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BODY & SOUL


HEALTHY BALANCE…


Staying Strong and Stable


with Amputation after 60


Contributed by Ottobock Healthcare


Aging with amputation doesn’t mean trading in your prosthesis for a wheelchair. Manufacturers are designing new prosthet- ic devices with the specific needs of the aging population in mind – and for good reason. According to Statistics Canada, “for the first time [in 2015], the number of persons aged 65 years and older exceeded the number of children aged 0 to 14 years.” In fact, seniors make up the fastest growing age group in Canada.


HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAINTAIN ACTIVE PROSTHETIC USE AFTER AGE 60.


1. Maintain residual limb health. As you age, your skin may become thinner, more fragile, and take longer to heal, so it’s important to follow a good skin care regimen and ex- amine your residual limb regularly. “Take care of any sore or blister right away,” says Mark Salmon, a 68-year- old above-knee amputee. In addition to taking care of the wound itself, Salmon advises having your residual limb checked out by a doctor to ad- dress why you got the sore or blister in the first place. “You don’t want to risk an infection,” he says.


2. Maintain a healthy weight. Fluctuating weight can have a big impact on prosthetic fit. As much as possible, try and maintain the same


weight you had when you were fit with your prosthesis.


“Think about the day you were fit with a prosthetic device,” says Aaron Holm, bilateral above-knee amputee and marketing manager for consum- er engagement at Ottobock North America. “It’s like a shirt. If you can’t fit into a shirt you wore two years ago, your socket isn’t going to fit either.” Salmon adds, “If your socket doesn’t fit, it doesn’t matter what type of device you have – you’re not going to wear it.”


3. Eat a healthy diet.


Good eating habits can help you maintain a healthy weight. To pro- mote bone, joint, and muscle health,


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