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Giving Back Time: Staying active in the haze

By By Katie Sciba
July 5, 2013 at 2:05 a.m.


When I came in the patient's home, I immediately heard jolly laughter. I didn't know they were having a party or even company. The family called me into the kitchen. Then I realized the party was just Meg (Margaret) Pallanez, our physical therapy assistant, exercising with the patient I was coming to see.

The patient was working hard, and I could see this was making Meg and the patient happy. The patient's husband was joking with Meg, and he began to joke with me as well. The patient was recovering from a surgery, and she was concentrating hard as she followed Meg's instructions as closely as possible.

I plopped down on a bar stool, smiled and waited because she was almost finished. I was delighted watching this interaction. Meg is serious about helping her patients improve in mobility, strength and safety, but her relationships with the patients are caring and warm.

Meg was one of the first employees at AARN Health Services, and she is more than fun to work with. Meg has been doing physical therapy services for more than nine years in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, wound care centers and in home health.

"I love seeing people make progress and get back to what they want to do," she said. Meg said she loves working with AARN in home health because she believes this company stands above with patient care and team support. Meg has worked older people who can't breathe and can only walk five feet to transition to walking 500 feet and breathing easier.Then they can spend time with their family or improve what they can do physically. "Really," she said, "My job is about giving people their time back."

So, what time do you want back? During this week's celebration of independence, it's a great time to claim or protect your own physical independence. Staying independent or reclaiming independence means you have to do some work with your body.

How do you stay fit and active in order to spend your time the way you want? And how in the world do you stay active in this heat and haze? Meg and I have some tips for you. Here are five ways you can stay active during this hot month:

1. Go swimming. This may not be an option for all of you, but if it is, take advantage of a cool way to move your body. Wear your bikini ... or not.

2. Take walks around your house inside. Make a plan for a trail around your house. Count your steps and celebrate increasing them daily.

3. Go to Sit and Fit at the Murray Street Senior Center at 9:30 a.m. Fridays and learn some new moves for exercising while sitting. Use them at home.

4. Spend time outside either very early in the morning or late in the evening. Work in the garden. Sit and enjoy. Walk around. Drink water.

5. Rest during the hottest part of the day after you've done your activity. If you take care to commit to regular physical activity, you will rest better at night, too.

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

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