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Kidneys, the Powerhouse of the Body

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We don’t often stop to think about it, but our kidneys play an important role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. Here are the 5 top jobs healthy kidneys perform:

Removing wastes and extra fluid

Your kidneys act like a filter to remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. Your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of blood each day to make about 1 to 2 quarts of urine. The urine contains wastes and extra fluid. This prevents buildup of wastes and fluid to keep your body healthy.

Controlling blood pressure

Your kidneys need pressure to work properly. Kidneys can ask for higher pressure if it seems too low, or try to lower pressure if it seems too high by controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.

Making red blood cells

Your kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin. Erythropoietin tells bone marrow to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to supply all your body’s needs. Red blood cells give you the energy you need for daily activities.

Keeping bones healthy

The kidneys make an active form of vitamin D. You need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are important minerals for making bones strong. The kidneys also balance calcium and phosphorus so your body has the right amount.

Controlling pH Levels

pH is a measure of acid and base. Your kidneys maintain a healthy balance of the chemicals that control acid levels. As cells break down, they make acids. The foods you eat can either increase or lower the amount of acid in your body. Your kidneys balance the pH of your body by either removing or adjusting the right amounts of acid and buffering agents.

© National Kidney Foundation website

Benefits of Occupational Therapy

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Whether  recovering  from  an  illness  or  something  as  serious  as  a  stroke,  participating  in and  enjoying  life’s  daily  activities are  essential  steps  in  the  process.  Activities  such  as  preparing  a  meal  for  friends,  driving  to  the  store  for  groceries  or  caring  for  a  beloved  pet  can  become  increasingly  difficult  as  we  age.  Occupational  Therapists,  with  the  use  of  rehabilitative  exercises,  focus  on  rebuilding  the  practical  skills  necessary  for  returning  safely  to  an  enjoyable  daily  life  such  as:
  • Living safely at home
  • Caring for a pet
  • Actions specific to hobbies
  • Cooking
  • Doing housework
  • Driving safely
  • Bathing and grooming
  • General mobility
  • Grocery shopping
  • Communicating
  • Managing medication
  • Managing money

Serving those in LTC is more than a job. It’s a calling.

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For Taryn Rosow, working in long-term care is not just a job. It’s a calling. As the speech pathologist for Senior Care of Marlandwood West, Taryn works directly with stroke recovery patients to improve their communication skills and quality of life. Working with an older population has provided Taryn many challenges but she’s met them head on. To learn more about careers at Senior Care Centers, visit Careers page.

Is Therapy Going to the Dogs?

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Going through medical rehabilitation or being in a long-term-care facility carries a great deal of stress and potential loneliness. Animal-assisted therapy uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health issues that may include heart disease, stroke recovery, cancer or long-term-care adjustment.

These animals not only can provide comfort and enjoyment to patients and residents, but also can be taught to reinforce rehabilitation efforts that involve through a ball or walking. Pet therapy can impact pain reduction, stress, depression and fatigue for those who are undergoing medical treatment.

Healthcare facilities that use pet therapy have stringent rules that ensure pets are clean, vaccinated, trained and screened before they can share their adorableness with patients. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has never received a report of infection from animal-assisted therapy.

So if you or your loved one is feeling a little gloomy, consider requesting pet therapy to lift their spirits. Having their therapy “go to the dogs” might be just what the doctor orders.