News/Blog

Brighten the Holidays for a Hospitalized Loved One

If you have a friend or family member in the hospital during the holidays, there are numerous ways to help brighten his or her spirits and spread some holiday cheer (with pre-approval from the hospital staff, of course):

  1. Help relieve the patient’s stress. If your family member is concerned or worried about tasks that he or she usually performs around the holidays, offer to help. Purchase presents or address holiday cards for the individual (you may even be able to shop online or work on cards together at the hospital).
  2. Decorate the patient’s room with a small tree, menorah, festive blanket, New Year’s hats, or even some drawings from children in your family.
  3. Bring the holidays to the hospital. If your loved one is receiving cards and presents at home, bring them to share. If you’re giving a holiday present, consider something that may be of use in the hospital, like a book or warm socks.
  4. If allowed, bring your loved one special treats or meals that he or she associates with the holidays. In addition, hospital cafeterias often provide special holiday meals that are offered to patients and visitors.
  5. Bring holiday DVDs or music to watch and listen to together in the room.

Most importantly, remember that your loved one is in the hospital to heal, so don’t overwhelm him or her. Typically, you’ll want to keep your visiting time short to allow plenty of time for rest and sleep, which is critical to recovery.

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Tis the Season…for Colds & the Flu

It’s that time of year again. Cold and flu season.

A common cold and the flu are similar because they’re both respiratory illnesses. Even though they’re caused by different viruses, they share many of the same symptoms. This makes it hard to know for sure which you may have unless you visit your doctor.

Symptoms for both illnesses can include a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fever, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. However, flu symptoms tend to be worse than cold symptoms, and people with colds are more likely to have runny or stuffy noses.

A cold usually doesn’t result in serious health problems, but the flu can. While most folks can recover from the flu in less than a couple weeks, it can lead to respiratory complications like bronchitis, pneumonia, and bacterial infections. In the worst cases, these complications can lead to hospitalization.

While anyone can get severely sick from the flu, groups at higher risk for complications include adults older than 65, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, or individuals with compromised immune systems.

So how can you prevent these illnesses? Some suggestions include:

  • Stay away from anyone who is sick, and stay away from others when you’re sick.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often throughout the day with hot water and soap. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if hand-washing isn’t possible.
  • Don’t share utensils, cups, toothbrushes, towels or any other personal items.
  • Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Limit what you touch when in public, such as stairway rails. Wash your hands soon after touching.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat right, and exercise regularly.
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Healthful Holiday Tips

Holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones and delicious foods are usually part of the festivities!
Here are some tips to remember this season when encountering so many yummy foods!

  1. Remember it is ok to enjoy these foods and celebrate all the flavors of the season. Try not to feel guilty for indulging in a few of your favorites. Studies show that associating a food with guilt instead of celebration can have a negative affect on our weight. So enjoy!
  2. Just because you eat a lot at a meal or at a party, doesn’t mean the rest of the day or the rest of the week has to go down with it! Try to eat better or a little less for the rest of the meals. Unless you are the most popular person in the world, and have a party or event every meal for the entire month, I’m sure you will be fine!
  3. Plan time for exercise. Going for brisk 10-15 minute walk after meals is a great way to prevent weight gain over the holidays. It also helps relieve holiday stress.
  4. Eat until you are satisfied, not Stuffed. Savor your favorite treats while eating small portions. Take your time eating and you will find you can be full on less food.
  5. Don’t let the food go to “waist.” Remember it is OK not to finish everything on your plate. Leave it behind, it is better to go in the waste basket rather than your waist!
  6. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering. Healthy options always have a place at the holiday table!
  7. Don’t skip meals and try having a light snack before a party or large meal. You will curb your appetite and not be tempted to over-indulge.
  8. Watch your beverages. Water is best so you can spend you calories on the food.
  9. Focus on family and friends. While food is definitely part of the celebration, it is not the only reason for the gathering. Plan group activities and games that are not all about the food and enjoy good company!
  10. Try making substitutions to some of your favorite dishes to save calories without sacrificing taste!

Some substitution and modification ideas:

Turkey: Enjoy without the skin to save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.

Gravy: Refrigerate gravy to harden fat. Skim off fat before heating and serving to save a whopping 56 grams of fat per cup!

Dressing: use a little less bread and more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables.

