Once a week you'll have the opportunity to peek inside the mind of one of our local health & wellness experts. They'll share with you their advice, suggestions, wisdom and answer their most popular question from clients.
This week let's get to know our local health and wellness expert Cynthia Largess, PTA. Cindy is a physical therapy assistant who works primarily with older adults at Valley Regional Hospital. She also teaches Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance®.
Tell us about yourself and why you choose to go into a health field?
I have been working in the Physical Therapy field since 1981. I initially started working with physically and mentally challenged children and youth and then began to focus on working with older adults. I felt very comfortable working with this age group and felt I had so much to learn from their life experiences. I have worked in local SNF Rehab facilities, nursing homes and lastly the hospital setting. I currently work in Acute Care and Skilled Rehab at Valley Regional Hospital and have been here over 10 years working with a variety of diagnoses including joint replacement, deconditioning, injuries from falls, Neuro Re-education. It is very rewarding to help older adults at the time of their lives when they are so ill and need help returning to their previous level of function.
What makes you unique in your field?
I would say my years of experience and communication across disciplines in various settings and facilities. I can quickly connect and relate to people which puts them at ease and this helps with their recovery. It is important to Rehab physically but it is just as important to recovery mentally and your mind and spirit are part of that.
What question do your clients ask most frequently and how do you answer them?
Working in an Inpatient Acute and Rehab setting, clients are very deconditioned, weak and trying to recover to their pre-existing level of function. The question I get most is “When can I go home?”. Our Rehab team develops a safe and effective plan with each client to help reach their goals and return to their previous level of function.
What do you see as the greatest health risk posed to this generation?
I work with mostly older adults and I see the biggest risk being Injuries sustained from falls.
The leading cause of death in people over 65 in NH is falls with injury.
Only 1 in 4 older adults report a fall.
Having a previous fall puts you are at 50% chance of having another fall.
Over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year in the US due to falls.
What is the most important intervention to decrease fall risk and prevent falls?
Exercise!! Exercise is the most important intervention.
Exercise for improving balance must be:
-challenging and progressive
-Include balance and strengthening exercises
-50 total hours needed to reduce fall risk.
The GOAL is to make it a regular part of your life.
What is your favorite area of wellness to practice?
My favorite area of wellness to practice is teaching Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance®. Here at Valley Regional Hospital we offer this evidence-based balance and strengthening program. Derived from simplified 24 form Tai Ji Quan, this program consists of 8 forms with built-in practice variations and mini therapeutic movements. This exercise program is for community-dwelling older adults with a history of falls, balance disorders, leg muscle weakness and abnormal gait or walking difficulty.
This is a 24 week class, attending 2 times/week for a total of 48 classes.
This class has been found to decrease falls in people with Parkinson’s Disease by 67%, decrease risk of multiple falls in older adults by 55% and decrease risk of multiple falls by 55%.
What is your favorite Quote?
Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
How can people learn more about you and what you have to offer?
If you are interested in finding out more about TJQ:MBB, or signing up for our next class. Call 603-542-1878. We would love for you to join us!!
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Last Week's Interview Julie Glynn, M.Ed., MA. from Julie Glynn Coaching.
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