Lymphedema in the Elderly: A Special Needs Population.

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Lymphedema in the Elderly: A Special Needs Population.

Postby patoco » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:47 pm

Lymphedema in the Elderly: A Special Needs Population.

Lymphedema People


Lymphedema in the Elderly: A Special Needs Population.


Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. Cancer Issues Related to the Older Person. 20(2):98-113, April/May/June 2004.
Konecne, Sharon M. MHS, PT; Perdomo, Marisa MS, PT


Lymphedema in the elderly is often complicated by comorbidities, diagnostic uncertainties, and intervention complications. Damage to the lymph system results in fluid overload, causing edema. In developed countries, damage to the lymphatic system typically results from surgery and radiation therapy for cancer treatment. In the elderly, differentiating true lymphedema from other types of edema becomes more difficult because of the many conditions which may cause edema, such as cardiac disease or chronic venous insufficiency. Inactivity and muscle weakness in the elderly add to the difficulty in managing treatment. Current treatment for lymphedema includes specialized massage, bandaging, exercises, compression garments, and compression pumps. Acute or chronic causes of edema, such as a deep venous thrombosis, may be a contraindication for lymphatic therapy intervention. However, some nonlymphatic edemas may respond well to the intervention. Chronic venous insufficiency may complicate existing lymphedema or may cause lymphedema if the lymphatic system becomes stressed attempting to compensate for the venous system. The elderly may also require modification to lymphedema intervention, such as reduced treatment times, simplified exercises, and reduced bandaging layers. They may require adaptative exercise equipment. Alternate treatment settings, such as in home health or nursing home, require adaptive approaches. Social and safety issues impact the choices for intervention. The demands on the therapist working with the elderly with lymphedema require ingenuity and patience. Functional improvement with lymphedema intervention may allow the patient to remain at home rather than at an alternate setting.

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Postby silkie » Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:59 am

Hi Pat

I believe what we do today helps our quality of life in old age

that is why MLD Skin care is so vital so important

my Nans skin was translucent so delicate

imaging her skin being stretched and pressured by lymph fluid

it would not have stood the strain.

MLD and skin care helps to keep the condition of our limbs

as good as they can be

So much better to reach the later years of life with our skin and limbs in the best condition we can possibly keep them


Silks xx
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Lymphedema and the Elderly

Postby patoco » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:08 am

This article came out this week.


Retirees fear future
Reorganization holds potential for cost-saving cuts in benefits


Dana Corp. retirees from throughout the area got a sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs Saturday when they learned that the company is considering cuts to retiree health and welfare benefits as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization.

"It made me sick to my stomach, actually. I'm like, 'Oh gosh, what are we going to do?"

The Ramseys aren't alone. With Dana and its predecessor, Perfect Circle, once Wayne County's largest employer with five sites and more than 1,700 employees, there are many Dana retirees in the area wondering if they will still have their medical insurance, prescription benefits or even their pensions by the time the Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp. emerges from bankruptcy. Dana closed the last of its plants in Richmond in 2003-2004.

Since Owen Ramsey retired from Dana in 2000, their family has been through several crises, especially starting in 2003 when Cathy Ramsey got sick.

"I had to quit my job on disability, so we lost our house. We're renting a house now, but to lose those benefits, with my illnesses... I just don't know what we'll do," she said.

Cathy Ramsey uses a wheelchair and suffers from diabetes, lymphedema, fibromyalgia and neuropathy. She takes medications for all of her ailments.

"I get generic whenever I can, but some of my medication, there aren't generics available. I don't know what we'll do if they take the drug card away. Without that drug card, my medicine would be $800 a month," Cathy Ramsey said.

She is particularly irritated that Dana would make such a move after the deadline to sign up for the Medicare prescription program has passed.

"He gave 33 years to the company faithfully. He was a good worker. He didn't even take vacations half the time... and then you retire and have the rug pulled out from under you," Cathy Ramsey said. "We're just going to have to see what happens. Hopefully, they'll not take it away totally.