Casseroles: Swap out lower fat cheese, milk, and sour cream in place of full cream and full fat products.

Desserts: Replace heavy cream with evaporated milk in desserts to cut calories. Or try making a crustless pumpkin pie.

Potatoes: Use ½ the amount of butter and more seasoning like garlic or parmesan to flavor those taters!

—-
By: Lori Boyd, MS, RDN, LD – Registered Dietitian

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10 Tips for Family Caregivers

Caring, giving, sharing.

For most people, the holidays bring out the best in us when it comes to going the extra mile. But for those who are family caregivers, this is a description of everyday life.

Whether you became a caregiver suddenly (grandma had a stroke), or gradually (aging parents), taking care of a loved one in addition to having a career, family, and children can be a challenge. So, how can a caregiver do it all?

Below are 10 tips for family caregivers provided by the Caregiver Action Network:

  1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone.
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Take respite breaks often. Caregiving is hard work.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression. Don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it’s up-to-date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
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Diabetes, Diet & Exercise

For many, a healthy diet and regular exercise are self-prescribed ways to feel better. But for people with diabetes, diet and exercise are key to managing the disorder.

If you have diabetes, be sure to speak to your doctor about developing a healthcare plan that balances what you eat with regular physical activity.
When reviewing your diet, consider creating meal plans that include foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, such as:

  • Beans
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Citrus Fruit Nuts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Milk and Yogurt
  • Berries

When it comes to adding exercise to your plan, a combination of both aerobic exercise and resistance training can have the most positive effect on glucose levels. Aerobic exercises help your body use insulin better, while resistance (or strength) training makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose.

Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, dancing, biking or hiking – anything that helps get your heart rate up. Strength training exercises can be done by lifting weights, using resistance bands, or using your own body weight to do squats, push-ups, or lunges.

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Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock expands to meet growing community needs

Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock recently expanded from 60 to 93 beds to meet the growing post-acute healthcare needs of Lubbock, Texas, and surrounding areas.

The hospital, which is part of Ernest Health, provides specialized rehabilitation services to more than 1,100 children and adults annually who are recovering from or living with disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. It offers the only pediatric inpatient rehabilitation program in the area, serving children and their families from outlying areas such as eastern New Mexico, the Texas panhandle, and the Permian Basin. With the additional beds, the hospital now is expected to treat about 2,000 patients every year.

In discussing the expansion, Craig Bragg, CEO of Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital, says an increased community demand for more rehabilitative services is due to a number of factors, including a fast-growing population in Lubbock County and an aging population.

“A detailed market analysis showed individuals leaving the Lubbock area and going to other states and areas within Texas to receive specialized post-acute services,” he says. “This can cause significant hardships on patients and their families emotionally and financially. We knew it was our responsibility to explore how we could best meet this community need.”

After careful research and consideration, the hospital’s and Ernest Health’s leadership teams decided upon a $4.5 million expansion of its existing facility to create an additional 33 beds. The therapy gym also was enlarged to 7,700 square feet of therapeutic space.

“We’re confident that we have the capacity to handle existing post-acute rehabilitative needs in the area, while still allowing for anticipated growth during the next decade,” Bragg says. “We were fastidious in our due diligence to determine the right number of beds needed now and long-term to best serve the community. This was necessary to allow us to continue to provide high-quality general and specialized rehabilitative care in pediatrics, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and strokes. We’ll continue to devote resources to treatments, technology, and staff training to provide the highest care available in the nation to our patients.”

Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital, which has served the Lubbock area since 2008, has twice been recognized in the Top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States. The expansion has provided 119 additional jobs for the area, with 70 more planned within the next three years.

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3 Stretches for a Good Morning

Can’t quite wake up in the morning?

A few good stretches can help you relieve muscle tension, increase circulation, and even help release endorphins (those hormones that make you feel good).
“Wake up” your muscles and add a little energy to your mornings with these three stretches below*:

  1. Knees to Chest
    This stretch lengthens tight lower back muscles and can decrease back pain. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor or bed. Brings your hands to rest either behind the knees or right below the knee caps. Slowly bring both knees toward your     chest using both hands to gently pull the knees inward. Hold 20-30 seconds, return to start position.
  2. Upward Stretch
    Lace your fingers together and raise your hands above your head, palms facing upward. Elongate your spine and feel the stretch in your ribcage and arms. Hold for a count of 10.
  3. Neck and Shoulder Stretch
    To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck, turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side to stretch out your left side. Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders to the back, and then to the front. Then lift them up to your ears, tensing the muscles, and allow them to drop completely.

