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 Oak Tree PT Newsletter . Volume 1, #1 
September 2003 
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Dear Jon,

The Oak Tree PT Newsletter presents information that is in some way related to physical therapy and health- related issues. We hope that you find it interesting, informative, topical, and timely.

We would like your feedback on any of the topics presented here, and on any topics that you would like to see addressed in the future. Please feel free to send in questions that are relevant to our focus, and we will try to answer as many as we can in our "Readers' Forum"

in this issue
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  • Featured Article
  • NEW OSHA GUIDELINES FOR NURSING HOMES
  • THE EDEN ALTERNATIVE: CREATING HABITATS, NOT FACILITIES
  • HEALTH & FITNESS QUICK-TAKES
  • READERS' FORUM

  • NEW OSHA GUIDELINES FOR NURSING HOMES
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    That's right...TEAMWORK! Although it doesn't seem like a new concept, it's exactly what the doctor ordered for preventing injuries in the nursing home. No more one-person lifts. Either use a Hoyer machine, or get another person to help perform a two-person lift.

    Nursing homes rank third in number of non-fatal injuries on the job. They are notorious for operating understaffed and pushing their help to work faster with fewer resources. Most of the injuries involve aides straining/spraining their backs while lifting patients. Those injuries can be quite costly for the nursing home owners.

    OSHA discovered one nursing home participating in its pilot study that reported a 75% drop in costs related to on-the-job injuries simply by following OSHA's teamwork guidelines. The Director of Nursing at a facility in Maryland that was not part of the study says that her staff has been 100% injury-free since they eliminated one-person lifts there FIVE YEARS AGO!

    Bottom line--TEAMWORK saves your bottom line a lot of money. That money stays in your pocket, where it belongs.

    Read on...

    THE EDEN ALTERNATIVE: CREATING HABITATS, NOT FACILITIES
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    Loneliness, helplessness, and boredom: Whether a person is young or old, these elements can combine to form the recipe for a hopeless existence full of drudgery.

    Most young people are fortunate enough to find some kind of meaning in their lives, because they have so many ways to interact with the world. Often those interactions occur in unpredictable ways, which also adds a certain amount of excitement. "Never a dull moment" people often say, even when things go wrong. "Variety is the spice of life" is another truism.

    Unfortunately for the majority of our elders residing in nursing homes, the opportunities for meaningful and spontaneous interactions with their environments are severely diminished, if not completely absent. The only responsibilities they really have is to wake up and eat their meals. On almost any random facility inspection the old people can be seen, effectively warehoused, slumped over in their wheelchairs or geri-chairs, oblivious to the world.

    A physician named Dr. William Thomas began a very successful initiative designed to transform our nursing homes into continuing growth experiences for the elder populations residing in them, as well as for for the staffwho run them. This ambitious project is called The Eden Alternative, and the concept, in their words, is that "We must teach ourselves to see the environments as habitats for human beings rather than facilities for the frail and elderly." They accomplish this goal by providing continuous opportunities to care for and nurture other living beings besides themselves. They may be plants, animals, or even children-- who don't just visit them occasionally, but who actually live in the environment on an ongoing basis. This provides a large measure of responsibility in the elders' lives, which greatly enhances their self-esteem. Studies performed at Eden Alternative "facilities" have demonstrated significant decreases in the use of psychotropic drugs. To find out more, visit their website at: www.edenalt.com/, using the link below.

    Find out more...

    HEALTH & FITNESS QUICK-TAKES
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    Bobby Bustup walks into an orthopedic outpatient clinic with an injury to a ligament. He's not a candidate for surgery.

    His well-trained and highly competent physical therapist says, "We can strengthen the muscles around the joint/ligament, but we can't really strengthen or tighten up the ligament itself."

    A procedure that has been gaining popularity recently can do just that. It is called Prolotherapy, short for Proliferation therapy. An MD injects dextrose mixed with another benign chemical into the ligament. This irritates the tissue, causing increased blood flow to the ligament and stimulating new tissue growth. The result: thicker, stronger ligaments.

    Very few physicians are currently trained in this technique. to find one in your state, click on the link below.

    National Prolotherapy Physician Directory

    READERS' FORUM
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    Starting with the next issue of our newsletter, this spot will feature answers to questions from our readers. Send your physical therapy-related questions to: pt@oaktreept.com. If we answer your question in this column, we will send you an Oak Tree PT ergonomic pen. Please be sure to include your mailing address, to be used strictly for mailing the pen only, and no other purpose.

    Featured Article
    In March 2003, OSHA relased new guidelines for job safety in nursing homes. OSHA'S seven-state pilot program has demonstrated significant cost-savings for job-related injuries by dramatically reducing those injuries, in some cases, to zero.

    Find out how Oak Tree PT can save industry 40 to 60% in costs related to injuries on the job. Just go to our website and select "Ergonomics".

    Join Oak Tree PT's Jon Ruttenberg M.S., PT at the Baltimore, MD Waterfront Marriott for his seminar on "Ergonomics". The seminar will be presented at ADVANCE Magazine's Job Fair on September 15, 2003 at 9:45 am. For more information about the Job Fair and other seminars being presented there, go to www.advancejobfairs.com.

    Jon will also be giving an afternoon seminar on "CAM: Using T'ai Chi With Elderly People At Risk For Falls". Please see the complete schedule at the ADVANCE Job Fair website.

    Find out more....

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    . Quick Links...

    More About Us

    Oak Tree Physical Therapy BLOG

    ADVANCE Job Fair Website

    OSHA

    The Eden Alternative

    National Prolotherapy Physician Directory

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