"Owen said we'll just have to pray and do what everybody else is going to do. We're just going to have to get by somehow," she said.

Questioning the future

Among those questioning the future are two retirees' widows, Paula Medford of Richmond and Sue Morris of Fort Myers, Fla.

Medford's husband, Paul Eugene Medford Sr., worked at the foundry for 17 years, retiring when he developed cancer, from which he later died.

"He thought I'd be well taken care of," Paula Medford said. "I think these companies need to honor their commitments."

Paula Medford, who lost her job after her husband's death and recently became ill enough to be eligible for disability, relies on her late husband's pension to help her make ends meet and relies on the retiree health insurance to pay for her nine medications because she is not yet eligible for Medicare.

Wednesday, she was trying to look on the bright side. Her order for new glasses on the Dana health plan was accepted, she just received her three months supply of medication through its mail-order prescription program and the pension check arrived this week.

Failure to communicate
However, what really upsets Paula Medford is that retirees and their spouses had to learn about the possible cuts by reading the newspaper.

"The least they could've done was sent us a letter," Paula Medford said.

Morris got no letter either, just a newspaper clipping in the mail from a friend. Her husband, Jim, was retired from the Richmond sleeve plant. He died in November.

Morris said she has only received one letter from Dana, a notice earlier this year that the company had filed bankruptcy.

Many retirees are irritated by the failure to communicate.

"I haven't heard a word," said Edwin Tucker of Cambridge City. "I've been expecting it because two months ago I went to have my prescriptions filled and they said they won't fill them (at the drugstore). You have to send them in.

"They're going to wiggle out of everything and our government's going to allow it to happen," he said.

Tucker worked at Dana and Perfect Circle for about 19 years, retiring June 1, 1984. The 84-year-old was in good health until March when he had to have a triple bypass heart surgery.

At first, he was taking 11 pills a day. That's down to three, but he remains concerned about his health and pension benefits.

"Perfect Circle is history, you know. It was the best place in town to work," he said.

The need for security

Carroll Taylor of Richmond worked for Dana for about 30 years in three different stints in Hagerstown and Syracuse, Ind., before retiring in January 1988.

"I thought I was in pretty good shape," he said. Now, "I don't know exactly what is going on."

While he doesn't require many medications, his wife is dealing with some health concerns.

"I want to make sure whatever she needs is taken care of," Taylor said.

That security is what Fred Alexander of Connersville also is concerned about, but he is not surprised that Dana's cutbacks might begin with health insurance.

The 63-year-old took early retirement when Dana closed the Hagerstown distribution center in 1990 and then worked at Visteon, retiring from there as well.

"Neither one of them is on stable ground," Alexander said.

Pensions pay the bills

Sisters-in-law Marlene Twine and Garland Twine, both of Richmond rely on their pensions.

"I hope they don't really fool with the pension itself, that would be devastating," Marlene Twine said. "You can work around the insurance as long as you have a little money to pay for it. When I was there, I didn't have to pay anything for my benefits."

"We need the pension to survive," Garland Twine said.

Marlene Twine worked for the Dana ring plant in Richmond for about 17 years, starting in 1978. She was laid off for about four years at the end of her career with the company and chose to retire when she was called back.

Garland Twine worked for Dana for 25 years, retiring when the company left Richmond in 2003.

"I stayed as long as I could," she said. "It made some of us have to go out and get part-time jobs."

Garland Twine said that if Dana makes changes, she hopes they leave the pension intact and make only minor changes to the health care.

"I just hope they keep it... even if they did make little changes in them, because health insurance is hard to find," she said.

The women also lament the loss of the company, a community landmark.

"Dana was good to the whole community," Marlene Twine said. "It really hurt the whole community by them leaving."

Reporter Rachel E. Sheeley: (765) 973-4458 or

Originally published July 27, 2006 ... 70309/1008

"We were shocked," said Cathy Ramsey of Richmond. Her husband, Owen, worked in Dana's Richmond foundry for 33 years. "I knew they had filed for bankruptcy. I didn't think they'd take the benefits away.
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