls in older adults.  It is currently being recommended that older adults who are housebound or inactive due to physical limitations should take Vitamin D supplements.

The 4 proven strategies for preventing falls include:

  1. Participating in a specialized exercise program that addresses balance and gait disturbances. Studies have shown that personalized exercise programs reduce falls by 20%.
  2. Assessment of home hazards, such as removal of throw rugs and clutter, diminishes risk by 10-15%.
  3. Careful review of medications by your physician and/or pharmacist is also recommended since some medications may cause light-headedness and/or lethargy which may contribute to a fall.
  4. A thorough vision examination is also imperative.

A physical therapist can assist a person in assessing their fall risk and work towards reducing that risk by determining an appropriate exercise program that addresses balance and gait disturbances.  Physical and Occupational therapists can also assist with home safety assessments to determine home hazards and assist with problem solving to decrease these hazards and reduce the risk for falls in the home.

 

Allison Bakke, OTR/L
Above & Beyond Senior Services

www.aboveservices.com
info@aboveservices.com
612-965-5122

Finding EXCELLENCE in Senior Healthcare


As a health care professional for the past 15+ years I’ve always felt pretty confident I could find a good doctor, pharmacist, caregiver, physical therapist, or nurse if the time ever came that I needed one…especially in a crisis.  I was recently put on the caregiver side of the health care equation – nothing earth shattering, but my son broke his leg and it came with a unique set of circumstances.  Lost dreams of a summer soccer season, bike riding and swimming with friends, and a choir trip to Alaska were all things that suddenly seemed very much shattered.  As his mom and caregiver I found myself wondering about all these things and a hundred others.  I was squarely in a situation that was out of my control to direct. We were at the mercy of whatever orthopedic doctor the scheduler assigned to us.

I imagine this is how family members feel when a senior in crisis is referred to a nursing home for rehab or to a home care agency for on-going care.  How do I know I’m going to like the person that is assigned to me?  Will they take enough time for me?  Will they answer my questions?  Are they any good at what they do?  Do they provide quality care?  How do I know that what they are telling me is correct?  How do I know what I don’t know?

What happened next on our broken leg journey was nothing short of anxiety inducing.  The doctor we saw didn’t have time for us, he couldn’t relate to my son, and looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about pain control.  We left his office without any instructions on my son’s restrictions or care.  We also left with newfound gratitude for my profession as an occupational therapist; we would have been totally lost otherwise.  What I realized after the shock of the appointment wore off was this:  a broken bone had become routine to this doctor.  It was a mechanical issue that needed repair – there was no passion for the care of the patient.  To my son and our family a broken bone was anything other than routine; it was a loss of some short-term hopes and dreams.  This is no different for a senior who sustains a fall, has a heart attack, or develops dementia – plans are changed, dreams are shattered, lives are disrupted…that IS NOT routine.  How do you find an individual provider or senior care agency that will help you compensate, adapt, and be compassionate around these issues?

Here are a few ideas: