Aged Care

Walking with sticks

Walking sticks are really useful if you’re unsteady on your feet or have trouble walking. It essentially provides a wider base when you’re walking to reduce the risk of falling or injury. There are few simple rules to follow when using a stick:

  1. Hold the stick on your good side. Yes, the stick is on your good side

  2. Get your balance

  3. Swing the stick forward as you step forward with your opposing leg so that the stick and your foot should touch the ground at the same time.

 

To climb up stairs 2

  1. Step up with your good leg first (you can hold a rail with the hand that is not holding the stick).

  2. Place your stick forward onto the step

  3. Step up with your weak leg while leaning on your stick

 

To climb down stairs 2

  1. Place your stick forward onto the step in front of you.

  2. The stick should be held with the hand that is opposite to the injured or weak leg.

  3. Step forward with your injured leg, leaning on the stick

  4. Step down with your strong leg

 

Adjusting height of a walking stick

  • Stand with the walking stick by your side

  • Align the wrist with the hip joint

  • Your elbow should be slightly bent. This will give you an idea

  • of how long the walking stick should be

  • Ensure this position is comfortable for you

  • Stand as straight as possible when you walk

 

Reference

  1. Yeung, I. walking stick , Queensland Health, https://www.health.qld.gov.au/pahospital/services/docs/walking_sticks.pdf

  2. Kivi, R. The proper way to sue a walking Cane, http://www.livestrong.com/article/218793-about-the-use-of-a-cane-with-a-hip-replacement/

HbA1c- this blood test enables us to monitor how well you are controlling your blood sugar levels of the last 10-12 weeks. It should be done at least every 6 month and more regularly if your blood sugars are consistently high. The HbA1c ideally should be 7% (53mmol/mol) or less.

All diabetics should be monitoring their own blood sugar levels at home at an frequency agreed suitable by you and your GP.

Blood tests

Kidney function and other tests

 
 
 

If your blood pressure and blood sugar levels remain high, there is an increased risk of damage to your kidneys (Diabetic Nephropathy). We monitor your kidney health with an annual blood and urine test.

At the same time as your kidney function, we also check your Liver function, cholesterol, iron and Full blood picture with a simple blood test. Keeping these results in the normal range significantly reduces your risk of developing complications from Diabetes.

Eye examination

 

It is important that you regularly have your eyes checked. This is because one of the common complications of diabetes is damage to the small blood vessels at the back of your eyes. This can occur without you being aware. If not identified and treated early, can lead to blindness. It is recommended that your GP check your eyes annually as part of your Diabetes cycle of care and you routinely have a full eye check up with an optometrist or Ophthalmologist every two years.

Foot examination

 

Looking after your feet is very important when you have diabetes. Diabetics are at risk of loss sensation in their feet leaving them unable to know when feet have been injured and poor blood supply.  Your feet should be examined every day for cuts and scratches. Regular appointments with a podiatrist is recommended. The GP or practice nurse will perform a thorough examination of your feet at least annually or more frequently if there are any problems. You should report to your GP any numbness, discolouration of skin, cramps, non-healing wounds. Failure to promptly treat any problems with your feet can could result in chronic ulcers and amputation.

General health

 

Aim to do at least 30 mins of physical activity 4-5 times a week. This activity can be anything that increases your heart rate and should be something you enjoy.

Quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of diabetes related complications. If you are wanting to quit but finding it difficult, talk to your GP.

A healthy diet will help you achieve stable blood sugar control reducing your risk of complications. If you are having difficulty with this or would like more information we are able to refer you to see a dietitian or diabetes educator. You may be eligible to obtain this assistance free of charge through Diabetes WA or a chronic disease management plan.

Reference

 

Links to Information