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eat foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D. “Avoid high-salt foods that could increase fluid retention and affect prosthetic fit,” Holm advises.


4. Be active. Byron Backus, a certified prosthetist and prosthetic clinical specialist at Ottobock, says it’s important to stay as active as possible, regardless of age. Holm agrees. “Having a structured workout regimen is critical,” he says. Holm makes a habit out of grabbing a cart at the grocery store and walking through all of the aisles, even if he’s just picking up one or two things. “It’s a safe envi- ronment where I can get some regular physical activity.” Salmon, who has been an amputee for 20 years, rec- ommends choosing an activity you enjoy and that doesn’t cause undue stress on your muscles and joints. “Run- ning can be hard, especially for older people,” he says. “Being active shouldn’t feel like work.” To help minimize your risk of falling, Backus recommends adding activities into your routines that incorporate strength and balance, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates.


5. Evaluate your prosthesis.


Being fit with the most appropriate prosthesis for your activity level and goals plays an important role in main- taining active prosthetic use. “Work closely with your prosthetist and let him or her know what your desires are in terms of activities and concerns,” Backus says. “Stay in a device that allows as much activity as possible.”


6. Wear your prosthesis every day. “When I talk to people who say they aren’t getting a return on their prosthetic devices, I ask them if they wear them every day, and quite often the answer is ‘no’,” Holm says. “If you want a full return, make them part of your everyday life.” Aging is inevitable, but losing mobility as you age isn’t. Salmon is a testament to this. “I’m in better shape now than I was when I was younger,” he says. “I’m learning to walk better. I’m actually able to do more.”


For more on living well with limb loss, visit www. thrivemag.ca.


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