Amputation Flyer

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  A Publication for Adult Amputees by the National Amputee Centre Phot os: Dar r en St one, V ict or ia T imes C ol onist   2 · No. 3 · Living With AmputationNational Amputee Centre, The War Amps Publisher:H. Clifford Chadderton,CC, O.Ont., OStJ, CLJ, CAE, DCL, LLDChief Executive Officer, The War AmpsKaren ValleyDirector, National Amputee Centre Jacqui SchofieldManager, Internal GraphicsKaren MuellerPublications Designer/CoordinatorCover photographs and On The Cover reprinted with permission from:Victoria Times ColonistFor more information contact:National Amputee Centre2827 Riverside DriveOttawa, Ontario K1V 0C4Telephone: 613 731-3821Toll-Free: 1-877-622-2472Fax: 613 731-3234Web site: www.waramps.caE-mail: Living With Amputation  is published by  The War Amputations of Canada. Views expressed in Living With Amputation  are those of the contributing writers and not necessarily those of the Association. “The War Amps is a registered charitable organization operated under the direction of war amputees.” Charitable Registration Number 13196 9628 RR0001. ISSN 1708-5659.Please direct all correspondence concerning Living With Amputation  to the National Amputee Centre. No. 3 T o maintain her active lifestyle Lauren’s daily routine includes taking care of herself as an amputee. Lauren likes to bike and downhill ski so it is very important that her residual limbs are in tiptop shape.Lauren met her boyfriend Derek at university. He said, “Her classmates were aware of her artificial arm but didn’t realize her lower legs were artificial too. It has never been an issue in our relationship. I admire her zeal for life – she just likes to go out and give’er.” 3 Seniors In Action!   Combining realistic goals and motivation will help you on your road to recovery. 8 Skin Care    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure... 11 Feature Resource   Licence to Drive 12 Comfort in the Bathroom   Ideas to make your bathroom safe and user friendly...  National Amputee Centre, The War AmpsLiving With Amputation · No. 3 · 3 Combining realistic goals and motivation will help you on your road to recovery.  A  s a senior amputee, you have different needs than the general population. If your amputation was a while ago, you have already adapted to being an amputee, but may be finding that the combination of your amputation and age makes certain things, like mobility, increasingly difficult. Later in this article, we highlight some new improvements in artificial limbs and various aids that can help you.If you are a new amputee, you may feel overwhelmed by the recent changes in your life. An amputation is a loss of a body part, and it takes time to adapt to this change physically and emotionally. Combining realistic goals and motivation will help you on your road to recovery. At the beginning, your amputation may be a central focus in your life due to the healing time, rehabilitation and prosthetic appointments involved. However, with time it will become less central and you will resume many of the activities you enjoyed before, or start some new ones.If you are currently going through the rehabilitation process, it is important to ask your clinic team any questions you have when you meet with them, to make the most of your physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy sessions and during appointments with your prosthetist. Family and friends are a great source of support during your recovery process, and can probably assist you with mobility and around the house. Getting up and moving around as early as your clinic team recommends will help keep your  joints from getting stiff and keep your energy levels up. During your rehabilitation and even after you’ve completed it, your mobility will increase and you will learn ways to do more things on your own.  When it comes to keeping active and remaining independent, amputees learn along the way that they need to use a variety   of products and techniques to accomplish daily tasks. Using a combination of products and adaptations can make life easier.  We will touch on some in this article and highlight how a combination of these allow amputees to meet their needs. Artificial Limbs Seniors make up the largest percentage of amputees, and many products are designed with your specific needs in mind. Your prosthetist and clinic team will help you to determine the best options to meet your day-to-day needs. These will depend on a number of factors – the level of your amputation, the number of amputations you have, as well as other health conditions you have.  While prostheses (artificial limbs) do provide function, they can never replace the function of natural limbs and amputees also use more energy to operate them. An above-knee amputee, for example, uses up to 70% more oxygen than someone without an amputation just to walk on level ground. Dealing with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or another medical condition is another When it comes to keeping active and remaining independent, amputees learn along the way that they need to use a variety of products and techniques to accomplish daily tasks.  National Amputee Centre, The War Amps4 · No. 3 ·  Living With Amputation Medium energy-storing foot  important factor that your clinic team will consider when deciding if being fitted with an artificial limb is possible. If you are a multiple amputee or have a high level amputation (e.g. hip disarticulation), the best solution for you may be to use mobility aids regularly rather than, or in addition to, artificial limbs. If you are fitted with an artificial limb, your prosthetist will determine what type is best based on your activity level (not age!), health concerns, and how important the look and function of the artificial limb is. Tell your prosthetist what a ‘typical week’ is for you and what activities (like golfing, gardening or playing with your grandchildren) you enjoy, so he or she can make the right choice. Amputees often think that the ‘best’ artificial limb for them is the most technically advanced one. That is not always the case when all of the factors are taken into consideration. The weight of the prosthesis is a concern for seniors. A lightweight prosthesis may be easier to move, making walking less tiring for example. Extra components, like knee rotators or shock absorbers – while offering more natural movement – will also increase the weight of the prosthesis. Maintaining stability on the prosthesis is another key concern, and it is also important that the prosthesis is easy to put on and take off. Above all, the prosthesis needs to be comfortable to wear, or you won’t wear it regularly. Lower-limb Amputees There are a wide variety of artificial limbs available to suit the needs of amputees with different activity levels. Both low and high activity level components have advantages and disadvantages. Low-activity feet and knees are typically simple and inexpensive. These are a good choice if you are walking within your own house and short distances. On the other hand, high-activity feet and knees ‘keep up’ better if you are very active and allow for you to change walking speeds. When it comes to feet, low-activity ones (like single-axis feet) are quite stable. However, the multi-axis foot conforms better on uneven surfaces and the added ankle motion helps to absorb some of the stresses of walking. Most feet now have a degree of energy storage (also called ‘energy return’) – this important feature stores and then releases energy as you walk, making it easier for you to walk without tiring.  With knees, stability is a concern for some senior amputees. Stance control knees, often called ‘safety knees,’ are popular because they contain a weight-activated friction brake that stops the knee from bending when you are taking a step, so the knee will not collapse when you have your weight on it. If stability is really an issue, then locking knees may be a good option. However, high-activity knees have features (air, fluid, or a microcomputer) that help make the knee movement easier – which is very helpful if you walk at various speeds. Upper-limb Amputees Upper-limb prostheses help with daily living activities. There are three main types of upper-limb prostheses: cosmetic, body-powered (also called cable-operated) and electric (usually myoelectric). Some above-elbow amputees choose not to wear a prosthesis due to the weight involved, instead choosing daily living aids for household activities. Cosmetic (passive) arms are a good choice if you want to wear an arm for appearance, but are not looking for a lot of function. Many cosmetic arms come in different skin colours for a natural appearance, and some come with bendable fingers and can hold an object when positioned with your sound hand. Body-powered arms that operate with a shoulder harness are fairly simple to use, and have a fast reaction speed. For the hand function, the harness can be attached to a hook or a realistic-looking hand. One of the disadvantages to a body-operated arm is that the harness can be uncomfortable to wear.  Alternatively, myoelectric arms look Tell your prosthetist what a ‘typical week’ is for you and what activities you enjoy, so he or she can make the right choice.
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