Game time in an assisted living center

Is it time to consider assisted living?

Any adult can tell you that managing and maintaining a home as well as your personal care can be a challenge. This challenge can be exacerbated by old age, lack of mobility, injury, or illness.

Maybe you’re reading this because you live alone and are wondering how much longer you will be able to do that. Or, maybe you’re reading this because you have a friend or loved one that you are considering moving to an assisted living facility, but you just aren’t sure if it is the right time or if it has really come to that. Here are some things to consider as you make this decision.

Quality of Life

It is important to take a serious look at the quality of life the person is living. Maybe they are doing just fine on their own, but things could be just a little easier for them. Would their life be improved by having someone they can call on to help with certain things such as showering or getting dressed?

What about things like cleaning the house or food preparation? These aren’t things that people often think about as a part of quality of life, but they are things that can heavily impact your daily life. Some assisted living facilities have housekeeping and dining staff that will take care of these needs for you so you don’t have to.

Medical needs

What kind of situation in is the person moved in, health-wise? Do they have a lot of medications to take, or are they lacking a certain level of mobility?

Both of these are things to consider, as many assisted living facilities have round-the-clock nursing staff that can help with these things.

Social needs

Assisted living facilities are great communities for socialization. They often offer a wide array of activities for residents to participate in and help them make new friends. This is another consideration to make when it comes to quality of life. Active socialization can lead to a much happier life overall.

Signs to consider

  1. Medical emergencies–Have you or your loved one noticed an increase in medical emergencies, need for medical attention, or any close calls? Frequent falls or injuries could be a sign that you or your loved one can no longer adequately manage living in the home they are in. Additionally, an increased need for medical care could be met by moving to an assisted living facility with round-the-clock nursing care.
  2. Changes in weight or appearance–these can signify that you or your loved one is lacking proper nutrition. If this is because of an inability to adequately manage meal preparation, it may be time to consider a facility with dining services to ensure adequate nutrition.
  3. Safety issues–whether it be leaving the stove on or forgetting to lock the door, it may be best for you or your loved one to move to a place where there is more oversight for these sort of things.


Woman in walker doing laundry at home

Choosing a Walker

If you have begun your search for a walker, you may have noticed that there are many different kinds available, and it is very important to choose one that will effectively meet your needs, both price-wise and usage-wise.

Types of Walkers

There are many different types, but let’s talk about the most common ones.

Wheeled walker
A wheeled walker has a metal frame and wheels attached to the front legs.

Wheeled walker: A wheeled walker is the typical one you would think of. It has a metal frame and wheels attached to the front legs. These wheels are fixed, meaning they do not turn side to side, which may make turning a little challenging. They work great on indoor surfaces and are ideal for someone who is relatively mobile but just needs additional support.

A major downside to these is that they are incredibly difficult to use on uneven terrain. They can be unforgiving outside on a rocky, cracked sidewalk. They often have to be lifted over uneven walkways which defeats the purpose of having the added stability.

Rollator Walker
A rollator has wheels on all four legs, and the front two wheels are not fixed

Rollator: A Rollator has wheels on all four legs, and the front two wheels are not fixed, so these make turning a little easier. They have a much better range of motion than a traditional wheeled walker. They also frequently have brakes to make stopping easier, as well as a basket and flat surface for transporting items, and can also be used as a seat. There are a few different types and styles of rollators available, so it is important to research them carefully to decide what is the best fit for you. They are great for outdoor use, even on uneven ground.

A downside to the rollator is that it is bulky and much heavier than a traditional aluminum walker. As a result, they can be difficult to transport in a car because they do not fold easily, if at all. There are folding, portable models available, but they often sacrifice features (such as the seat) to maintain portability.

Canes: While canes do not provide the same level of support or assistance that a walker or rollator will, they are great and inexpensive if you only need a little extra stability. For example, if you have no issues walking but struggle when sitting down or standing up, you may consider a cane as a compact means of assistance.

There are a variety of models of canes available in a wide variety of shapes and sized to meet all of the needs of the user.

So which one is best?