As a reminder, always check with your doctor first to make sure these exercises are safe for you.

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Texas Tech University School of Medicine Community Outreach Award

Annually, each school honors the accomplishments of its respective alumni by bestowing a number of awards to alumni with outstanding achievements. These awards recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments and careers have brought significant credit to TTUHSC.

We are proud to announce our Medical Director, Roger Wolcott, M.D., is a recent recipient of this Award.

A Lubbock native, he graduated from Coronado High School and joined the Navy as a hospital corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps hospital unit. Wolcott received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Texas Tech University and his Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He became a diplomat of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after completing a residency at the University of Utah.

Since completing his residency, Wolcott has been in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. His outpatient practice encompasses both children and adults, treating catastrophic injury such as brain and spinal cord injury as well as cerebral palsy. He began TrustPoint, an acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital, in 2007, and that same year established a Lubbock campus for the Transitional Learning Center, a post-acute brain injury rehabilitation program. He is the medical director for both facilities.

Wolcott is an advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act and champions causes that remove obstacles and promote accessibility for everyone. He has built an accessible boat, which can accommodate up to eight wheelchairs at a time, and has had several excursions with patients, including a fishing trip. Wolcott also established an accessible aquatic center that includes a therapy pool. This facility can accommodate SCUBA training for patients with disabilities. Wolcott’s future goals include establishing an accessible ranch for riding, hunting and fishing. His greatest enjoyment is spending time with his wife and three children.

Congratulations Dr. Wolcott!

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Treating Chronic Pain with Physical Therapy

We’ve probably all experienced the nuisance of minor pain. You get a sinus headache, you reach for a decongestant. A backache? Ibuprofen may do the trick.

But for people with chronic pain (it lasts longer than 6 months), the answer may not be as simple. That’s where physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy can help treat not only the pain, but the underlying cause of it as well. Physical therapy can help decrease pain, increase mobility, and improve overall mood.

There are a number of ways that a physical therapist can help a person manage pain depending upon individual abilities, including:

  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Use of modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Movement therapy

Therapeutic treatments are designed to help a person increase muscle strength, endurance, joint stability, and flexibility. In addition, it can help reduce inflammation, stiffness, and soreness. It encourages the body to heal itself by boosting the production of the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.

Now, that seems like a smart move!

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Weekend Warriors – Battle Potential Injuries

Are you a weekend warrior?

Check “yes” if you’re someone who’s physically inactive most of the week, and then approaches exercise on the weekend with the rigor of an elite athlete.

If this is your plan of action when it comes to exercise, you may want to rethink it. Weekend warriors have a higher risk of being injured – both because of overdoing it in a short amount of time and because of poor conditioning.

Reduce your chance of hurting yourself with the following:

  • Realize that exercise doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.” Look for ways to sneak extra movement into your day.
  • Increase activity gradually. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week. Break this into smaller goals for yourself so you can attain it. If three 10-minute sessions are easier for you to accomplish, then do it.
  • The “best” time of day to exercise is whatever time works for you.
  • Start at a lower intensity, and warm up before beginning an activity.
  • With any sport or exercise, always learn and use proper techniques and follow safety guidelines.
  • Put your workouts into your calendar as appointments. Be sure to keep them.
  • Wear comfortable shoes every day that you can move about easily in no matter where you are or what you’re doing…and then move!
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Hospitals and Disasters

Are hospitals prepared for disasters?

The short answer is…yes.

All hospitals are required by laws, regulations, or accreditation requirements to plan for disasters.

Hospitals prepare for both internal and external disasters. Internal disasters are events that occur inside the hospital building like a fire, flood, or power outage and have potential to affect services.

An external disaster is one like Hurricane Harvey or Irma that occurs outside the hospital. This includes severe weather conditions, chemical incidents, or large-scale community accidents. In these situations, the disaster can affect the operations of the hospital or cause an influx of patients to a hospital, depending on the situation and type of hospital.

Every disaster is different. Hospitals prepare for a variety of situations through ongoing planning and practice. This helps everyone understand what to do and how to do it to ensure patients’ safety and well-being.

