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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefBoard of Directors’ Meeting: Enhanced Mobility

Now that the holidays are upon us, we need to make our checklists:

Turkey, check.
Stuffing, check.
Caregiver Board of Directors’ meeting topics…check.

The holidays offer the best opportunity to hold these all-important Caregiver Board of Directors’ meetings—having meaningful discussions with the adult members of your families who will be sharing holiday tables with you.  It only makes sense that if you are the CEO of Caring for My Loved One, Inc., your family members who are not involved with the day-to-day details of caring for your shared loved one are, in effect, your Board of Directors (for better or for worse). 

So, what we will be doing in these coming weeks is offering topic specific communiques designed to help you conduct meetings which can be held over after-dinner coffee or even over drinks on the back porch after the kids go to bed.

The topic for the second in the series of Caregiver Board of Director agendas is one of great importance to so many caregivers: Enhanced Mobility. Whether your loved one has mobility challenges from a stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury, any possibility of improved movement can be as important mentally as it is physically. And there have been some real breakthroughs in the technology designed to help enhance rehabilitation. One such innovation is called Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES).

What is FES: FES is the use of low-level electrical stimulation to restore or improve function due to a neurological condition or injury. It is designed to produce movements or functions that mimic natural voluntary movements to help your loved one lead a more natural life.

How it works: The brain sends electrical signals to your body through the nervous system. These signals tell the body how to move. When injury or disease interrupts normal communication between the brain and lower extremities, muscle weakness or paralysis may result.

If a muscle and its nerve supply remain healthy, but communication from the brain cannot occur because of a problem with the central nervous system, FES may be used to replace the natural electrical signals from the brain, helping the weak or paralyzed limbs move again. With continued stimulation over time, the brain may even be able to recapture and relearn this movement without the stimulation.

Next Steps:  You should consult with your physician or clinician to find out if FES is the right treatment for your loved one.  A number of factors impact the overall benefit your loved one will receive from using FES, including the severity and nature of the paralysis, the length of time since the paralysis occurred and how frequently the system is used.

So, right after the holidays, it’s time to call your doctor and – get moving.


  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine

Wednesday November 14, 2012


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