This depends entirely on your needs and your doctor’s recommendations. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences:



  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Provides more support and balance
  • Best for indoor use with even terrain


  • Cannot be used on uneven terrain



  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Comes with a seat to rest on
  • Great for outdoors


  • Heavier than a traditional walker
  • Less portable



  • Extremely portable
  • Ideal for short distances or brief use


  • Less balance
  • Quicker fatigue



Whatever you choose, it is important to discuss the decision with your doctor and/or your physical therapist to make sure all of your needs are being adequately met!

A physical therapist assisting an elderly patient

The Importance of Physical Therapy

Whether you’ve broken a bone and need rehabilitation or you just have pain issues, you may have been prescribed physical therapy by your doctor. Physical therapy is a great way to increase your range of motion and alleviate some of the problems with your bones and muscles to help increase your quality of life.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is defined as “therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disease, injury, or disability that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (such as massage and electrotherapy), assistive devices, and patient education and training.”

So why is it important?

Well, physical therapy can offer you practical ways to improve your quality of life. For example, by doing stretches provided to you by your physical therapist, you may be able to alleviate some of your pain without taking pain medication. Or, maybe you recently broke your wrist. Physical therapists can help with range of motion exercises to help you regain full function.

What should I bring?

This is dependent on a couple things, but mostly the kind of therapy you are receiving. In general, you want to wear comfortable clothes (such as exercise clothes) that you can move freely in. Wear tennis shoes. Clothing that has an elastic waistband will be much more comfortable to stretch in than jeans. If your therapist is working on your knees, you may consider wearing shorts.

If you’re doing some kind of aquatic therapy, bring swimming gear such as a swimsuit, towel, and goggles (if you prefer them). You can also ask all of these questions at your initial consult.

If you use any kind of mobility aid such as a wheelchair or cane, make sure to bring it too!

Suggestions for success

Often, your therapist will request that you visit two to three times per week for an extended period of time (such as eight weeks) so that you may get the full effect of the treatment. It is very important to make sure you don’t miss an appointment. Repeated treatment is key to success in physical therapy. The best way to keep up with the exercises and treatment they recommend is to go see them.

It’s also important to follow their orders. If you deviate from the treatment plan, you may slow down your results or not get the results they intend for you. You could also cause yourself more pain. Your therapist may also change the exercises you do so that you improve over time. You need their supervision to help you succeed!

Attending your appointments also offers you the opportunity to ask questions. You can ask your therapist about your progress and communicate your concerns with them.

Regular attendance is going to be the key to your success with physical therapy. As long as you stick to the plan, you should be back up and moving in no time!


Helping to Heal Broken Bones

So, through one way or another, you broke a bone. Anyone who has ever broken a bone can tell you that it can be the most frustrating thing, especially if it impacts your ability to function in everyday life. Fortunately, broken bones aren’t permanent, and there’s a few things you can do to help them heal just a little quicker.

Types of breaks

Broken BonesYou may or may not know that there are a lot of different types of breaks. Let’s talk briefly about them:

  1. Stable Fracture: The broken ends of the bone line up.
  2. Compound Fracture: The skin may be open and the bone visible.
  3. Transverse Fracture: The fracture is horizontal across the bone.
  4. Oblique Fracture: The fracture is angled.
  5. Comminuted Fracture: The bone has been shattered into multiple pieces.

The length of time it takes for you to heal is based on the kind of fracture you have.

What causes broken bones?

There are three main causes of broken bones: trauma, overuse, and osteoporosis.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending on the kind of fracture, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to heal. Even if you’re no longer in pain, the fracture may not be fully healed. Additionally, your doctor may remove your cast before you’re ready for full activity. It’s important to always pay attention to your doctor’s instructions!

How can I help it heal faster?

As difficult as it may be, resting as much as possible is your best available option to helping it heal quickly. If you try to move the injured bone or bear weight too soon, you could do even more damage and end up with an even longer recovery time. And you definitely don’t want that!

It’s best to assume that you won’t be able to do everything you’re used to by yourself. This is especially true if you broke an ankle or a leg. Be prepared to take it slow and ask for help.

