If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.
Life was good until you ended up in the hospital from an unexpected illness — perhaps from pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, an unexpected surgery, a scheduled surgery or even COVID-19. After your hospital stay, you thought you would be well enough to manage the rest of your life without any further health complications.
When you were discharged, your doctors may have prescribed rehabilitation or home health therapy involving physical, occupational and/or speech language pathologists. These health care professionals taught you exercises to help you recover so you can return to your prior level of function. And, after your rehab was completed, you were given a home exercise program and were set to go.
This sounds pretty easy, right? All you needed to do was follow the plan and everything would be fine. Unfortunately, being consistent, safe and compliant with a home exercise program is not as easy as it sounds, and non-compliance is one of the main reasons affecting your recovery.
Adherence to home exercise programs after rehabilitation is a significant problem, with estimates of non-compliance as high as 50 percent. Even those who try to follow their program often have difficulties completing their exercises and the recommended repetitions.
Patients have many perceived barriers that prevent them from adhering to their exercise plans, including forgetting to exercise, not having time, not fitting into their daily routine, work schedules and transportation.
As rehab specialists, we understand that cognitive, behavioral and physical barriers affect a patient’s willingness to adhere to their prescribed exercise program. But we also understand its importance.
If you fail to adhere to your prescribed exercise program, it may extend the duration of your treatment plan, and also make it less effective. A number of studies have linked strong exercise adherence to improved treatment outcome in patients experiencing neck and back pain and osteoarthritis symptoms.
There is also lots of evidence that physical activity prevents disablement and disease in the older adult, and that physical activity reduces falls and fall injuries by 35 to 45 percent. The benefits of physical activity also extend to a reduction of risks associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and anxiety/ depression. It can also delay cognitive impairment, improve sleep and prevent unhealthy weight gain.
So, how can you stick to your program? It begins with changing your attitude toward exercise. How many times have you heard, “When we’re young, we work out to look good. As we get older, we work out to survive.”
The good news is that you have options after rehab or home health to help you maintain consistency in your program.
At Morpheus Wellness, we provide a safe, holistic and effective means of continuing fitness after rehab and home health. We encourage and promote an active lifestyle as you age, while integrating your interests, hobbies and/or athletic activities into a personalized program. Physical activities often used for older adults include aerobic, strength, flexibility and balance exercises.
The staff at Morpheus Wellness incorporate a strategy of supervision, feedback and reinforcement provided by a wellness coach, private pay physical therapist or personal trainer.
By providing good feedback, motivation and sound coaching, there is increased adherence in home-based exercises, because patients know they are performing their task correctly.
While family members or home care aides are almost always well intentioned, they may not be trained and prepared to help perform or correct exercises established by the therapist. And, they may increase the risk of injury by not recognizing unsafe movements/mobility or not be able to identify poor technique.
Exercise and physical activity is one of the main pillars of healthy habits, in combination with sleep, nutrition and mental health. Like the poet Diane Ackerman wrote, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
Visit MorpheusWellness.com, or call 813-586-0542.
Published December 02, 2020