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Published on May 05, 2015

Mercy Home Health is here to help stay independent after an illness

If you lose the ability to participate in daily tasks such as bathing, getting dressed or eating due to illness or age-related changes, a Mercy Home Health therapist can help you regain your self-reliance. Mercy Home Health therapists teach different techniques, strategies or how to use an adaptive device so patients can keep their independence.

It can be as simple as changing which leg you put in your pants first, says Krista Scheffler, OTR/L, an occupational therapist with Mercy Home Health. Sometimes, all it takes for Home Health patients to be able to get dressed on their own is to think of new ways of doing things, she says. Krista recommends a few things to keep older adults independent:

  • Accept that there are some limitations. Be open to different ways of doing things, even if it takes longer.
  • Exercise. A sedentary life can cause depression and isolation. Follow the recommended exercise program prescribed by your physician.
  • Maintain an active social life. Getting involved in things like painting, sewing, knitting, dancing or a book club can keep you engaged with your world and independent.
  • Exercise your mind. Crossword puzzles, singing, painting or knitting all work your mind. Or try books on tape if reading is difficult for you. Picking up an old hobby, or starting a new one, can also keep your mind active. “Your mind plays a big part in maintaining independence,” says Krista.

HELPING YOU THRIVE Learn how Mercy Home Health can help you stay active and independent. Call 1.888.690.2551 or visit mercyhomehealth.org.

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