Nutrition may play a role in helping broken bones heal. A poor diet can cause issues with healing, especially because your body is working so hard to heal you. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet with a lot of vitamins and minerals to help those bones heal!

Consider getting as much exercise in as you can. You will not be able to exercise your broken bone. But, for example, if your ankle is broken, consider doing upper body exercises to increase blood flow and keep your heart rate up so that you can stay healthy while you heal. If you are a person that exercises a lot, dropping down to not exercising at all will be unpleasant for you and you will get bored very quickly. Try to do at least one small amount of exercise as often as possible. If you are confined to a wheelchair, take a look around the internet. There is a vast array of wheelchair and chair-based exercises and yoga to keep your heart rate up (I even wrote a post a while back! Check it out!).

Good luck!



Senior driving a car

What to do when you can no longer drive

Chances are, you have spent the majority of your life since you were a teenager driving yourself places without needing to rely on anyone else. But lately, whether it be due to health issues, recent surgery, or maybe just age, you may not be able to drive yourself places.

Whatever the reason may be, and whether it is a short-term or long-term situation, here are some tips to help you get by.

Take some time to cope.

This is undoubtedly hard for you. Even if it’s just a short-term limitation, not being able to drive can make you feel like you’re stuck. Being stranded at home can be incredibly boring, especially when you’re used to being out every single day.

Be prepared to grieve

Even if it’s just for a short time, you are giving up a major aspect of your life. This can make you feel stranded and helpless. And that’s okay! It’s totally normal to feel like you’re losing a part of yourself. Just try to keep in mind that it’s for the best, and your life will go back to feeling normal before you know it.

Keep a support network around

Your family and friends are there for you and just want you to be safe. Talk to them and tell them how you’re feeling about the situation. Maintaining communication with friends and family can make you feel less stranded.

Stay active

More than likely, if you’re feeling stuck at home, it’s because you were used to having a relatively active lifestyle. Don’t let that go! Find new ways to keep yourself active at home, and find ways to get to the places you want to be.

Check into all of your options

The great thing about today’s society is that there are so many options for transportation.

Public Transit
Look to see if the area you live in has a public transportation system that would be convenient for you to use. Most larger cities have a bus system that covers the majority of the area, even some smaller locations do! Some places even have a special bus system for people with limited mobility–this service will pick you up at your house and take you to the grocery store or other errands you need to run.

Ask a friend or family member
Even though it may feel like you’re burdening someone by asking for help, it never hurts to ask! Most of the time, your friends and family members would much prefer to help you out to prevent you risking an accident.

Call a cab
Anymore, a lot of cities have public taxi services that you can call. They’ll pick you up from your house and take you to run your errands.

Call an Uber!
If you have a smartphone, consider checking out rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft. These are increasingly popular, especially in the Kansas City area, and are often much less expensive than calling a cab would be.

Finally, don’t forget about us! Johnson County Medical Transportation is available to take you to all of your non-emergent medical and dental appointments!

Woman in walker doing laundry at home

Wheelchair and Walker Safety

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or illness, or if you’re just not as mobile as you once were, you may be restricted by your doctor to using a wheelchair or a walker, or maybe another mobility device such as a power chair, scooter, or cane. Whatever it may be, these devices are great for helping you get around to where you need to be. However, when you’re new to using one, there are some risks associated with it. Below are some tips for being safe with your mobility devices.


First of all, if you’re not entirely comfortable using it, make sure to talk to your provider about the basics of it. Your doctor or nurse may be able to guide you through the basics of using a wheelchair, or they can refer you to someone who is able to help.

When getting out of the chair, always make sure the brakes are locked to ensure stability. Also, make sure to lift up the foot plates so as to not trip over them.

Make sure all of the moving parts on your chair are secure before using them.

Try not to put heavy objects or loads on the back of your chair. This could cause the chair to tip backward, resulting in injury. If riding with something in your lap, make sure it doesn’t get tangled up in the wheels, as this could also result in injury.

Always make sure the wheelchair is in good repair!

Power chairs

Many of the safety tips for wheelchairs are also applicable to power chairs. Here are a couple more things to note:

Make sure to turn off your power chair before attempting to get out of it. This will ensure you don’t accidentally bump the controls and cause the chair to shift. It will also save battery.