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Recognizing a Concussion

With fall around the corner, participation in football and other cooler-weather sports and activities will grow – along with the potential for concussions.

A concussion is a brain injury that’s caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body. Concussion symptoms can occur immediately or days/weeks later. Signs of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Feeling sluggish/”foggy”
  • Light sensitivity

Early treatment of the symptoms of a concussion may help speed recovery and prevent further injury down the road. If an incident occurs and you suspect a concussion, ask the person immediately and then again a few minutes later:

  • What day is it?
  • What month is it?
  • Repeat these words: Girl, dog, green (ask to repeat again a few minutes later)
  • Repeat the days of the week backward

If the individual appears confused and is unable to answer these questions, it could be a concussion.
End all activity and consult a physician immediately.

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Improving Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms through Rehabilitation

If you live with multiple sclerosis, rehabilitation can play an essential role in helping you function at your best.

From diagnosis on, rehabilitation specialists such as physical, occupational, and speech therapists can help with symptoms of the condition. These usually include muscle control and weakness – affecting the way you walk, move or talk.
Therapies that can help improve these issues include:

  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapists can evaluate and address how your body moves and functions. Therapists can help you with walking, mobility, strength, balance, posture, pain, fatigue, and bladder issues, helping to prevent unnecessary complications.
  • Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapists can help you with everyday activities to increase your independence, productivity, and safety. They can help you modify tasks, use adaptive equipment, and recommend strategies in the home and work place.
  • Speech Therapy – Speech-language pathologists can evaluate and treat any issues you may be having with speaking or swallowing. Some may also help with cognitive issues, which can affect your ability to think, reason, concentrate or remember.
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10 Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox was a 29-year-old actor who woke up one morning and noticed his little finger shaking. What he thought was a side effect of a hangover actually was an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that has no known cause. Nearly a million people in the United States live with the disease.

Some symptoms of the disease are easy to see, while others are hard even for a trained healthcare professional to detect.
The National Parkinson Foundation offers these 10 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Tremor or shaking of a body part
  2. Small handwriting – your handwriting changes to become smaller
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. Soft or low voice – your voice changes to be softer
  8. Masked or serious look on your face even when you’re not in a bad mood
  9. Dizziness or fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

No one symptom necessarily means that you have the disease; the symptom may be caused by another condition. However, if you feel you are experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your physician.

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Join our Stroke & Brain Injury Support Group

Join our Stroke and Brain Injury Support Group every 2nd Tuesday of the Month from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. right here at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock.

This event will allow you to continue with your healing process as you share experiences, explore resources, offer encouragement, and learn from other stroke and brain injury survivors.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 806.749.2222 or email us!

Hospital address: 4302 Princeton Street • Lubbock, Texas 79415

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Rehabilitative Care – It’s Not All the Same

When looking for rehabilitative care, you may have heard of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, and nursing homes. While these may seem like equal choices for care, they’re not.

Each of the facilities mentioned above has rehabilitation professionals on staff, but only one – the rehabilitation hospital – specializes in rehabilitation, offering 24-hour rehabilitative nursing care, along with daily physician management and intensive rehabilitation therapies.

So, why is this important?

Simply put, when it comes to your health, you want the best option provided.

A national study commissioned by the ARA Research Institute shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities.
The study shows that patients:

  • Live longer
  • Have less hospital and ER visits
  • Remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services

In addition, patients in the study:

  • Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier
  • Remained home two weeks longer

So the bottom line is, as a patient, you get to choose where you want to go. Don’t ever hesitate to research, observe and ask questions about a facility to be sure you receive the level of rehabilitative care that you want and need.

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Lower Your Stroke Risks this Summer

Summer is a great time for a lot of things – barbecues, outdoor activities, vacations…but what you may not think about when it comes to summer is using all it has to offer to lower your stroke risks.

Strokes – or brain attacks – are the leading cause of adult disabilities in the United States, and can happen to anyone at any time. According to the National Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 people experience strokes every year.

One of the biggest myths regarding strokes is that they can’t be avoided. But in reality, nearly 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented by controlling lifestyle risk factors, or habits that we engage in that can be changed to improve our health.

