I was a guest again at the annual Carson Tahoe Health luncheon, this time held at the Thunder Canyon Country Club. I was hosted by a real invitee who knew I was always open for a free lunch and update on our hospital. I’d been to these affairs in the past when they were held at the hospital, which is pretty upbeat, and when the speakers were usually hospital executives. This time it was Kitty McKay of the Mallory Foundation who was more to the point than the others have been. She updated the more than 50 guests to improvements at the hospital. And it was a chance to get my new flu vaccine in pleasant surroundings.
It didn’t hurt at all.
First off was a report on the newly renovated Mallory Emergency Department, thanks to a $500,000 gift by the Mallory Foundation.
“The department commemorates and celebrates the impact of a brilliant mind and kindness of a generous family,” McKay said. “Since 1989 the Mallory Foundation has contributed … $2.7 million to Carson Tahoe Health.”
Improvements to the Emergency include an expanded entrance making an entry for patients easier and safer. The Mallory Foundation is named for Marion Mallory, an inventor in the early days of auto-building.
Patients can now receive advanced treatment through the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center thanks to a new partnership with the Cancer Institute of the University of Utah Health Care system, which is the only top level cancer center in the five-state Intermountain West, recognized by the National Cancer institute.
“Now Northern Nevadans will have access to teams of specialists that collaborate patients with comprehensive treatment plans,” McKay noted, well as to take part in progressive clinical trials.
Then there was a report on CTH partnering with Northern Nevada hospitals joining to provide care for childhood cancer patients. The joining will create full services for child cancer care patients.
Once CTH improvements had been aired, Stephen Yasmer, manager of therapy services at CTH, took the floor to discuss simple exercises. Under the heading of “Top 10 Maintenance Exercises,” he offered “head to toe” workouts. All are easy and require no expensive gym machines. He gave quick demonstrations.
First off was the chin tuck: This places the cervical spine in neutral and reduces the stress on discs and extensor muscles.
“Sit or stand looking forward in good posture and tuck chin in, once every four seconds, 20 times a day.”
Another simple move, neck range of motion. Sit comfortably on a chair with back supported. Turn head right then left six directions as far as possible, staying in pan free range. Do 20 reps a day with one move every four seconds. Variations of this include tilting the head and driving it sideways, ear to shoulder. Turn head in comfortable tonight and then left.
Another: Move the chin to the chest in pain-free range. Also, move chin up looking at the ceiling without bending the trunk. All 20 times once a day.
The overhead press sounds like something you’d do with weights, but no. Stand with arms at sides, elbows bent. Lift arms overhead. Return to start position, 20 reps daily, four seconds each.
The shoulder stretch starts with arms at the sides, elbows bent to 90 degrees. Squeeze shoulder blades together as the arms rotate out and back.
For balance stand you need a chair. Stand facing back of chair, use chair for balance. Rise up on toes for full range, return to standing position, 20 reps daily.
On your back for Abdominal Bracing supine: Lie on back and tighten abdominal muscles. Think of trying to push belly button, using hand to help push button under ribs if needed. While maintaining abdominal tension lift one leg up to 90 degrees with the knee bent. Slowly lift the other leg while maintaining abdominal pressure. Hold of 5-10 seconds, then return legs to floor. Repeat 10 times daily.
The Knee Flex begins with a chair behind you. Lean forward lightly as you bend the knees and lower buttocks toward chair as if you were planning to sit down. Before you sit down stand back to upright position. Good for 20 reps daily. This is especially import for women who wear heels.
A pleasant exercise that requires nothing more than a path. It’s simply take a walk. Brisk walking for 30 minutes daily helps control weight, blood pressure, diabetes and most other inflictions.
And a tip. For every 20 minutes looking at the computer screen, pause and look at something distant. Give the eyes a break!
OK, that’s what I got out of the donors’ luncheon. As well as my flu shot.
Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal. Check out his blog at http://saml-news.blogspot.com.
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