If you’re around kids, don’t let them play with any part of the chair and don’t let them ride on it. It could cause parts of your chair to break, and it’s dangerous for the kids as well.

Again, talk to your provider about any concerns you have. Ask them to set the speed so that it will not go faster than you are able to handle.


Always make sure that all four contact points are touching the ground before trying to take a step. Always walk with your toes aligned with the back legs of the walker to prevent it from getting away from you.

Avoid leaning over the walker; this can lead to back problems. Instead, try to maintain good posture with a straight back.

Be careful if you’re switching from one floor type to another, be ready for the change in traction.

Work with your doctor or physical therapist to create a plan for using your walker safely.


An old lady recovery in a hospital gown sitting on a bed looking down at several pills in her hand

What to do while recovering from an illness or injury

When you’re recovering from something that leaves you exhausted and bedridden, you may just be looking for ways to pass the time. Daytime television isn’t always interesting, and watching the same things every day can get boring.

Maybe you’ve been sick recently and are having a hard time getting your energy back. Or, maybe you were injured: you broke a bone, sprained an ankle, etc. Or maybe you had surgery and you’re finding that recovery seems to take forever. Whatever it may be, something is keeping you from being back to your old self, and you’re trying to recover as quickly as possible. Below are some tips for recovery and what to do during it.

Here are some suggestions:

Watch Movies

Do you have a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime? Make the best of it. These services are packed with movies and television shows, even some obscure ones. Find something you’ve never seen before, and watch it. Make a list of things that sound interesting, and get started!

Read a book, a magazine, or anything else

Books are an amazing way to pass the time because they take you out of your own reality and transplant you into someone else’s. You have the chance to get to know new characters and all of their problems, and it will take your mind off your own.

Play video games

Do you have grandkids? Or maybe your own children? Invite them over and have them teach you how to play their favorite video games. Or maybe you have your own system and enjoy them already. Video games are another great escape from reality because there are so many options available.

Social Media and the Internet

In this day and age, the internet is filled with sites for every available interest. When you’re spending long days recovering, use it as a way to check in with your friends. Facebook is great for keeping in touch with people and finding events near you. Or, maybe you have hobbies that you can’t do during recovery, such as gardening. Have you ever been on Pinterest? Use it as a way to gather ideas for your next project, and you’ll be ready to start once you’re fully recovered.

Whatever you decide to do to pass the time, make sure you take some time to interact with people around you as well. Call your friends and family, or invite them over. Also, make sure you’re getting outside at least for a few minutes. Nothing is more refreshing that getting some fresh air when you’ve been cooped up in the house all day.

Happy recovery!

In-Home care Vs. Nursing home

In-Home Care Vs. a Nursing Home

Depending on your lifestyle, needs, and other factors, you may not be able to live alone anymore. Fortunately, there are many available options for assistance in your everyday life.

The basic options are either in-home care or a nursing home. Below, we’ll talk about the various benefits and drawbacks to each of these options.

In-home care

In-home care means exactly what you might think. With this option, you have the chance to stay in your own home and have a caretaker visit on a predetermined schedule.

What are the benefits of in-home care?

For starters, you get to continue living in your own home. You won’t have to move, meaning you’ll be staying in a place that is familiar to you. You will have the opportunity to maintain your normal routine. You’ll be more likely to feel at home, because, well, that’s where you are. It is more comfortable for you.

Additionally, because of the flexibility of in-home care, it can be considerably cheaper than other options. You’ll be in charge of setting the schedule for the caretaker, meaning they can come as often or as little as you require. And, because they’re usually paid hourly, this means less cost to you.

What kinds of things are covered with in-home care?

This is between you and your caretaker. There are services for all kinds of needs. Home health aides can help with everything from grocery shopping to managing medications.

Home health aides can be either a medical professional, or not. In-home nurses will handle any medical needs you may have, and non-medical professionals can help with everything else.

What are the drawbacks?

If you need 24/7 care, it can get very expensive. Aides are typically paid hourly, and more hours means more money.