Summer provides easy-to-find opportunities to lower stroke risks, such as:

  • Buy and eat fresh produce. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store to find in-season, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them in their natural states.
  • Eat less salt. Eat fresh vegetables versus canned items, and your salt intake will decrease.
  • Visit the beach. Eat more seafood (at the beach or not) instead of red meat.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Get active outside during the warmer and longer days.
  • Put the cigarettes down. Summer usually is less stressful. Use it to your advantage to try to break the habit.
  • Shoot for your healthy weight. Healthy eating and activities may help you reach a healthy weight (if you’re not already at it).
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Employee Spotlight: Seth Torres

We are proud to feature Seth Torres in this month’s Employee Spotlight. He was honored with the Director of the Year award in 2016 and is well deserving of this recognition.

What is your job title?  Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?
I am the Director of Therapy Operations(DTO). I am responsible for coordinating services for the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology departments. I have worked at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock for 9 years. I started as a staff occupational therapists and transitioned into the role of DTO in 2008.

What events led you to where you are today at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock?
I completed a Clinical Affiliation in Inpatient Rehabilitation while completing my Master’s in Occupational Therapy and knew immediately that I wanted to work in this setting. I particularly like working with patients who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries.

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock (an experience with a patient, a coworker going above and beyond for someone, an act of kindness)?
Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock is like family to me. I love to see how the entire hospital can come together to support each other when it is needed. This past year, I had a relative who sustained a Spinal Cord Injury. This put me in a position to experience Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock from the patient and family perspective. Everyone in the hospital worked so hard to make sure he had a positive outcome and was able to go home with his family.

What do you most love about the work you do?
I love my team. We have a tremendous group of therapists that work very hard to provide a high level of care for our patients.

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock?
At Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock, we often meet people at a low point in their lives. They typically have suffered a life changing event and are not able to live and function independently. I hope to provide a positive and encouraging environment where therapists are able work together with patients to help them achieve their goals and return home.

Can you tell us a little about your family?
My wife (Shannon) and I have been married for 10 years. We have 2 beautiful daughters Sophia (7) and Sienna (4).

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work?
I am a nerd. I enjoy reading, podcasts, music, playing golf, and spending time with my family.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play the guitar. I have tried and I am terrible.

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?
My parents, they have always been so patient and supportive.

What is your favorite thing about Lubbock: Your favorite place to eat, spend time with loved ones, etc?
I love anything related to Texas Tech: Football, Tailgating. The First Friday Art Trail is also fun,

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of Lubbock (and its surrounding areas)?
Lubbock and West Texas is a very friendly place. The people are always kind and courteous and it is a great place to raise a family.

If you could tell the people one thing about Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock, what would it be?
Not all jobs allow you to work in an environment where you get to have a positive impact on people every single day. We do that at Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock and it is a very rewarding experience.

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After a Stroke — Finding the Right Words

It’s common to struggle at times to find the right word during a conversation. But for an individual who has had a stroke, finding the right word may be much more difficult.

Aphasia can be a side effect of a stroke, which can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing the ability to speak, read, listen or write. When a person with aphasia has word-finding difficulty, it’s called anomia.

Anomia makes it difficult to find the words or ideas that a person wants to share. Sometimes the word may come, and sometimes it won’t.

When this happens in a conversation, the person who is speaking to the stroke survivor may want to jump in quickly to supply the word. But in reality, that can be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more beneficial to help the person find the word they are looking for rather than supplying it.

So, how can you best communicate with someone under these circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Allow plenty of time for a response. Talk with the individual, not for him or her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions that can be answered simply and without a lot of explanation.
  • Use photographs or pictures to help provide cues.
  • Write your cues – such as a letter or a drawing – on a piece of paper to share.
  • Confirm and repeat back what the person has said. Use paraphrases or key words to be sure that you’re understanding properly.
  • Use gestures as you ask questions.
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Act FAST and Save a Life

FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of stroke:

F – Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Note if one side of the face is drooping.
A – Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to the side. See if one drifts downward.
S – Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Listen if the speech is slurred or strange.
T – Time to call 911. If you observe any of these signs, call for help immediately.

Take note of the time of the first symptom so you can tell medical personnel because this can affect treatment decisions. Rapid access to medical treatment can make a difference between full recovery and permanent disability.

Other symptoms of a stroke also may include sudden onset of:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding what someone is saying
  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Even if you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 to get the person medical help immediately.

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