Unfortunately, not everyone is reliable. There’s a chance that the aide could quit one day. It happens, and it could cause a lapse in care.

Your family will have to take on the responsibility of keeping you engaged in your community and making sure you’re not isolated or lonely. For people with no family nearby, this can be difficult to make happen.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities

A nursing home is a medical facility where you will be provided with 24/7 care by a team of medical professionals. An assisted living facility is similar but offers slightly more independence. In a nursing home, you may only have one room, wherein an assisted living facility, you may have more of an apartment-like setup.

What are the benefits?

First, you will have more care available to you. Both types of facilities hire nurses to ensure medication compliance and to address other health issues that may restrict your day-to-day life.

It’s a more social environment. You’ll be living in a community with people of the same age as you. You’ll have the opportunity for socialization, activities, and forming friendships, without having to leave your place of residence.

You no longer have to worry about maintaining your home, because it will be taken care of for you. Many facilities are all-inclusive, meaning that things like housekeeping, meals, and transportation are included in the monthly cost.

What are the drawbacks?

The biggest drawback is that you’ll have to pack and move all of your belongings, and maybe get rid of some things. You’ll have limited space in the new facility, and may not be able to take everything with you. This can cause a lot of stress for many people.

Another drawback is that you won’t have as much control over the cost. In a nursing home or assisted living facility, you’ll pay a flat rate each month that covers all of the amenities. It could be more expensive, depending on the level of care you need.

Which is right for you?

This depends entirely on your needs. If you don’t need 24/7 care, you may be better off with in-home health aides. However, if you do need more care, you might be better off in a facility that is prepared to help you with anything.


travel tips for the holidays

Travel Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and for many people, that means a great deal of traveling to visit family or friends. For you, maybe it just means more difficulty driving to appointments because of poor road conditions. We also understand that traveling with a wheelchair isn’t easy, whether you’re going across town or across the world.

Whatever the case may be, here’s some travel tips to get your where you need to go.

When booking with us…

Here at Johnson County Medical Transport, we want to make sure you are as comfortable and safe as possible during your trip with us. We go to great lengths to make sure your experience is one you enjoy.

Let us know if you have any concerns so that we may address them properly. We’re happy to tell you what kind of vehicle we’ll be driving and what equipment we’ll have on hand so that you can plan accordingly.

Double check your appointment times. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the facility and finding out you’re way too early. Confirm your times so that we can help you be as efficient as possible.

Let us know about any questions or special requests when booking the trip. We’re here to make sure you are well taken care of.

When planning a road trip…

Maybe you’re headed across the state to another medical facility, or maybe you’re just taking a road trip to see your family. Either way, here’s some things to keep in mind.

Make a list of everything you need to bring. This doesn’t just mean your clothes, but also include things you may need to take care of your wheelchair. If you have a power chair, this is especially important. If something needs repairs, it’s much better to be prepared. Bring along whatever tools you may need, as you may not be able to find any at your destination.

Call ahead to hotels and other accommodations to ensure you’re getting a fully accessible room. A lot of hotels have ADA compliant rooms, which have more room for maneuvering your chair, as well as better access to elevators. Don’t be afraid to request one!

When traveling by plane…

This can be the most stressful way to travel, but it doesn’t have to be with the right amount of preparation!

Label your wheelchair with tag that has your name and contact information. That way, if it gets separated from you, it can be returned.

Many airlines require you to gate check your wheelchair. This means it will be stored in the cargo area of the plane during the flight. If you have anything on your chair that is removable and could become detached, bring it with you on the plane.

Book your flight well in advance so that you can make sure to get an aisle seat toward the front of the plane. This way, you won’t have to walk far when you gate-check your chair. If you need assistance getting to your seat, make sure to alert one of the airline staff. They will make sure you are helped.

Familiarize yourself with the airline’s and the TSA’s regulations regarding wheelchair transportation, particularly if you have a power chair or scooter.

Don’t be afraid to ask for any accommodations that you may need. And, don’t forget, when possible, travel with someone that can help you.

Happy holidays and good luck with your traveling!

Senior couple working in the garden

Safety Tips For Seniors

In this article, we’ll discuss some safety tips and concerns, particularly for seniors. Ranging from safety at home to uncertainty about a phone call, we’ll touch on some topics to get you thinking about your safety!

Fire Safety

Always, always make sure the batteries in your smoke alarms are good. If your alarm starts chirping, it’s time to change the battery! Have a trusted family member help you if you can’t stand securely on a ladder or chair.

If you use medical oxygen, it’s important to never smoke with it nearby. Oxygen can accelerate a fire, and what was once a small flame can spread quickly. You should also not use candles, matches, or anything else if there’s medical oxygen in your home.

Consider keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Make sure it is always fully charged, but also make sure you know how to use it!

For your home, try to pick a fire extinguisher that is small enough for you to lift and operate, but still effective enough to put out a fire should you need to. Always read the instructions to familiarize yourself before you ever need to use it. The worst thing that could happen is not knowing how to use it when the time comes!

To operate one, use the P.A.S.S. method:

Pull: Pull the pin. Point the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism (the pin)

Aim: Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire

Squeeze: squeeze the lever.

Sweep: Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

For more information on fire safety, check out the National Fire Protection Association web page. There’s plenty of information about all kinds of topics on this site!


As I’m sure you already know, it’s really important to keep your doors and windows locked to prevent a break-in. Always make sure your home is secure, especially before going to bed or leaving the house.

Never trust anyone with your passwords or other secure information! I’m sure you’ve heard recently about people’s accounts being broken into and their identity stolen. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by NEVER giving out your personal information.

If you lose your purse or wallet, or it gets stolen, call your bank RIGHT AWAY to cancel all existing cards.

Medication safety

Always review your medication list, especially if new medications are being added, with your doctor and pharmacist. If you have any questions, they are there to help! If anything seems off about your medications (such as they look different), ask the pharmacist! They will give you information.

Make sure your medications are clearly labeled in a way that you can read. This will prevent you from mixing up medication, and prevent problems like accidentally taking something at the wrong time of day or accidentally taking a spouse’s medication.

Always properly dispose of old medications. They do expire, and it could be unsafe to take them after that point. Talk to your pharmacy, they usually have programs for medication disposal.

Most importantly, NEVER take medication that is prescribed to someone else. It could have adverse effects on you and could interact badly with something you may already take!

Weather Safety

Tornado Safety

Living in the Kansas City area, I’m sure you are aware that tornadoes are a big part of life here. But what exactly are you supposed to do when the sirens sound?

Well, before the sirens ever go off, you should have a safety plan. Make sure you know where the safest place to be in your home is. Usually, it’s on the lowest level of the house in a room with no exterior walls.

During a tornado watch, you should stay inside, away from doors and windows at all times. Listen to the local news, as this is where the most up-to-date information will come from. Make sure you have a battery-operated emergency radio in your home in the event of a power outage.

During a tornado warning, get to the safest place in your home! Get as low to the ground as you can, and wait it out. Keep the radio on hand so you can listen.

When it’s over, make sure to keep listening to the weather updates. Be aware of any damage to your home.

Winter Storms

Another local problem we have is extreme cold, leading to icy conditions and even snow.

When this happens, try not to leave your house if possible. Keep track of weather reports so you know what is headed your way. Make sure you have enough food and other supplies in the event that you are unable to leave the house for an extended period of time.

Make sure all pets are inside or in a warm, sheltered area.

And most importantly: stay warm! Dress in layers and keep blankets around to stay warm and conserve energy.

Fall safety tips

A problem that many seniors face is the risk of falling down at home. There are several things you can do to prevent falling.

Make sure to wear some kind of non-slip footwear, such as slippers, to prevent slipping on the floor. This is particularly important if your home has hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors.

Always use rails and banisters when going up and down the stairs. If necessary, consider putting a railing down a long hallway.

Make sure to prevent your rugs from slipping by using a rug liner, or taping or tacking them to the floor.

Buy a rubber mat for the bottom of your tub or shower to prevent slipping.

Always keep emergency numbers handy so that, in the event of an emergency, you can contact someone easily!


Resources for other safety tips: